Some Tips on How to Build Metrics
There are many kinds of metrics but companies can benefit much from efficiency metrics. When you want to build metrics, be sure to include efficiency metrics.
There are many kinds of metrics that it is quite possible to formulate a metric for each key performance area. A company involved in varied activities like production and sales will find a lot of benefits from having a productivity metrics, sales metrics, or customer satisfaction metrics. Metrics are not actually new; production metrics are more commonly known as cost per unit, while sales metrics will mean return of any expenses dispensed to consummate a sale. Any accountant worth his salt and provided with the pertinent data can figure out in a few minutes the appropriate metrics for a given key performance area.
One type of metrics, however, that is perhaps more important that others is efficiency metrics, although of course, all metrics are measures of efficiency. Efficiency metrics deal more with how things are done, actual time spent on work-related activities, and the volume and quality of work done based on pre-determined targets. Any great variations between projected efficiency metrics against actual metrics can expose a variety of problems that need to be addressed – staffing problems like understaffing and overstaffing, work attitudes and habits, people and job mismatching, attitudes towards work, inadequate skills, inadequate procedures or work flow, and a host of others. The assumption, of course, is that a manager will be dedicated enough to spend time trying to uncover possible causes of the poor metrics results.
Building metrics will not be easy because these must be based on accurate data. For example, how can one precisely determine the time needed by company maintenance personnel to repair a busted electrical connection? Is the procedure for requesting job orders clear? How much time is needed to have it approved? The tasks of determining exact timeframes for given jobs or how many people are required to perform tasks will require a bit of research. A survey will probably have to be done to establish clear and accurate standards of work. Some tasks and activities are interrelated, with at least a couple of separate departments or sections involved, efficiency metrics must be synchronized company-wide and this must also be considered in assigning numbers. This seems to be a lot of work but once implementation mechanisms are in place, work efficiency should be improved considerably.
All the hard work of building metrics will end up useless when monitoring systems are not given the importance they deserve, which is a tragedy since monitoring is part and parcel of a good efficiency metrics. Routines for monitoring of metrics implementation must be developed. Submission of reports on efficiency of various key performance areas must be regular and consistent with prescribed forms. This will make monitoring easier.
For every type of product and service, thousands of companies compete for a profitable share of the market. Competition is intense. The only way to survive is to have a workforce that is dedicated to efficiency. The need to build metrics to ensure this kind of work force is a primary consideration of many companies.
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