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Do Managers Understand Your KPIs?

How can you successfully manage a company without the proper measurements? There is a wealth of data at IT’s disposal just waiting to be managed and measured. In a post for Valorize IT, key performance indicators (KPIs) are analyzed to uncover their capabilities to successfully manage, measure, and monitor data. And then the question is raised as to how to get anybody to look at the reports generated!

Making Metrics Matter

What is a KPI? According to the post, “A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) shows how well something are doing related to your business objectives and balanced using a set of metrics.” In an experiment of his at a large multi-national corporation at which he was consulting, he began to tamper with the reports given to senior-level management. He started by delaying release of the report, only to receive a barrage of complaints soon after. But when he sent the full report, with his own fun twist on some of the numbers, he never heard anything back until he explicitly directed them to a set of song lyrics he had inserted in it for no reason. It was uncovered that none of the managers had even read the report in a year because it was too technical for them to understand.

KPIs need to be directly related to the business objectives to help alleviate this misunderstanding in technical nonsense. The CIO also needs to be a part of the top team so they can be the link to deciphering the sometimes anarchy of this technical document.

Critical Success Factors (CSFs) help to define the need for the KPIs. One of the most crucial CSFs is to keep the customer continually happy with the service offered. A simple example of this type of scenario could be to observe customer satisfaction. The KPIs for this would include everything ranging from calls to emails, to see what kind of customer satisfaction there was in the amount of time being looked to. CSFs can be immensely beneficial when it comes to shedding light on the overall performance.

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About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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