Key performance indicators

Which areas of my business should management information (MI) focus on, how often should I report it and how do they relate to my key performance indicators (KPIs)?

KPIs are not just an activity owned by the board or directors – they should operate across the whole firm and are central to operational management. When widely adopted and understood, they are a powerful tool for managing organisational change, business growth and continuous improvement, allowing businesses to compare their performance against market benchmarks and competitors where available.

KPI trends also help spot potential issues and identify business opportunities and enable targets to be agreed at operational levels to help deliver wide strategic goals. Departmental KPIs can reflect customer satisfaction, sales volumes, repeat buying, profitability, quality control, staff absence or staff turnover. Each business’s KPI’s will depend on the individual setup and markets, and as such, KPIs should relate to specific strategic objectives, be clearly measurable and have set timeframes (following the SMART management acronym).

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