The essential KPIs for continuous improvement

Published on 25/04/2024

The essential KPIs for continuous improvement

Published on 25/04/2024
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The essential KPIs for continuous improvement

KPI stands for key process indicator. This data is the key indicator of a process, a number that indicates where you are in relation to the business objectives set. Its reason for being is to make quantification possible, and for this it is necessary to measure key data, specifically:

  • The results: to verify compliance with the specific objectives set.
  • The effort, i.e., the intermediate steps: data that allows understanding how these results were achieved.

Practical examples of KPIs

In an organization, it might be aimed to evaluate any of the following results:

  • January sales.
  • Incidents per customer.
  • Payments made.

But if improvement were desired, it would be necessary to know which actions and which set of tasks have led to achieving them. In this way, it would be possible to gain knowledge about the effort, which could be translated in this practical example into:

  • Number of calls made: how many were necessary to achieve those sales.
  • Number of budgets generated: would reflect the proportion of budgets converted with respect to those that have been generated.
  • Number of hours invested: time needed to obtain an effective payment.

The KPIs are measurements, both of results and of effort, that set a basis on which it is possible to define improvement objectives, since through their analysis it is possible to propose a modification in the tasks or in the way of executing them that allows optimizing the results.

In this phase, advertising is important. If people know their positioning in relation to the general objectives, in relation to what is expected of them, it will be easier for them to make the effort that will bring them closer to those strategic objectives and thus to the mission.

Continuous improvement in organizations with KPIs

Continuous improvement with KPIs, not only as a general vision but at each of the steps, is used in all organizations that want to achieve excellence. Among them, there does not have to be anything in common, beyond that desire for improvement, examples of this are:

  • A Formula 1 team: they not only measure the result of the race but also check the results at each curve, each straight, each lap, etc.
  • High-level athletes: they measure how much they train, how many repetitions, how they execute each jump or each race, etc.
  • Sales process: the number of budgets delivered, how many potential customers request more information, and how many sales are closed are measured.
  • Web conversion rates: visits, how many repeat, how many subscribe, how many download the material offered on the website, etc., are measured.
  • Product evolution based on VOC: a product is improved based on the voice of the customer and that is why there are companies that ask their customers for their opinion to know their assessment of various details, obtaining an indicator that provides them with information to be able to improve.
  • Software quality based on CAU (customer service center): they measure the number of calls received, the average time to attend each one, the number of incidents resolved, etc.
  • Industrial process: they investigate the production process, which gives them clues for continuous improvement and for this they must know how many units of product are manufactured, in how much time, how many defects appear, etc.

The control panel in the continuous improvement process

To improve, it is necessary to have a panel of indicators where the positioning and evolution of the different factors to be measured can be observed, it is the control panel. In the example, the control panel of a company that wanted its employees to spend a certain amount of time on the phone and, at the same time, was interested in decreasing the use of email can be seen.

The performance indicators related to effort and also those of performance are observed. The number of incidents closed per individual, the number of incidents closed per group, or the average resolution time of an incident are measured, for example. In the end, these objectives allow that continuous improvement.

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