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Developing Performance Measures

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article | Developing Performance MeasuresA performance measure is a quantification that provides objective evidence of the degree to which a performance result is occurring over time. There are many definitions of performance measures, but this one accurately and broadly elucidates the meaning of the concept. In long term-projects, even short-term ones, it is imperative to have a system through which results are measurable. For this reason, performance measures are quite necessary.

Specific Advantages of Performance Measures

  • Productivity Increase: One great advantage of having performance measures is that it increases productivity in any given task or project, especially in a team.
  • Setting Standards: Performance measures can be instrumental in setting standards. For instance, by measuring performance, a person would know how much they can achieve over a given period of time. The assessment of this ability can help set the standard the next time the said task is performed in the same organization or a different one.
  • Determining Strength and Weaknesses: In an organization, setting up measures to track the performance of different tasks will help to determine which tasks employees are better at. This is a great way to foster specialization and division of labor; ultimately leading to effectiveness and productivity.
  • Supports Communication: Having metrics to measure performance ensures that individuals in an organization are more transparent and work as a team.

Types of Performance Measures

There are different types of performance measures. All these measures could provide a relatively accurate description of results. They can be categorized into the following: input measures, output measures, outcome measures, efficiency measures, and explanatory information.

  • Input Measures: Input measures comprise the resources consumed by a project such as the money and time spent. For instance, if the employers in a firm work an eight-hour shift daily, it makes up part of the input measures.
  • Output Measures: Output measures can be very clear. They simply depict the amount of work that has been executed as a result of the input. Comparing the present output with the former one can be instrumental in measuring standards and how employers work in different circumstances. Output measures usually consist simply of numerical values.
  • Efficiency Measures: Efficiency is depicted by the amount of work performed compared to the number of resources used in doing the work. It is expressed in units. Efficiency measures are not always very effective because there are usually a lot of factors affecting performance other than the variables involved in efficiency measures
  • Explanatory Information: Explanatory information simply involves other factors that affect the performance of an organization in any given situation. These factors might include environmental factors, incentives, the motivation of workers, etc.

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article | Developing Performance MeasuresProcesses and Steps involved in Creating Performance Measures

The process of developing performance measures can involve many steps. Many different experts have propounded several theories to achieving this result. Here are some of the most important activities to engage in to arrive at a reliable measurement of performance in the long run.

1. Collecting Stakeholder Information

The developmental point of collecting performance postulates that the information and opinions of the stakeholders involved in the process are collected. Cambridge Dictionary explicitly defines a stakeholder as a person such as an employee, customer, or citizen who is involved with an organization, society, etc., and therefore has responsibilities towards it and an interest in its success. The list of stakeholders includes the following people:

  • Members of staff at all levels.
  • The customers or clients of the organization. If it is a public office, the information should be collected from the people being served.
  • Policymakers; are the people at the helm of affairs whose decisions affect the running of the organization.
  • The financiers of the service or the organization.
  • The evaluators of the activities of the organization.

This step is necessary because your stakeholders are the people who are most interested in the activities and success of your organization. Their opinions and suggestions are important to the running of the organization. Also, collecting stakeholder information helps you to know what they want from you. Through this, you can streamline your objectives and measure performance according to them.

2. Incorporate Various Types of Performance Measures 

To arrive at a holistic evaluation of the performance of the people/persons in a task, the types of performance measures listed above should be incorporated into your performance measurement. Nevertheless, this depends on a few other factors such as the type of project being executed. For instance, a holistic approach is not paramount if the task being carried out only affects one small unit of the organization.

3. Promote Top Leadership Support 

There is a high tendency that lower-level staff in an organization will not be in support of performance measures. Therefore, the topmost leaders have to regularly encourage the use of performance measures and bring the other staff members on board. If feasible, the leaders should also be subject to performance measures like the mid-level staff and other personnel. This exemplary effort will ensure that other staff members feel more comfortable in the use of performance measures to evaluate their work.

