We’re now in the digital era, with data available almost everywhere. On the one hand that’s positive, because all this information makes feedback easier. On the other hand, data overload complicates the already difficult task of process measurement. Many organizations now have an abundance of data sources that can possibly illuminate their process’s performance. But separating the noise from the most important metrics is tough.
One large telecom recently shared the fact that they had 235 KPI’s (key performance indicators) for one of their major end-to-end processes. Of course, this is impossible. For any metric to be strategically critical, there can only be a few of them. The number 235 reflects the sad fact that the telecom didn’t understand how this process created value, and that vast number indicated they were hedging their bets by measuring everything in the hope that the key data would be caught in their wide net.
So much data, so little insight.
To truly achieve data-driven decision-making around processes, strategic and disciplined focus is required. It’s easy to measure everything; it’s much tougher to measure just a few critical elements.
And by few, we suggest we’re talking about roughly seven elements. These magnificent seven metrics comprise the ideal balanced process scorecard. By balanced, we mean balanced across stakeholders and time frames, in addition to being strategically aligned.
The discipline of just a few measures forces focus, forces tradeoffs, and fosters insight. It forces process leaders to say “no”. Instead of simply adding more and more measures, the discipline forces strategic choice.