How to Measure KPIs on Process Improvement
HOW TO MEASURE KPIS ON PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
You’ve done the hard work of reviewing your business’ processes and implementing improvements wherever possible. But now that you’ve done the work, how do you accurately measure whether it’s paying off?
The answer is simple: Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs for short. In this article we’ll go over what KPIs are, how you can track them, and which specific ones you may want to focus on to tell if your process improvement is working.
What are KPIs?
Put simply, pulling from our previous article on how to create your content marketing plan:
KPIs are quantifiable measures of performance for a specific objective over time. These can include the number of new customers targeted each month, return on investment for a particular revenue stream, number of customers served per employee, and number of official social media posts made each month.
KPIs are easy to confuse with a related measurement known as metrics. Where they differ from each other is that metrics only measure the success of your regular business activities, such as the number of web page click throughs or the amount of times your free e-book has been downloaded.
Metrics will let you know if your strategies are working or not, but they don’t provide broad enough information to let you know why. KPIs do. And unlike metrics, KPIs are fairly malleable and can be set according to your needs.
How can you track KPIs?
The primary tool you’ll use to track KPIs will likely be a software dashboard purposely built for tracking performance. As this article from Hive.com goes over in much more detail, you have plenty of options to pick from. Some of the most popular ones include Google Analytics, Klipfolio, and Tableau.
Google Analytics is free, powerful, and offers a wide range of data tracking, but it can also be intimidating to set up and difficult to parse for first time users.
Klipfolio allows you to create custom reports and dashboards and has many integrations with existing software, making it quite versatile—not to mention user-friendly.
Tableau, meanwhile, offers many options to slice data and a slew of other useful features.
Regardless of which software you pick, the next section will help you understand which KPIs you should set up to monitor on your dashboard.
Which KPIs should you focus on for measuring process improvement?
This article from Citoolkit gives some great ideas for the KPIs you should focus on for your process improvement. What you need will, of course, vary depending on the situation, but in general you want to prioritize indicators most relevant to the processes you’re improving.
Did you just develop a new SOP on client invoices to replace the old one? Mark an indicator like the time taken to request and process customer payment.
Just streamlined your employee’s workflow with a new project management system? Keep track of how many tasks they’re completing compared to before.
Just set up a suggestion box for staff to submit ideas? Keep track of the idea conversion rate, or how much the implemented ideas save you.
In closing, KPIs are powerful, versatile points of data that can easily tell you whether your process improvements are successful or still need work. If you need more inspiration for which KPIs you should target, you can find an exhaustive list of common KPIs per industry in the Citoolkit article above.
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