4. Establish Long-term Goals and Objectives 

Goal-setting is arguably the most important part of developing measures. What is the end goal of the project that your organization is involved in? By identifying these, you can develop measures that particularly check for them. Most projects in which performance is measured are usually long term. Hence, it is even more difficult for all the people involved to keep sight of the end goal. This can be made easier by documenting the objectives so that they can be read regularly by all the stakeholders.

Long-term goals can be documented in the form of a mission statement. The mission statement should be documented in clear and concise terms to ensure that all the parties involved understand it.

5. Establish Short Term Goals to Help Attain the Long-Term Goals 

Long-term goals are relative. Achieving long-term goals in some situations could take a few years. Therefore, special attention should be given to short-term goals. Firstly, the short-term goals should be formulated in line with the long-term goals. The achievement of short-term goals regularly by all the people involved in the process builds up to the achievement of the long-term goals. Again, the short-term goals have to be in line with what is hoped to be achieved in the long run.

In setting and matching goals, we can depend on the SMART acronym. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Professionals from different fields have used this acronym in many different situations and it has proven effective. If your goals fulfill the criteria in the acronym, there is every tendency that it is feasible.

6. Establish Performance Targets 

This is achieved by taking a look at past performances and comparing them to the present. In developing performance measures, it is important to have already set standards. These standards are gotten from previous tasks and projects.

7. Create a Simple Approach 

This step involves the following activities:

  • Ensure that your measures match your goals and objectives.
  • Take all the time needed to perform tasks.
  • Keep the number of measures you use at the lowest.
  • Decide what level of performance defines success.
  • Ensure that you possess enough resources for the project.

Conclusion

Developing performance measures can be very advantageous, especially in the long run. Nonetheless, it is important to ensure that the performance measures we use are effective and result-oriented. Note that the use of performance measures can also have some disadvantages.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Tiffany HarperTiffany Harper is an experienced writing guru who’s been working in the B2B sector for several years now. She loves to share her thoughts through blogs and social media. For her love of writing, she also provided some consultation while working with dissertation writing services from Assignment Masters.

8 Essential Tracking Strategies You Need To Succeed

In the business world, success is everything. You don’t need to have a capitalistic mind to agree: Without success, your business fails. Costs increase, profits fall, and ultimately the business faces bankruptcy. But success depends on your ability to take strategic decisions that will benefit the company. Most entrepreneurs, when they launch their first business, tend to imagine that the skills of business management come naturally to those who are in the right position. In reality, effective management relies on informed decisions. These strategic decisions we’ve mentioned, they don’t just come as divine inspiration. They are the result of thorough and analytical research, done by experts in their fields. In other words, great business decisions come from using the appropriate business data. You need to track your performance today to find room for improvement and to grow your business tomorrow. Sounds simple enough, wouldn’t you say? Here’s a list of the most important tracking strategies that you need to implement in your company.

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article | 8 Essential Tracking Strategies You Need To Succeed

Why do businesses need to track data?

It’s well known that large companies have implemented complex tracking strategies within their structure. Small businesses, on the other hand, tend to reject the idea of tracking as they often consider it a waste of time. Nobody can blame small companies for coming to that unfair conclusion. After all, they don’t have sufficient resources or time to create large-scale data tracking strategies. But becoming a data genius in a small company can still be a useful way to identify useful data for your business survival. Tracking everything is time-demanding. Nevertheless, it’s important to gather knowledge about everything that relates to your business, including employees, customers, and web interactions – assuming you have a website. Thankfully, there are a few useful tools that can be easily implemented, even in small companies, and that are designed to provide you with the necessary knowledge to take informed decisions: CRM tools, task management tools, and web traffic tools are already available on the market.

How is your SEO performance?

