We have talked about the importance of alignment to a common purpose in Shift, and the first progress accelerator is about how you approach creating such a purpose. If the purpose defines why you are doing what you are and describes what a good outcome looks like, then the role of metrics are there to guide your actions with evidenced milestones that prove your progress. On the basis that you get what you measure, you need to measure those things that really matter – not just any metrics, but metrics that make a real difference.
It sounds easy, but the reality is that most businesses are structured in silos that often prevent the effective measurement of some of the most important performance drivers. There are metrics that just can’t be measured, and so they can’t be tracked, but since no one in the business is accountable for them, they can’t be improved.
When we work with clients to define a set of metrics that really drive value, we use a process through which to build what is a mathematically connected set of KPI’s – called a KPI tree.
It is a tree because it has a root, from which many branches flow, and each branch can go down to a myriad of tiny twigs, depending on the problem the business is trying to solve for.
There is no single way to build out a KPI tree, but there are tips and tricks to ensure that it doesn’t turn into an unmanageable forest, some of which we will touch on this run through. The aim for this accelerator is to be a taster for how you can build a KPI tree that can help you to visualise your business, market or product area through a more methodical, practical and actionable lens than you might be used to.