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The Importance of Key Performance Indicators

When it comes to management system standards (whether you’re talking about ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO45001, or any other management system), continual improvement is something that they all have in common. In order to measure progress, it’s crucial to have Key Performance Indicators that will provide that measure.


A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is defined as:


Critical (key) indicators of progress toward an intended result. KPIs provides a focus for strategic and operational improvement, create an analytical basis for decision making and help focus attention on what matters most. As Peter Drucker famously said, ‘what gets measured gets done.” [source]


Good KPIs provide evidence of progress towards a desired result and offer a comparison that gauges performance change over time. The information gathered can help inform better decision making at all levels of a business and can track things like efficiency, quality, compliance, specific project performance, utilisation and much more depending on the organisation and industry it operates within.



How Can Organisations Choose Their Key Performance Indicators?


When deciding KPIs, organisations need to consider what’s important to their business. Some companies focus on production data, others on customer service, and some on risks. Every organisation and their focus will be slightly different, and so will its KPIs.



Where to Get Data for Key Performance Indicators?


Data or information for KPIs can come from many different sources depending on the specific KPIs. Some organisations may use sales information, and others will use audits, feedback forms, surveys, or other forms of data collection.


The main thing to ensure is that the information or data to be analysed is reliable and is always collected and analysed in the same way to ensure continuity and consistency over time.



How Often Should Organisations Measure Data or Information Against KPIs?


The frequency with which organisations need to measure data or information against KPIs depends on what their KPIs are, to begin with. For example, for a company whose KPIs are based on sales figures, this may be something they measure and look at weekly or even daily. An organisation whose emphasis is on customer service may take customer feedback once or twice a year. The most important thing to ensure is that there are enough data points to proactively monitor the indicator.  Its not much use closing the stable door after the horse has bolted!  Some KPI data may be continuously monitored using displays and dashboards in real-time.


If your organisation needs help with Key Performance Indicators and measuring data and information against these, we’re here to help. We provide sustainable solutions and can help companies make changes so that they can work towards continuous improvement and a positive impact on financials and business performance, all while complying with their legal and moral duties.


We work with businesses of all sizes, from family-run businesses to multi-national corporations and our expert team have all the skills, knowledge, and experience to assist. To find out more, send us an email at info@risgsolutions.co.uk or call us on Swansea 01792 721 750 or Cardiff 02920 099 450.



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