When your website is your main marketing tool and the key tool of your online presence, it’s essential to make sure that it is equipped to rank high in the search engine results. As a result, most companies need to work on a regular basis with a specialist agency that offers practical SEO audits services. The audit will highlight areas of improvement and identify strategies to improve your ranking scores. It’s also important to stay on top of the Google ranking updates so that your website doesn’t suffer any penalties for not following the latest SEO best practices promoted by Google. As a rule of the thumb, SEO audits, carried out by a leading SEO agency, consider your keyword choices and its ranking in comparison with your competitors. It also helps you to identify further relevant keywords that you might be missing. Additionally, it will highlight technical changes that need to be made to improve your ranking abilities, such as adding micro data and respecting the scheme.org etiquette.

Is your branding consistent?

For businesses, whether online, offline or both, your branding strategy is your identity. Consequently, keeping a consistent brand identity is the best way to convey an image of reliability for your business. If you start by changing your logo and then play with the layout, the color scheme, and the content until you’ve found a brand image that you like, you risk losing a lot of customers in the process. Your visitors want to feel like they are interacting with the same company when they read your online content. This means that the tone of voice in your product pages and your blog articles needs to remain the same; the social media platforms need to promote your business values too; and finally you need to share the same visual look and feel across all platforms – in short, don’t use a different logo or color scheme between your website and your Twitter account, for example. Consequently, tracking your brand online presence is the most effective way to guarantee that you share a homogenous message.


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Are you a social media influencer?

The great thing about using social media platforms is that you can engage directly with your customers, leads, partners, and investors. The problem is that too many companies tend to use social media in a very self-centered manner. They only talk about their brand, but they don’t create any exchange with other social media users. This kind of social media strategy is pointless and doesn’t generate any positive result for the company. Therefore, you should investigate the possibility to track social media engagement, as a way of monitoring the effectiveness of your social media strategy. There are plenty of ways to measure engagement, and the best strategies combine several tracking methods. Monitoring likes and shares on your social media posts indicates how other users reacted to your message. You will need to add audience growth indicators to ensure that your posts are touching a wide group. Finally, keeping track of active fans vs. passive fans is also a solid indication of your performance.

What’s the ROI of your website?

Thanks to Google Analytics and Google Adwords, small companies don’t need to pay to track the performance of their website. Using the Analytics tracking code, you can stay informed in real time of how your website is doing and how people are using it. Additionally, you can create conversion tracking codes, which are used to track positive interactions on the website, such as a customer registering to a membership program or someone committing to purchase. Conversions can help you to give a monetary value to your website. For eCommerce sites, the monetary value is pretty easy to define, as all you need to do is to track the actual purchase value. You can use this value to identify the most valuable content on your site. Pages that receive little views and don’t generate a conversion have no ROI. For websites that don’t offer online products to buy, the monetary value will be defined by combining the digital touchpoints that lead to a business purchase. Pages that are not viewed, again, may not support revenue growth for the website.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

What is the overall productivity in the workplace?

If you’ve heard that your employees are your most precious asset, you might want to measure the truth of that saying in the workplace, namely by monitoring your business productivity. For a lot of companies, the idea of tracking business productivity brings to mind an image from Modern Times with Chaplin running through a factory to finish his task. In reality, monitoring productivity can be done in any line of work and provides useful information for improvement. In offices, it’s about tracking the amount of time spent on each project, using a time management tool. This is extremely useful to identify issues with projects and with work practices so that most the project manager and the employee can think of the ideal solution for their problems.

What’s the employee’s satisfaction?

Using smart and playful survey system, you can track the level of satisfaction of your employees. What this means is that you can very easily identify frictions and pressure points before they damage your team. For instance, this kind of survey is extremely useful if you are implementing a new business strategy. You should run a survey at the beginning of the implementation and a few months later when everyone has got used to the change. This allows you to track good ideas, and change management direction before your employees leave you. Additionally, employee satisfaction surveys need to be run yearly, even if you don’t introduce new strategies. Consider it a checkup on your business health.

