We make checklists everyday as a means to measuring our accomplishments. Consumer advocates report that creating and using a grocery list helps shoppers make better choices at the grocery store and save money by purchasing only what’s on their list. That’s one way that checklists help us achieve larger goals–they connect big picture ideas (like saving money on purchases so that families can save for the future) with the everyday action steps like budgeting (so we can save money for the future) and achieve the long term goal using a short term method.
What happens when you just have checklists with no big picture driving the actions and the outcomes? Does your life become filled with tasks that you do because other people need or want something? Do you end up just working in the business instead of on the business? How do you avoid the hamster wheel of doing, doing and more doing without getting anywhere?
Answer: You define what your long term goals are and then attach ways to measure how those long term goals are being implemented. So how do we know if they are being implemented? Your Key Performance Index. You put in place a system to measure what’s most important and they start measuring the tasks and activities that are driving your KPI’s. So you might want to achieve a certain financial performance. You can set up key measures that will tell you whether you are achieving the goals and outcomes you seek to achieve or if you need to make adjustments. KPI’s are powerful tools that connect the big picture outcomes with the day to day activities. KPI’s also can drive behavior change–if you know what the goal line is and your current actions aren’t producing the result, can’t you see the opportunity to create new plans and tactics so that you can reach the goal line? So KPI’s are the high level connectors between your audacious goals and the day to day actions that you take. And like so many before me have said, “You can’t improve that which you do not measure.” What are your KPI’s and how are you measuring them?