About Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and KPI Dashboards
KPIs are more than metrics. They’re the foundation of your most important decisions. KPIs define success to drive success.
KPIs are a critical but often overlooked part of growing a successful business. With well-defined and well-managed KPIs, you can align your company’s vision from the ground up and achieve your goals.
The modules and lessons are listed below. For more detail about what's in this course, click here to see the course sales page.
The graphic below was shown in the course video. It's a great summary of the purpose of each part of the strategic process and how all the parts fit together into a plan.
If you don't have a strategic plan, this one-page strategic plan worksheet will help you write a short plan. This will help you set your KPIs. Want to walk step-by-step through a strategic planning process? Check out ACE (Achieve, Clarify, Execute) - Small Business Strategic Planning.
A great site to look through to get ideas for sample metrics is the MetricsHQ at Klipfolio. It has definitions, calculations, and information about hundreds of metrics.
Use this worksheet to list potential key metrics. For now, just fill in the critical success factors for your company and the metrics that may measure that. You'll fill in the Key/Non-Key, Leading/Lagging, Category, and select the KPIs later in the course.
These files can help you prioritize goals, tasks, and metrics. Start with the instructions document. The other documents are worksheets to use for different types of prioritization methods.
Now go back to your Potential Key Metrics Worksheet. Identify whether each metric is Key or Non-Key. For those that are key, categorize them as Leading vs Lagging. You can also note the category of each metric. Finally, select the metrics you choose as your KPIs.
This is the worksheet where you list your KPIs and some important information about each metric. List the metrics you marked as KPIs on the Potential Key Metrics Worksheet on this worksheet. For each KPI, note how you will measure each metric. You'll enter Targets, Min, and Max later.
I talk in the course about how to use past amounts to project future amounts. This document explains different ways project future amounts based on past amounts.
Now set the Targets and Minimum (Min) for each metric on the KPI List Worksheet. You may also want to set a Maximum (Max) for metrics. There are further instructions on this in the worksheet.
Here are some simple dashboard templates that I show in the course. There are two versions:
- Microsoft Excel / Google Sheets
- Microsoft Word / Google Docs
There is also an instructions file with more info on how to use these.
Use this worksheet to describe how you want to display each metric on your dashboard. This helps you think through the options. It's also an excellent document to give to the person who will be building your dashboard.
Use this checklist and timeline to plan your KPI implementation
About the Teacher
Rob Stephens is the Founder of CFO Perspective, where he provides finance and strategy guidance to help small businesses succeed. He has been quoted in Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, and many other news sources. He is also the author of Conquering Cash Flow: The Complete Guide to Small Business Cash Flow Management.
Rob has a 25-year career that includes serving as CFO, Director of Operations, and SVP of Finance. Rob is an adjunct instructor for the MBA program at Gonzaga University.
Rob holds a Masters of Science in Personal Financial Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Therapy from Kansas State University. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and is a CPA.