Impossible Key Performance Indicators – Setting It Right

Contributor: Sher Yen

Do you hate being measured?  Do you think your key measurements are unreasonable?  Have you ever gotten a measurement of 100 percent occupancy rate throughout the whole year?  That DOES sound ridiculous, even to us.

These are some of the frustrations brought up by a few top managers who joined us for the management briefing workshop.

“How do we achieve a target when we can’t even determine the leading indicators?”

“These are unrealistic goals within such ridiculous timeline!”

“There are too many grey area.”

If you have heard of Stephen Covey, you would have heard of his Four Disciplines of Execution, also known as the 4DX.

The 4 Disciplines exist for one reason: to execute on a plan in the midst of the whirlwind of distractions.  When you see the results, it is already a LAG measurement, the effect of your doings.  The leading indicators serve as a weekly measurement that works towards your Wildly Important Goals (WIG).


The 4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4DX acts like Moses guiding his people through the red sea.

To set the employee’s key performance indicators, you must have a legit road map to achieve it. The leads are the road map.

First, set your Wildly Important Goals, then determine the daily activity that contributes to the WIG.  Keep a scoreboard that you can track on a weekly basis.  The final step is to be accountable of the results, for better or worse.

4DX example

Research shows that only 15 percent of employees actually know their organization’s most important goals. There are either no goals or too many goals – or people aren’t sure which goals matter most.

By Frankly Covey

Do Take Note: it is strongly discouraged to have too many goals. The more you try to do, the less you will accomplish.

number of WIG


To answer those frustrations, managers must first clarify and communicate the main goal of the company, the main goal of each individual and how their goal contributes to the company.  Determine if the WIG is reasonable, if it is achievable with the set of lead measurement, focus and discipline your way through the whole year.  Finally, always allow two way communications and listen to what your people have to say, clarify their doubts.


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