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Seb Anthony

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Has anyone any guidelines for writing Key Performance Indicators
Gwen Turpin

8 Responses

  1. depends?!
    Hi Gwen

    I think it depends on what industry and area of the business you are in as to what KPI’s you would want to incorporate…for example contact centres use average call time wrap time etc.

    What areas are you looking to incorporate these KPI’s in?

    Sorry to answer with questions :o)

    Best Regards

  2. Start from first principles
    KPIs are the way you monitor key performance areas, which are those aspects of your business/activity that determine your success or failure in achieving your business goals. For example, wrap times in a customer call centre tell you how quickly calls are dealt with. Customer satisfaction indices tell you how well cusotmer calls are dealt with. Which is key to your business succes – dealing with calls quickly or dealing with them well? Remember, ‘an organisation bcomes what it measures itself to be’.

    Follow these steps:
    1. Decide on business (deptartment/section/team) goals (eg increase turnover)
    2. Identify those key performance areas which will determine how well you will achieve your goals, and set objectives for them (eg increasing customer repeat beusiness by raising customer satisfaction levels)
    3. Identify the quickest, simplest (and reasonably accurate) measures of performence that will indicate if you are achieving these objectives (eg satisfaction ratings – your KPIs)
    4. Set targets for these KPIs (eg raise the proportion of people saying ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ from 70% to 80%)
    5. Monitor, but remember, you don’t fatten a pig by weighing it, so devote your resources to improving customer satisfation not measuring it – use regular small samples or data that is generated naturally by the business if you can. KPIs are indicators, that’s all, and what you really want to do is achieve your overall goals, so use the KPIs to help you check if you are doing the right thing. Dont let them become an end in themselves.

  3. More information
    Just to give more information the KPI’s are to be centred around skill sets and ‘must do’s’ within outbound and inbound calls as apposed to targets such as wrap up and idle.

  4. What, No Targets?
    I can’t help wandering that, without targets or limits for these KPIs, what is the purpose of them?

    Targets and limits for key indicators implies that when a KPI falls below target or outside of limits, people take action to correct the situation – they might even be proactive about it!!

    What you seem to be describing seems more like a checklist to me!

    What ever KPIs you have, apply the “so-what” test – for each KPI, ask the question “so what?” – if the answer has little or no impact on things that are important either to employees, managers, customers, shareholders or any other combination of stakeholders, then you can drop the ‘K’ from ‘KPI’ – possibly even the ‘P’ too! In which case why go to the bother of measuring something others may view as unimportant, and therefore a chore, and perhaps therefore worthy of ‘fudging’….?

  5. Don’t set KPI’s, Allow people to set their own.
    KPI’s are viewed by the workforce as a set of arbitrary numbers that have been imposed on them by management. They have little effect and less relevance.

    If you decide what the KPI’s are going to be then you will be following that exact same model and the achievement of your KPI’s will be resisted because the workforce do not like being told what to do.
    If however you ask the workforce,
    “How do you know when you are having a nice day?”
    Their reply will be the KPI that they care about.
    Something that they will take pride in achieving.
    When people are allowed to become proud of what they do their performance becomes amazing.
    Try it, you will be amazed too.

  6. SMART
    Hi Gwen, bottom line as long as your Objectives and Targets are set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Acheivable or Agreed, Realistic and Timely)your KPI’s will work for you and your staff, I set mine as part of Performance Management for 6 monthly Appraisals and review regulary.
    [email protected]
    DPP Development Training

  7. KPIs, SMART behaviours and other stories
    Readers of Jack Stack’s excellent book “The Great Game Of Business” will realise how ‘bang-on’ Peter’s well-made point is, and they will also realise that whilst having employees set their own KPIs is the best option, these KPIs also need to be relevent to the business – i.e. they need to drive the kinds of behaviours that lead to success not just for the individuals but also other stakeholders.

    For this reason it is not enough to have SMART KPIs and objectives – they need to drive appropriate behaviours too.

    My thanks to Peter and Nigel for reminding me of this!

  8. Here are some key attributesof KPIs..
    My experience with KPIs is similar to several other respondents and I would like first to ask what YOU mean/what you intend to do with your KPIs. Only when we know this can I really give a decent answer – nonetheless, some generalisations folow…

    My version of KPIs have a few critical attributes:

    1) They are INDIVIDUAL to he person whose performance is being assessed
    1a) That means that different people doing identical jobs might have different KPIs (my performance on topic A is good, but bad on Topic B, yours vice-versa so we get different KPIs)
    2) Achievement is within the control or significant influence of the individual concerned
    3) They drive the changed behaviour that you want (actually I guarantee that any KPI will drive behaviour – your challenge is to make sure that it drives the right behaviour, bearing in mind that you will have some polarity reponders and some very internally referenced people in your organisation)
    4) There needs to be a reward/support mechanism linked to the KPI (otherwise, why would they bother?)
    5) They should be reviewed at a frequency linked to the ‘process cycle time’ associated with the KPI
    6) There should be a transparent link ‘up’ to Team/Departmental/Organisational performance indicators
    7) If they are found NOT to drive the necessary changes/improvements then they should be promptly dropped and replaced with something that does (i.e. the KPI itself should be subject to review as well as performance against the KPI)
    8) They need to be solidly owned by the subjects and that usually means their involvement in development – after all they know better than any manager or trainer what really affects their own performance

    Hope some of this helps…


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