How do you know if you’re making positive progress?
You have your vision and values, you’ve set your strategic direction and are making decisions and taking actions each day, but how do you ensure you’re achieving the right performance, making progress, and achieving your strategy?
Whether you’re only starting your business journey or are an established business implementing a new strategy, it’s important to regularly ask important questions and measure your progress!
Yet, how do you measure and visualise your business progress?
There are various options you can employ to measure progress. My personal choice is the balance scorecard as it encourages you to focus across your entire business and supports you to avoid taking a microscopic focus in only one area, for example financial.
How does it do this, you may ask? Firstly, it helps you to look at your business across four aspects. These include Learning and Growth, Business Processes,
Financial Health, and your Customers. It can enable you to identify and communicate the activities you need to initiate; align activities with your strategy and recognise if your strategy is working.
Furthermore, it can help you to prioritise projects, products/services to meet your goals and reduce business uncertainty, which is always a positive.
When it comes to what to specifically measure, you must be careful not to create too many measurements.
By doing so, you run the risk of getting lost in the admin of measuring and can fall into an analysis paralysis cycle of constantly reviewing metrics. Take a step back and identify what are the absolute essential things you need to measure that will ultimately help monitor and drive your strategic progress forward.
You may be surprised by the fact it could be a handful, rather than a sizable list of 10, 15 or 20.
You should also be mindful that just because you have put measurements in place, it doesn’t mean you have to monitor each of them daily. There will be ups and downs which may give you a false indication of negative or positive change.
Therefore, it is better for some measurements to be reviewed over a longer period e.g., quarterly, where you can see an upward trend. So, when setting your measurements, ensure you set the right time frame for review.
With time being such a valuable commodity and our diaries becoming ever fuller, it’s still essential that we find the time to review the progress measurements established.
If you don’t, you will miss opportunities to identify what is working well and importantly what is not working well and needs attention, which will ultimately impact how your business progresses.
I personally enjoy a single page dashboard type report that takes a visual graphics approach e.g., charts and graphs of the most critical and impactful measurements that illustrate the business performance against its strategy.
Tracking and measuring actions, activities and outcomes of decisions is truly an important action that each business should undertake.
If you haven’t yet put any in place, it’s not too late!
Look towards your future business state and what you’re attempting to achieve, and ask yourself, what could I be measuring that will help me to see if we’re on track?
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