Creating and understanding key organizational metrics

What measures really matter in your organization? What will they tell you? A well-constructed set of organizational metrics or measures reveal problems before they become crises, opportunities before they become stale, and the status of customers, employees and systems before it’s too late. But what do you measure and how?

Choosing the best metrics for your organization

There are 3 types of measures essential for any organization: outcome measures, strategic measures and core process measures. Outcome measures show you where you have been, i.e., the results of your work. Strategic measures show you if you are making headway to your goals and vision. And core process measures show you if your systems are healthy enough to maintain your desired growth. To read a detailed explanation of each type with examples, check out our library article “Choosing Key Organizational Metrics”. Or to view a sample set of metrics, click here.

How do you create a metric?

There are a few simple steps to creating a valuable metric.  Begin by answering the following questions. If you aren’t sure of an answer, send us your question. We are happy to step you through a sample measure at no cost.

  • What is the name of your metric and what will it show you about your organization?
  • What data is needed to produce the metric and where is the data found?
  • What type of chart best displays the data – a run chart, bar chart, etc.
  • How will you interpret the measure? Go back to the first question, to what the measure is intended to show, to answer this question.

A couple caveats. Data that is not available at least monthly is typically too infrequent to be valuable as a chart. For example, say your organization has around 3 work-related injuries a year.  Though it is important data to collect and have available, any time spent turning 3 data points into a chart is wasted effort. Likewise, data that is too expensive to collect, though it may be interesting, is often not worth the expense to gather it.

Want to learn more?

We encourage you to learn more about metrics and measures. We have listed links below to a featured article by Bill Dann, our CEO, as well as metric-related articles in our library, blog and newsletter archive that you can read. If you are ready to dive into an Instrument Panel, or complete set of metrics for your organization, but aren’t sure how to do it, give us a call.  We can create a panel with you – helping you select key measures, creating the graph and giving you tools to interpret the results for 10 key organizational metrics for $1000. Contact us to get started.

Metrics in Strategic Planning

Metrics that relate to your strategic plan are essential. Download this popular article “Using Metrics in Strategic Planning” by clicking below.

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Choosing Metrics

How do you know which measures will give you the information you need to make good decisions. This article takes you through the decisions behind selecting your metrics.

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Metrics, Charts and Data

This blog post on our work with the Balanced Scorecard gives readers both the background on how metrics fit into strategic planning and the outline of steps to create one.

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Putting Customer Data to Work

This newsletter article explains how customer data is the key first piece in a change initiative.

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If you are ready to learn how an Instrument Panel might look in your organization, we would be happy to start a conversation with you. To contact us: call (877) 276-4414 or email us for more information