How to Form the Ideal KPI or Measures Team

by Stacey Barr

Follow these 7 tips for selecting people into your Measures Team, for a smoother and faster road to meaningful KPIs.

A team of people arguing. Credit: grinvalds

Skylar’s organisation recently had an internal PuMP Blueprint training workshop for a group of managers and employees. And a few weeks after the workshop, she let me know that they were hitting roadblocks in using PuMP to develop their KPIs:

  • It was going very slowly.
  • They were getting frustrated and exhausted.
  • They were skipping parts of the PuMP techniques and doing things out of order.
  • They weren’t getting meaningful measures.

During my chat with Skylar, she briefly described their Measures Team, the group that formed to do the PuMP implementation. We use Measures Teams in PuMP because it dramatically improves the buy-in to KPIs. But Skylar’s Measures Team had some obvious problems:

  • There about 20 people in the team.
  • Many team members didn’t have knowledge or training in PuMP.
  • The membership kept changing from meeting to meeting.

Specifically for a Measures Team tasked with developing a set of KPIs, there are some non-negotiable qualities for how the team is formed. Otherwise, problems like Skylar experienced are on the cards.

Here are seven qualities we use to guide the selection of PuMP Measures Teams:

TIP 1: The ideal Measures Team size is between 5 and 7 people.

If you have more than five or so people in a team, the group dynamic can go past a threshold of complexity that exponentially slows down progress. Time is better invested in a proper measurement process than wasted by inefficient group dynamics.

TIP 2: Measures Team members should (mostly) be volunteers.

Because buy-in is such a big challenge in the performance measurement space, forcing people to be involved will manifest in more resistance and sabotage than most other initiatives.

TIP 3: Measures Team members come from the work area the KPIs will be developed for.

When people develop their own performance measures, they have much more ownership of them. And because they understand their own goals, they will find it easier to create the most meaningful measures than anyone else.

TIP 4: There are five roles you must include in every Measures Team.

The Measures Team needs to be largely self-sufficient in deciding on the most meaningful and feasible measures to implement. And this self-sufficiency depends on including people in specific roles:

  1. the manager of the process or function or team the KPIs are for and will be used by, so the team has decision-making authority
  2. a PuMP process facilitator, who knows PuMP very well, so the team can focus on each step and each technique in the right order
  3. a group dynamics facilitator, who understands group process, so the team can avoid typical team dysfunctions that get in the way of smooth progress
  4. someone who understands the data available to the team and how to get it, so the team can more easily choose the measures that will be the most feasible
  5. at least two people who work in the business process or function for which the measures are to be developed, so the team can choose the measures that will be the most relevant

TIP 5: At least half of the Measures Team members have had PuMP training.

If you don’t have a quorum of members who understand PuMP and how to implement it, too much time and energy will be wasted going around in circles or fighting against bad KPI habits.

TIP 6: The Measures Team retains the same people for the length of the PuMP implementation.

Would you be happy if a bunch of different heart surgeons popped in and out at random to perform your bypass surgery? Continuity is critical to develop meaningful performance measures. You can’t design a measure for a goal you don’t understand. You can’t implement a measure that you didn’t design. So each Measures Team member needs to be able to commit to the full implementation.

TIP 6: Include people who are collaborative and open to learning.

Even if they still have more to learn about proper performance measurement, people who love to work together for a shared purpose and who are curious and open to new ways of thinking will help a Measures Team succeed.

Once your Measures Team is formed, you can then use these 7 tips to prepare them for success and plan out the KPI project.

If your KPI team members are based on whoever is available, what impact do you think that will have on the quality of KPIs developed?
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Don’t leave your Measures Team selection up to chance. Be deliberate, because a Measures Team has a profound influence over the success of any KPI implementation.

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