Associations are focused on providing reliable and value-oriented data to their members and many times this takes the shape of what we call KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators. KPI’s have proven extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic as they have demonstrated the impact COVID is having on industries. This has allowed organizations the data needed to apply for much needed funding.
Our team has been working diligently with many associations to help extract their KPI data during 2020, and what we’ve found is that many times associations have not gone through the basics of defining and developing their KPIs. So, we decided to put together the below outline as a guide when setting up an organization’s KPIs.
When measuring performance, it is necessary to understand what each indicator means, why it's important to measure it, and how the measurement impacts decisions and actions in your company.
First, let’s take a step back and look at what Key Performance Indicators are and how they are used. Simply put, KPIs are measurements that help you measure your organization’s performance against key business objectives. A meaningful KPI will meet the following criteria:
- It is a success driver for your organization
- It is measured frequently
- It is easy to understand and is manageable
- It causes an action to be taken and drives impact
Before measuring any indicator, ask yourself the following 3 questions:
- WHY is it important to measure it?
- HOW will measuring and assessing this indicator help my organization?
- WHAT actions will I take after measuring this indicator, depending on its level?
Keep in mind that not every KPI is meaningful or worthwhile. Once you have decided on a measurement to implement, do a dry run or get a measurement sample to determine the time spent, cost, people and resources involved. You may find that the KPI is not achievable or time worthy. If you find it’s not a manageable measurement, forget about it. Most importantly, don’t separate measuring from working. The easiest way to find meaningful KPIs is to integrate working and measuring together in a hand-in-hand approach.
We encourage you to explore the KPI.org for more resources on this topic.
Linda Xavier, PMP, Certified Benchmarking Professional
Account Manager Dynamic Benchmarking