I hate KPIs, even as a manager. Not everything is measurable, especially a fast paced objective. KPIs are cop outs from incapable managers that want to cover their own ass, that is all. Nothing hurts worse than hearing the world KPI in a startup.

    • You can’t just say metrics are metrics. That’s a cop out. How data is gathered and how data is treated is the majority of what matters. Not directionless number crunching. Which is what KPIs seem to foste, unfortunately.

  • You might be approaching KPI’s from the wrong direction. Possibly you’re trying to swim up-stream the asshole of KPI’s?

    Here is what KPI’s should be derived from and look like to you.

    Your business has one or more goals. (why you’re in business)
    You have a strategy to deliver on those goals. (how you achieve those goals).
    There must be a product or service that you generate revenue with (what is delivered as a result of those goals).
    And interweaving all of those are assumptions on inputs, outputs, resources, performance of those, costs, market-trends, and some sort of measure of satisfaction leaning toward success.

    Your KPI’s should be a means for you to spot-check each of those assumptions. If you are not spot-checking, then you’re not really running a business but instead hoping that you’ll be an expert at avoiding “garbage in” but only know by the smell of the “garbage out”.

    No business on the planet works as planned, even Six Sigma run businesses. And to avoid the potentially-disastrous result of a missed assumption, we have KPIs.

    Now, a disclaimer. There are idiots that put KPI’s in place that have no meaning other than they are a tally of existence. The goal of a great manager is to share the assumption, not the KPI; so that employees are driving for the assumption not the KPI, and so that they can reflect and tell you a better way to measure the assumption.

  • Summarizing the good points above: you want actionable metrics. 3-5 metrics that directly tie with your business model and are important to your customer development and bottom line.

    Google: Actionable vs Vanity Metrics

    Sourced from Lean Startup

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