How to Get KPI Buy-in, Overnight

February 10, 2015 by Stacey Barr

We want people to be engaged – or have buy-in – to performance measures so they will support the implementation of those measures, and use them to improve performance. But dragging them to KPI meetings and presentations, and loading them with lists of measures to review, rarely gets true buy-in. Solution: the Measure Gallery.

A Measure Gallery is the technique featured in Step 4 of the eight-step PuMP Blueprint, our performance measurement methodology. When we have completed the first three steps, we have clear and measurable results with meaningful and aligned performance measures. Before we go further to implement these measures, we use the Measure Gallery to engage every stakeholder we can. And the consequence of how a Measure Gallery is designed is very genuine buy-in, very quickly.

A German technology company’s first PuMP implementation reached Step 4 while I was over there teaching the PuMP Blueprint Workshop at Schloss Weitenburg. They decided to have the Measure Gallery right after the workshop so I could be a visitor. With this company providing illustration, here are the basics of how a Measure Gallery works:

Think “art gallery” where the art is the measures.

The room is open, with no chairs and with the Results Maps and Measure Designs hanging on the walls. There’ll also be a table with some snacks or treats for visitors to enjoy.

The open space is a very essential feature, because it helps people engage with the measurement work in a fresh and social way. (The food helps too.)

It’s a space for dialogue, not agendas.

There are no presentations or meeting agendas at a Measure Gallery, just an invitation to visit. There are no start times or finish times, just opening hours. Most Measure Galleries are open for a half to a full a day. Dozens or hundreds of people come and go as they please, and while they’re there, they talk with each other. They explore and test and question and propose.

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The feedback is at the heart of it.

People who come to Measure Galleries are called visitors. The visitors stay for whatever amount of time they feel like. And while they are there, they provide feedback on the performance results and measures. They share ideas, suggestions, corrections, questions and encouragement.

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The team even did an English version of their Results Map and Measure Designs for me.

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I thought I’d be super nice and write the letter ‘S’ for Stacey on my feedback post-it notes, so they could ask me any questions later about my feedback. They gently pointed out that I didn’t need to do that because I was the only one writing feedback in English…

This was a textbook Measure Gallery.

This team did everything right: the layout, the social energy, the feedback capture and the openness. Every director and all the staff attended and they were very enthusiastic for the Measures Team’s work. And just with every other Measure Gallery I’ve witnessed and heard about, the buy-in blossomed immediately.

DISCUSSION:

While you can learn the detail of designing, hosting and following up Measure Galleries at our PuMP Blueprint training, go ahead and share your ideas for ways to quickly and easily and socially engage people in measuring what matters.

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  1. Tommaso says:

    How much of the Measure Gallery success is due to the buy-in and “enthusiasm of the directors”? I would bet it is vital (of course the food and relaxed atmosphere does the rest).
    I wonder if it would work as well in a different setup where top management give lip service to the KPIs and consider employees wandering into the gallery and ‘staying as long as they please a waste of company time. Hey, maybe the ‘enthusiam’ of personnel might convince them that they might have something there!

    • Stacey Barr says:

      Thanks for sharing this view, Tommaso. While I haven’t heard about complaints that a Measure Gallery is wasting people’s time, I guess it’s plausible. Mostly, the conversations are very much about the results and measures, and people don’t stay for hours. It’s certainly less of a waste of time than almost ALL meetings and workshops. Even those few people who come with cynicism in their hearts and the intention of just wasting some time often are people who are most positively affected by the Gallery. We have lots of cases of the greatest cynics becoming the greatest advocates of KPIs after the Measure Gallery.

      The impact of senior leader enthusiasm is real. But it’s not an essential prerequisite for a Measure Gallery, or indeed for a bunch of people choosing to use measures as a tool to improve their process performance. Even the senior leaders are people, and they are subject to the same buy-in building impact that a Measure Gallery can have.

  2. K.S.Subramanian says:

    Great Idea . Will implement in my Company. Thanks for sharing.

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