Document Your KPI Thinking to Build Buy-in

March 22, 2016 by Stacey Barr

Seth Godin wrote a great little piece called Show Your Work,about why we should show people our work before it’s done, before it’s perfect, before it’s ready. This invites their collaboration, and better work is the result. Do you do that when you work on KPIs?


One of the reasons people won’t buy in to KPIs – or any part of performance measurement – is that they don’t feel any ownership of the measures that are proposed.

We have to participate or contribute, in some little way at least, before we can feel ownership of anything. And so it is with KPIs. But of course we can’t all be involved at the same time and in the same way. A room of 58 people trying to design a KPI together would be chaos. And a ridiculous waste of time.

What we do in PuMP is have a small Measures Team do the crunchy work of designing new KPIs or consolidation existing ones. And then have a Measures Gallery for everyone else to contribute, in their own way and in their own time.

But… what is shared at a Measures Gallery is very deliberately designed. Because what Seth Godin says is important: we have to show our work, show our thinking.

In PuMP we use very structured templates to achieve just this. Each step in the decision of a KPI is captured and documented. And then it’s there in plain sight for others to see and contribute to, to challenge, to cheer, to click with.


How do you document your KPI thinking? Do you document it well enough that anyone seeing it for the first time would understand enough to contribute to it, even own it?

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