Use IT to track business performance

Measure and manage – track business performance

Managing performance in a team is an essential role for private sector businesses, public and third-sector organisations. As a result of the previous five years or so in the UK economy, resources such as funding, capital for equipment purchases and skilled people seem much harder to attract. Management seem under pressure to justify every item of expenditure.

IT can support performance management, by helping measure, record and present vital information to staff and management about trends showing problems as well as growth opportunities too.

Cause and effect

The first step in any performance management system is to identify the inputs that affect outputs – the cause and effect relationships within key business processes. This could be quality of raw materials, product rejects, complaints, availability of staff or the temperature of a manufacturing process. If these criteria go out of range in some way, then they directly affect the outputs. Every business probably has around five Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that need to be measured, tracked and controlled. Each one should be assigned an owner, who is responsible and can act to keep their particular business process running smoothly, and therefore keep the KPI in the ideal range. A really simple way of tracking KPIs is to use a whiteboard with a bar and gate, bar charts, or even smiley face stickers or magnetic shapes.

KPIs – display and communicate to help track business performance

Ensure that your staff can see the KPI display. Using graphs in spreadsheets might be a more visually appealing way of tracking KPIs for your organisation. Displaying each KPI’s value, its performance history, and the ideal in-range and out-of-range problem values too. Sophisticated solutions could involve the Microsoft SharePoint Status Indicator feature, which is how we record, track and communicate KPI values to our team.

KISS – Keep it simple stupid!

Avoid creating massive spreadsheets of complicated fiddly related data values – with KPIs simple is always effective, and helps the team track business performance and act on the data and trends.


KPI dashboard

borwell KPI dashboard snippet – track business performance