My Biggest Tip for Better KPIs

by Stacey Barr |

If there was just one thing I could share with you that would have the biggest impact on the ease of finding meaningful performance measures or KPIs, it’s this: use words better. It’s impossible to get meaningful numbers until you know exactly what you’re trying to quantify.

I’ve written extensively on weasel words, because it’s important to get rid of them for meaningful measures. And I continue writing and speaking about them because organisations are still using them to write the goals they’re tying to meaningfully measure!

They continue to run rampant, because so few of us are courageous enough to ask the dumb questions: What does ‘unique improved paradigm’ mean? What does ‘operational excellence’ look like?

We have to stop using these silly words. I’m not the only one who has a bee in her bonnet about this. So don’t just take my word for it. Here are a few other great resources that will give you a chuckle as they show you why weasel words have to go:

  1. My friend Gabriel Dolan is a story expert, and she launched this brilliant website of videos that show just how silly weasel words are:
    //jargonfreefriday.com
  2. My friend and client in the US, Jerry Stigall, sent me an interesting tool for generating corporate B.S. I just had another go at it and got “appropriately redefine high-payoff deliverables”. Maybe you can write your 2017 goals with it? <tongue in cheek>
    //www.atrixnet.com/bs-generator.html
  3. If you have some goals and want to test if they are weasely, you can put them through SimpleWriter and it will highlight language that should be made simpler:
    //xkcd.com/simplewriter/
  4. Australian author, Don Watson, writes books about weasel words and this website pokes fun of lots of examples from all walks of life:
    //www.weaselwords.com.au/

Enjoy! And ask the dumb questions.

DISCUSSION:

Could a new year’s resolution for you be to eradicate your use of weasel words, and be the role model your organisation needs?

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. David says:

    WEASEL words to eradicate in my place:
    “key” everything is ‘key’; so nothing is!
    “Roll out” we never ‘start’ anything, we always ‘Roll out’ stuff!
    And nothing just is; it is always pleonastically ‘in place’ as though the verb To Be means nothing.
    Anyway, time to…you guessed it ‘sign off’.

Upcoming KPI Training


>> North America, Online Interactive, 6-10 February 2023 - SOLD OUT

>> Africa, Online Interactive, 27 February - 3 March 2023

>> UK & Europe, Online Interactive, 27 February - 3 March 2023

>> North America, In-Person, Calgary AB, 7-9 March 2023

>> Australia/NZ/Asia Pacific, Online Interactive, 15-16 & 20-22 March 2023

>> Africa, In-Person, Dubai UAE, 3-5 May 2023

>> Australia/NZ/Asia Pacific, In-Person, Wellington NZ, 9-11 May 2023

>> UK & Europe, Online Interactive, 22-26 May 2023

>> North America, Online Interactive, 29 May - 2 June 2023

Register for the next PuMP Blueprint Workshop near you

Reprinting Articles


You are welcome to use articles from the Measure Up blog, with these requirements

Connect with Stacey


Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Want more information? Fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.



    *We respect your email privacy.
    Suite 117 Level 14,
    167 Eagle Street,
    Brisbane Qld 4000,
    Australia
    Stacey Barr Pty Ltd
    ACN: 129953635
    Director: Stacey Barr