Typewriter KPI machines

Use this check list for great KPI’s

The building blocks for robust and meaningful KPI’s (Key performance indicators) are within my agreed common factors. These important elements are the foundation of clarity, purpose, vision, innovation and excellence within any business, from a small startup to the largest software or insurance business.

You are invited here to check your own business current KPI structures and cross check the below list to identify any gaps you may need to improve or remedy. This short check list with questions will help you verify and identify any swift changes needed to make great KPI’s and lift business performance.

Leadership created

The executive leadership should participate and help define the priorities so KPI’s are defined. This also needs to be done based on factual information relevant to a future business desired state and the behavior actions to be taken.

Question:- Who decided your KPI’s?


A great KPI should remain highly relevant to your business future desired state. Normal business metrics are not to be confused with a KPI, differentiate between them so focus is retained throughout the organization.

Question:- How are your KPI’s leading your business to a vision desired stated performance?

Easily understood

A great KPI should be communicated in a way that can be easily understood and acted upon. All members within the organization should be able to understand the core elements of the KPI through a good name choice, current state and desired state (target).

Question:- What verification of understanding been taken to ensure the KPI is understood?

Valid data

The repeatability of your measurement system within the KPI should be robust and consistent. Stakeholders need to be confident and motivated in making action decisions based on valid data inputs. Any inaccuracy within a measurement system should be eliminated or understood within a variability tolerance band.

Question:- Which exact data collection points and measurement system has been selected?

Stairway to performance
Credit google images. The stairs of success

Future State

The KPI should have a target future state performance marked clearly and understood by stakeholders. This highlights the trend gap differences and can help support leadership decisions to make corrections and investment of resources. This also includes the values and priority therefore that the organization states in its desired actions.

Question:- How is the KPI designed to lead your business to a future desired state reflecting corporate values?


Motivation remains a key element in any workplace. Setting milestone rewards for consistent trend and performance can help an organization remain motivated and aligned on common business goals. If it is free ice cream or a thank you speech or financial or other reward just ensure it is proportional to other rewards within the business culture.

Question:- What incentive is in place for consistent performance?


The purpose of KPI’s is to help drive behavior with clear purpose and reference. The KPI’s have been created by an organization leadership as a priority for all stakeholders, this needs to be followed through by providing the correct support and empowerment to the responsible stakeholders to improve the performance to the desired stated levels.

Question:- Where is the stated empowerment of staff to change behaviors so relevant action happen.

Tolerance bands

To avoid any knee jerk reactions or over reactions to performance variability, a more strategic and efficient method is to set performance tolerance bands. The tolerance bands can be straight line, variable and trending to reflect seasonal business peaks and troughs. This is a great tool to ensure proportional resources and efforts and priority is given to relevant KPI’s whilst still running the whole business. Simple visual keys of Red, Yellow, Green can be used to establish support action trigger points.

Question:- When are the times of additional action and support made available?

How did your business measure up? I am keen to hear how your department/business performed. Email or send me feedback on twitter with a summary of your findings or any questions.

When you seek expertise, tips and help then contact JAMSO for you and your business to create a unique competitive edge. No matter the size of your business or industry, our expertise will help lift your organization to new levels. Follow us on twitter for frequent, tips, white papers, case studies or follow us online via the website to find planned training events and contact details.

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