THE KPI CANVAS:
A STARTER KIT FOR LEAN KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
#DataDrivenDesign #KPIs #KeyPerformanceIndicators #MeasurementPlan #Analytics
OBJECTIVES AND GOALS
Your KPIs are what connects your design work to business. They are able to align each team effort across the whole company towards the same strategic objective.
Many designers dismiss strategic objectives. But strategy often reflects the ambition of the whole company. You want to be aligned with this.
When your creative actions are aligned with strategy, you get the freedom of creativity. You are finally able to implement design actions (user interface improvements, new product ideas, new services etc).
Do your actions, however, have clearly defined goals? Are these goals attached to the strategic objectives? Here's how to avoid this common pitfall:
We want to be the pioneer same-day delivery company in the Nordics, totally operated with drones.
We need more big companies downloading our brochures and more small companies contacting us for a quote.
In this example, you can see the difference. The strategy objectives are an ambition, it involves several efforts to get there. The goals are things that need to happen so that ambition is fulfilled.
Start by creating a clear distinction between objectives and goals.
MEASURING YOUR DESIGN ACTIONS
Now that you have the strategy properly stated and the goals you need to reach, you need to design actions to reach goals.
Notice that this canvas is not telling you how to tackle your customer needs, but rather how to measure how you meet those needs!
This is the trickiest, but most rewarding part.
You will need to convert the benefit of your creative actions into an indicator (a metric, a number). You will measure input, not output. What does that mean?
Input metrics might predict future success.
It's what you should do.
Output metrics measure past performance.
It's how you have performed.
Most people concerned with numbers are far from the design front. They are managers and C-level people concerned with what they get (output), not with what you do (input). They are concerned with revenue, leads, traffic, downloads etc.
As a designer, you need to bridge the gaps. You need to track the input actions that generate revenue. And attach it to the business metric that tracks the output: revenue itself. Do this, and you will get a seat at the strategy table.
How do go forward?
MEASURING WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
MEASURING HOW YOU HAVE PERFORMED
A big MEASUREMENT leap: measure what you have to do, and then the results THAT your actions bring.
Number of whitepapers published related to how big companies should react post-Covid; number of Covid-19 issues discussed in the whitepapers.
Number of whitepapers downloaded by big companies,
Number of meetings booked after downloads,
Number of deals closed with big companies.
ADJUST YOUR ACTIONS ACCORDING TO PERFORMANCE
LEADING INDICATORS ARE ATTACHED TO EXPERIENCE
Leading indicators should be based on the actions that properly fulfill your customer needs.
Once you discover which are these actions, you may track how much or how well you are fulfilling them.
In the example, let's say that the big need companies have is to understand what to do after Covid-19. Let's also think that the channel your customers consume are whitepapers.
Hence, your leading indicators are something like:
How many whitepapers about Covid-19 will you publish? i.e. 15 per month.
How many solutions will you provide in whitepapers concerning Covid?
How many problems concerning Covid-19 will you write about?
WHAT ABOUT LAGGING INDICATORS?
Lagging indicators are output oriented indications of success. They tell how your actions perform.
In this example, the number of downloads of your whitepapers, the number of closed deals you got from the whitepapers.
NOW YOU MAY MODULATE YOUR ACTIONS ACCORDING TO BUSINESS PERFORMANCE, WHILE KEEPING TEAMS ALIGNED AND PRODUCTIVE.
Lastly, your targets. Targets are easy: they are the numbers you need to hit within a given period of time.
The tricky part is that leaders often mistake targets for simply KPIs. Now you know better and can tell that there's little help to managers repeating that "we need more revenue", but not really managing the situation with numbers.
On the upcoming 6 months:
1000 Leads from whitepaper downloads
$500K in revenue with big businesses
LASTLY: START SIMPLE, AND START NOW
Now you are able to use this canvas to keep your creative actions on track. You may create a fancy dashboard, an automated or manual Google Sheet or even just a time-to-time report for stakeholders.
The important thing is that whatever you do, you will know exactly how to keep on track and aligned with your organization, other teams, your own team and your own actions.
You will also be able to track the input and see how it affects the output.