Sports analogies are often overplayed, but it’s hard to resist thinking about football when discussing measures of success for strategic and business plans. What would the Super Bowl be like without first-down markers and a scoreboard? For all involved, the game would be almost meaningless.
Like football, business revolves around plans, people, action, and various ways to measure success. Statistics, metrics and measures tell the story. It’s now the end of the first calendar quarter. How do you and your team measure up to expectations? Yes, those expectations you set for yourself, and your team, when you created your strategic plan or business plan. What’s working and not working? Do you need to adapt and change course?
For some, this will be a friendly reminder. For those of you now ransacking your office to find a copy of your plan, this should be a wakeup call. Find your plan and follow along!
Company goals and objectives: While typically measured over a 12 month period, don’t wait until the end of the year to see how you’re doing. By then, it could be too late. Look to measure progress. For example, if one goal is to increase market share this year, you should be well on your way. Is your progress YTD acceptable?
Company performance indicators: This is your company’s dashboard: specific measures you should track regularly. They fall into one of four categories – Customer Satisfaction, Organizational Culture, Internal Operations, and Financial Performance. Examples include revenue, profit, on-time delivery, customer acquisition, and employee retention.
Department goals and objectives: Similar to company goals and objectives, departmental goals will also include improvement initiatives. Using the market share example, suppose reaching your goal requires increased manufacturing efficiency or a new product line –responsible departments should be tracking and reporting their progress.
Department performance indicators: Every department needs to perform and do their part. Measuring departmental performance drives accountability and improves the organization’s value stream – cross functional performance.
Employee performance: Employees need to be growing professionally – that is, if you want them to keep them. This goes beyond meeting basic job specifications. It’s about talent management.
Everyone on a football team “knows the score.” There are no secrets about what’s being measured. Consistency and transparency are critical for measuring business performance too. Make sure your team knows what’s being measured and how success is defined and your accomplishments will grow quarter by quarter.