Thursday, November 29, 2007

The measure of performance

How do you measure performance? In different times and situation, performance are measured using a multitude of tools. In a manufacturing or production line, the sheer number of product would make a good case of how to measure performance. In sports, either the long or short of it would measure performance, the farther you can throw or jump or the faster you finish a race would be the indicator.

Numerous tools have been introduced to that effect and every industry is not spared the thought train. Everybody want to know how to quantify performance, measure excellence etc, well you know the gist. Now, the term to use is KPI and KPT. Key Performance Target and Key Performance Indicator.

The story of KPI/KPT in my office is a long drawn one. The so called KPI/KPT bug has bitten the mother company so now everybody has to adhere. Not enough that we draw up our targets early in the year, it is now being constantly being monitored. Some company (the Provider) were roped in, some funny software were introduced and lo and behold, suddenly we need to put in our weekly task on a what else, weekly basis into the system.

Its not enough that the system proposed to us is inflexible, the developer (I do think they are more like the reseller) does not take the time to understand our business. They expected us to adapt to the system, rather than custom designing the system to our requirement. This is where I think the approach is flawed.

IMHO, a sales office works differently from a service oriented one, more so a construction company differs from a hospital. So the approach is multifaceted at best, and it should be individualised to reflect the difference in targets and indicators. We are constantly at loggerheads with The Provider, who almost certainly refused our feedback on how to make the system more user friendly in the first place. Its like talking to a brick wall. Really.

Today, I finished my 3rd departmental audit (done manually) and in an earlier meeting, the CEO of The Provider shared that a new KPI/KPT reporting system would be introduced early next year. WTF! Are our constant fighting with the system early Monday morning (to set task) and Friday evening (to update progress, achievement etc) over the past 1 year has come to naught?

Hows that for performance indicator and target? Hahaha...

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