When is a KPI not a KPI?

The emergence of the customer contact industry has been parallel to the development in our technological ability to measure performance and statistics within our operation. The office worker of the early 21st Century needs to have a numerical agility and ability never demanded before from every level of an operation.

One of the outputs of this metrification of our worlds has been the increase in targets and performance management methodologies to drive the best behaviours and performance out of all our people, the challenge often being what we call these targets and how we understand WHY we are being measured against them.

If you ask any contact centre advisor/agent how many KPI’s they have, this can range from 5 to as many as 30! All of which is wrong, an advisor should have 0 KPI’s. This is not zero targets, in fact nothing focuses the mind like a clear target, but the terminology that has become common place across our industry, all over the world, is incorrect and ultimately misleading. A great analyst or leader needs to understand why so they can make appropriate decisions  and ultimately support others who need to do the same.


What is the difference between?

•    KPI     Key Performance Indicator
•    PI    Performance Indicator
•    OI    Operational Indicator

The KPI should never be lower than a board level metric, and it’s the underlying Performance and Operational indicators that deliver all the results we discuss across our businesses each day.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
–    External Focus, often Regulatory Compliance Reporting for operational and other functional Indicators (Ofwat, ABTA, FSA, DWP etc)

PI (Performance Indicator)
–    Individual performance management – local/line management reporting on agents/teams/business area

OI (Operational Indicator)
–    Within company performance management – operational and management indicators

These can often cross over each other

The impact of performance targets on behaviour: A close look at sales force contexts

Click here for a copy of the report “The impact of performance targets on behaviour: A close look at sales force contexts” by Dr Monica Franco-Santos and Prof Mike Bourne, Cranfield University School of Management. This is another, yet very similar look at what is key about performance indicators.

The KPI Pyramid

Click here to view a collection of snippets and sessions from 2013’s best practice events around this key topic for the 2013 National Best Practice Seminar in November, and our industry in general.

MI Maturity Model

Under the MI diagram remove link to video and update text and add link into text as per below:
You may have already heard about the MI Maturity model, but watch this 30 minute video explaining the history of the development of the model and how it can be utilised in your operation to support your work with the KPI model.
You may also like to view the presentation given by Phil Anderson at a recent Netcall event on the KPI Pyramid, real-time horizons, roles and responsibilities and the importance of engagement. Please also take a look at articles, videos and links given below.
If you wish to find out more about this topic, how to access other similar best practice material or become a member of the Professional Planning Forum, please take the opportunity to browse through the website or contact Phil Anderson on phil.anderson@planningforum.co.uk.
Take a look at these articles, videos and links
Data, Analytics & Insight
Exploring the KPI Pyramid Model
Key Topics in Data, Insight and Analytics
What does ‘good’ look like? - The MI Maturity Model


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