Don’t let competitors surprise you

Competitors never stop working on a new service product or way to approach the market. Consequently, you should alway keep an eye on their activities to make sure that you are prepared for anything new. Beware, this doesn’t mean engaging in illegal spying activities. It’s about making the most of useful marketing tools to keep yourself informed! Working with SEMrush enables you to track the keyword ranking of your competitors in any search engines. Not only can you discover relevant keywords but you can also find out their best-performing ones. Ads tracking tools – SocialAdNinja for example – are extremely useful to spy on effective campaigns and eventually learn a few tips from your competitors! The more you know about their activities, the better equipped you are to beat them. But remember: What you do to them, they can do to you too, so be smart with your marketing and don’t plagiarize their ads.

What are the latest digital trends?

The digital trends change and evolve all the time. From responsive design, marketers have now moved to interactive video strategies and virtual reality integration. In other words, keeping track with the market trends means that you can provide your customers with a communication campaign that is anchored in real time and respond to their needs.

Tracking data is the only way for businesses to aggregate knowledge about the performance of their employees, their customers, and their websites. Knowledge is the base to build further successful campaigns and business strategies. But knowledge is only a platform for more creativity. Data don’t provide the solution. They only paint the situation. Innovative thinking and imagination as a response to identified problems are what success is made of.

Freelancers, Here’s How To Put Your Website To The Test

Being a freelancer means relying on your website to bring in customers – it’s your main source of income. For any business, big or small, a website is a vital marketing tool. However, for freelancers it’s more than that – as a freelancer, your website is the heart of your business, which is why it’s so vital to ensure that it’s as effective as possible. The question is, of course, how can you do that – how can you determine how successful your business website is? Use our guide below to determine if your website is as effective and as successful as you think it is…

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Utilize objective feedback

A simple way to determine whether your website is as effective as it could be is to utilize objective feedback. There are many options for getting this feedback, with one of the best ones being AB testing – this is where an objective group of people are shown multiple versions of a website or page and choose the one that they like the best. There are several benefits of AB testing, including being able to get a better idea of what you could consider changing and what you should ensure stays the same. The fact is that when it comes to ensuring that your website is as well-designed as possible, objective feedback is key.

Monitor your site’s traffic

The number of visitors that your website gets is a good indication of how effective your website is as a marketing resource. Think of your website like a shop window for your products and services – for your business to be a success, your website needs to be as appealing as possible and get plenty of traffic. Monitor your overall traffic using Google Analytics or another similar tool and take note of when there are dips and spikes in your page views and cross reference them to days, times, and anything else that may be relevant.

Track new vs. returning users

Using monitoring software like Google Analytics, you can track your new vs. returning visitors. Usually, websites tend to have more new visitors than returning ones, which is perfectly fine. However, if your site has predominantly more new users than returning ones, this could indicate that your site isn’t quite right and needs some changes making to it.

Note down conversion rates

A vital part of working as a freelancer is determining the conversion rate of your website. If you allow for your services to be ordered online, you can track how many users made purchases and how many abandoned their shopping carts mid-purchase. This kind of data demonstrates how user-friendly your site is, and whether you need to focus on improving usability. If your site isn’t easy to use and navigate, the fact is that your customers will go elsewhere – it’s as simple as that.

Determining how successful your website is, is no easy task, as there are lots of factors to take into account. Hopefully, however, the advice above will help to make the process of measuring your website’s effectiveness a little easier for you.

Why Your Business Should Become More Like Orwell’s Big Brother

Monitoring your business, whether you’re a sole trader, entrepreneur or small business owner is essential. It’s often the difference between turning a profit and failing to break even.

But what does “monitoring your business” mean in practice?

In general, when gurus talk about monitoring, they’re referring to the ability of your firm to optimize its workload and achieve greater productivity simply by analyzing and refining its processes. It means going over your processes with a fine tooth comb and trying to find whether there is anything that you can improve using the data available to you. Here’s how to make your business more like Orwell’s Big Brother.

