Krister Ungerboeck, CEO of Ungerboeck Software shared his learning with me on using KPIs recently "We're often faced with priorities where we are trying to minimize something -- like defects for example. It's more motivating to maximize something."
If you have heard me speak, you probably know that I like to say learning isgood, but doing is much much better. So thank you, Krister, for sharing from your "doing". Krister's point is well made. In some cases, if you are trying to minimize a negative, it might be more motivating and powerful to find something to maximize instead.
Here are 5 things to think about to help maximize a KPI:
What problem are you trying to solve? What's your version of minimizing defects?
How do you measure it? What is the KPI to minimize?
Peel the onion back. Ask questions like: Why is this negative? What great things happen if we can minimize this?
Now, how do we maximize this great thing? What can we measure? What is the KPI to maximize?
Even better (SuperGreen and extra credit) if you can find the Leading Indicator to maximize!
Remember, this might be better only in some cases. Always choose a KPI that is simple, easy to understand and will motivate your team.