“What gets measured gets done.” – Peter Drucker
Key performance indicators, dashboards, weekly numbers, or scorecards…whatever you call them, tracking weekly performance metrics will have a positive impact on the outcome.
When leaders are looking to track numbers, they often go to where the numbers are: the accountant and the sales staff. While these are important, and you’ll likely have a few weekly numbers from these sources, a great leadership team will review weekly metrics that represent the entire organization’s health.
The challenge can come in finding which numbers the team should track. Simpler is better and finding the right ones can have the biggest impact over a sea of way too many. However, it isn’t always easy to identify and track the right numbers. Here are four tips to help you find the right numbers.
- Think about what leaves the biggest impact on your business and what you can track. These items may include open positions, marketing campaigns, pipelines, inventory, training sessions, processes completed, and so on. The point is this: think about those big things that impact the business first. Once identified, build a list of all the items that affect each of the outcomes you’re looking to impact. Inevitably, there will be at least one metric that will stick out and can be easily tracked on a weekly basis.
- Be patient, tenacious, and recruit help. I say this over and over, but it rings true. As the leader, you’re accountable for making sure it gets done…but you don’t actually have to do it all. Think about the entire team of folks that working for you introduce the outcomes you want to impact and recruit them to help identify the proper metrics to be tracked. From here, they can start tracking the numbers and observe. This works, but it takes time; as the leader, you have to be patient and tenacious. Stay on track. If one isn’t working after a few months, review potential alternatives.
- Test it. I can always see when a leader of a team has taken on the entire scorecard project with little impact from others. We go through an exercise where I ask each member of the leadership team to visualize that they just got back into the office from an amazing vacation. They’ve been gone for two weeks and completely out of pocket. When they’re back in their office and finally have a little time for themselves, what are the top two or three numbers they review? I have them write them down. We then go around the room and list all of the numbers on the board; if the numbers are different than the current scorecard, a disconnect is likely and they should consider a rework.
- Find what works for others. This seems to be one of those no-brainer areas that we often forget. Think about other business leaders and ask them. They’ve likely gone through the brain damage or will benefit from your work. Either way, it helps! There are also industry experts or books you can research. One of favorite experts in this space is my friend, Greg Crabtree. Greg does a great job simplifying the numbers and helping leaders to focus on what is truly important. Here’s a link to his site: https://simplenumbers.me/
Numbers don’t have egos and they don’t take sick days. Once you begin to build a culture that consistently relies on the numbers, amazing things happen and issues will begin to come to surface.
In two weeks, we’ll dive into several different ways to instill accountability.
Do you need a little push to build your perfect metrics? We’re here to help! Reach out today. Here to help, no expectation or obligation.