Are your managers operating as company doctors or coroners?
A bizarre question, maybe, but ask yourself whether your executive management, managers and supervisors are using business information delivered through reports and scorecards to take the pulse of the organization or to conduct a post mortem of last month's performance?
Put another way, are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they are using to make their decisions leading indicators or lagging indicators?
Lagging indicators vs leading indicators
Some examples of lagging and leading indicators:
Software bugs reported to Support in Release x.x
% of identified software bugs fixed in Release x.x
Contracts in negotiation for Q2
Call centre calls completed within 2 minutes
Customer cases currently open
Product returns in November
Customer complaints 3 month trend
Things can start to go wrong in a business well before the performance measure turns the traffic light on the scorecard red. Using metrics that measure past events is like driving whilst looking through the rear window. It's easy not to see an opportunity or threat on the road ahead until you're upon it.
So if leading indicators are clearly more valuable than lagging, why do many (most!) projects seem to deliver reports and scorecards full of lagging indicators?
A serial entrepreneur, Ian Gotts is CEO and founder of Q9 Elements. Elements is a freemium cloud process knowledge app - "visio on steroids". It is the first choice for process professionals embarking on business transformation, Salesforce implementation or regulatory governance. You can learn about Q9 Elements here, or keep updated with Ian’s work here.
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