What is a KPI?
Generally key performance indicators (KPIs) are represented as numbers to show the measurement of events as a percentage, benchmark or velocity.
This could be a feedback rating of say; 98% out of a possible 100%, a 4.9-star rating out of a possible 5-stars, 120 orders per day or week, 5 phone calls per hour etc.
These are all very common KPIs, and generally ones that the more people in a team are aware of, the better, because it helps everyone have an understanding on how the team, products and services are performing relative to a recognisable standard.
Management tend to like numbers a lot because it makes their summary communications faster – but these should be numbers that everyone can benefit from knowing, understanding and benchmarking their own and their peer’s performance.
The ultimate goal of setting, achieving and maintaining some kind of target could just be the reward of satisfaction, or the likely measurable improvement that it can be compared to in another affected KPI.
These KPIs can then also be measured over time, say; in the last day, week, month, quarter, year or a custom period.
And lastly, they can be compared to the same measurement over a previous period of time, say; week-on-week, month-on-month, January-on-January etc.
What are KPIs used for?
Used correctly, they should be a time-efficient dashboard of numbers on a business or operation that gives a very quick summary view of its current, historical and comparable performance.
The idea being that they can quickly show whether an area needs further attention, or is working as expected. In short, the “should I be worried or satisfied” numbers.
What KPIs should I be using?
This is going to relate to both what you want to achieve, and how the outside world may be judging you from either public or requested information.