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The Lessons of KPI


In any given industry, management requires the utilization of KPI’s (key performance indicators). In fact, there is a standard phrase that is universal when discussing KPI’s; “What gets measured, gets done.”

Yet, for me it’s more about goals than tracking results and showing the client a pretty spreadsheet. Of course they go hand in hand. I use KPI’s as the foundation for building a successful team. I am actively looking for people who can achieve the Key Performance Indicators from the very start of the process.

As the picture above states, getting people to deliver is quite another thing. Selling your employees on why a particular set of KPI’s exist is paramount in getting the performance you and the client desire.

What happens though when they (KPI’s) are not being met or are below acceptable standard? Do you change or modify the standard? The lessons I have learned suggest no because there is no need. What , in fact, you may want to do is reevaluate how meeting that standard is achieved. Such is the case in the lesson below.

My team had a KPI of an average of 5 displays per retail store account in their assigned territory. I had great people who had bought in from the start on how achievement of that KPI is related to the overall base distribution growth. Problem was we were only averaging 1 display. So I set out to verify the accuracy of our reporting. What the client and I found was astonishing. Our reps were misreporting on the displays up in there stores by a wide margin. Why? Because they didn’t feel they had enough time. The solution, we moved reporting on the displays to the first part of the store call. And you guessed it, in no time we had blown by 3 to over 4 displays averaged per store.

What I have learned in almost each instance, verify the accuracy of the information being reported. Don’t assume like I did. What have you learned? Have a comment, or a topic idea. Please comment here, they are all welcome.

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