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what does 'good' look like? Using KPIs to define and measure success

Posted by Lauren on July 24, 2017


Think back to your last project or initiative? How did it go? Did you respond well? How do you know it was a success? Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that everyone is using the system and that one manager that was vocal seems quiet now and, dare you say, happy. Or, perhaps your training surveys showed that everyone felt confident to use the information they learned on their jobs. However, none of these are concrete indicators of ‘good’ – they are only subjective or observable items that may not tell the whole story.

At your organization, it is important to rely on more than the word of your employees when measuring success. Not knowing what success looks like could mean millions of dollars of lost revenue or poor customer satisfaction. So, the question is, how do you know what ‘good’ looks like for your organization – especially if you can’t simply rely on ‘word-of-mouth’?

All projects should be run with the end in mind. Keep in mind, success will look different for different companies, industries, and projects. Your company’s idea of ‘good’ will also constantly evolve. At a minimum, though, once the project or organization’s goals are established, success depends on small individual and group behaviors. These behaviors are measured and monitored using key performance indicators (KPIs).

Benchmark against who?

Your KPIs should not come from the latest benchmarking survey or be based on what the latest “best-in-class” company uses. Instead, replace vague definitions with measurable and more specific ones (i.e. 95% PM compliance rate). Also, be sure that the KPIs fit within the global expectations of the organization. It makes no sense to measure and monitor a KPI that is not useful in achieving your ultimate company goals.

Following these guidelines will ensure that success is measured against raw data, and not against personal, subjective opinions about the project.

For projects, don’t forget to establish the vision before you start the hard work. That way, you can establish a quantitative baseline and show how your project moves the organization closer to its long-term goals.

When thinking of KPIs, think about what is important to your company and your industry? Is work order completion impacting your bottom-line? Are you heavily-regulated, so need to measure your regulatory compliance? If downtime leads to lost revenue, perhaps track the downtime of critical assets as an indicator of a strong maintenance strategy. Again, all these examples are concrete, measurable, and in line with the company goals.

Defining your success with KPIs helps you see where you started, where you are, and where you are going. Performance management helps your organization enter a state of continuous improvement. Want to know more about why you should be using KPIs to define the success of your Maximo implementation or upgrade? Download our infographic here.

Join the conversation around using KPIs for defining and measuring success on LinkedIn.

Download the Infographic: 5 Ways KPIs help you Achieve Operational Excellence and Balance Performance Management

Topics: Performance Management, KPI, KPIs, IBM Maximo

Written by Lauren

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