The problem with Managing KPIs

Key performance indicators are performance measurements of critical success factors. Typically, they are used to measure results against predefined targets. There probably isn’t an organization on the planet that doesn’t use KPIs, and rightly so; they are hugely valuable when it comes to understanding if your efforts are netting a satisfactory outcome and that’s important to know. BUT that is where KPIs’ job ends and the confusion starts:

KPIs are indicators, they are not action. You can’t manage indicators, you can only manage action and that means managing people.

You can’t change KPIs; you can only change behaviour.

Having more aggressive KPIs won’t make you better than your competition, only human performance will do that.

So why all the talk about “Managing the KPIs?”  You can’t.  You can only manage what people actually do, so focus on the behaviors that will net the result you desire and measure these behaviors. If you do the right things well, you will get the right result!