Analyze How You Spend Your Time

The biggest problem most businesses face isn’t their toxic workplace “culture” or their lack of skilled staff: it’s how they’re spending their time. Most managers just assume that their employees are working for the entire 7 – 9 hours they’re in the office every day. But when you actually look at how they are spending their time, you’re lucky if you even get 6 hours out of them.

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The reasons for this are twofold. The first is that employees spend a lot of time doing unproductive things in the office, like walking from their desks to the water dispenser or yawning during in meetings. Most of this can’t be helped, so it’s not an obvious target for monitoring.

The second reason is that employees are wasting a lot of time performing tasks that could be done more quickly and efficiently by either another team member, software or a different department. Sometimes, the issue is training – for instance, employees not knowing how to save time filling out cells on spreadsheets. These are the types of activities for which it is worth collecting data because it can result in a substantial uplift in productivity.

Monitor Your Accounts

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Getting paid is another major headache for businesses. Clients often pay late or not at all. Monitoring and managing accounts receivable, therefore, is essential. The problem for most small businesses, however, is that they are still relying on old-fashioned methods which make it difficult to keep track of clients. With monitoring, however, you’re immediately able to view client payment histories and get alerts if a customer is late with a payment. By monitoring your accounts, you’re able to identify patterns in high-risk customers and alter your premiums accordingly.

Monitor Staff Performance

With more and more work being completed online, it’s getting easier for companies to monitor staff performance. Monitoring workers is key to ensuring that you get maximum performance out of them every day, not just when they know you’re watching.

But it’s not all about Orwellian monitoring of their daily activities: it’s also about finding strategies to boost their productivity and waiting to see whether they have any effect in the real world. Something as simple as having a policy of saying “please” and “thank you” to workers could have a measurable effect. Find ways to keep your team feeling valued and help new recruits slot into the organization. Track the effects of guidance and training and find out whether it has any positive effect on your bottom line.

How Leaders Drive Resolution of Their Company’s Most Pressing Issues

Want to drive resolution of your company’s issues while enhancing organizational alignment and accountability?
 
StrategyDriven Corrective Action Program ForumStrategyDriven is launching a Corrective Action Program Forum; uniquely providing expert advice and best practice methods to help leaders programmatically drive resolution of key issues and execution of work requests aligned with their organization’s goals.

StrategyDriven was founded on the principle of making the advanced practices of leading companies affordably available to small and midsized business leaders. As such, StrategyDriven Advisors compiled their decades of corrective action program experience into a library of best practice methods and tools easily accessible from our online forum.

Corrective action programs encompass the identification, reporting, evaluation, resolution, and trending of an organization’s issues and work requests. Effective program execution ensures timely resolution of a business’s most pressing issues while fostering a high level of individual and organizational accountability.

Contributed to by highly experienced business leaders, StrategyDriven’s online Corrective Action Program Forum provides actionable methods and tools executives and managers can use to implement and enhance key components of their corrective action program including:

  • Identification – Personnel at all levels of the organization recognize conditions deviating from established standards and expectations, adverse trends and events, and other needs for action.
  • Reporting – Individuals identifying conditions meeting established issue and/or request reporting criteria notify the appropriate managers verbally and in writing, via condition reports, of the situation.
  • Evaluation – Qualified personnel assess each reported issue and request individually and collectively to establish its priority and identify needed corrective actions and due dates, typically documented within a work and/or service order(s).
  • Resolution – Management reviews, approves, assigns resources, and monitors response actions assigned to issue and request resolution. Management’s actions are commonly documented on the associated work/service order(s).
  • Trending – Metrics and associated management reports provide a picture of overall performance based on tags characterizing each condition report and work/service order.

StrategyDriven Advisors possess decades of experience helping leaders of small to Fortune 500 companies define and implement the complex, mission-critical projects needed to improve operational effectiveness and reduce costs. Isn’t it about time these people were working for you?

For more information and to schedule your free corrective action program consultation, visit: www.strategydriven.com/cap.