KPIs & Metrics

It must be remembered that if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it! 

So understanding clearly where you are as an area or process is essential to becoming Lean. Within the visual control of an area, both Key Performance Indicators and metrics are essential in order to portray the current performance and status to enable future improvement.

Theoretically, KPIs provide a series of measures against which managers can monitor the organisations value stream and see how it is likely to perform over the medium and long term. Understanding what is important is essential to make KPIs a useful tool. With this in mind, KPIs will obviously differ from business to business and even department to department within the same organisation.

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There are many ways to portray data. The key is to understand your target audience and understand what they need to visualise. 

What they need to improve is what they need to see. In brief:

• The key aim of KPIs and metrics is to implement and improve standards;

• good data will support the elimination of process deviation;

• good KPIs and metrics when utilised through good Visual Management will give you transparency and control and will assist both the identification and the driving out of waste;

• the KPI, when properly developed, should be providing all employees with clear goals and objectives, coupled with an understanding of how they relate to the overall success of the organisation; and

• if made visual through Information centres and continually referred to during Information Centre meetings, KPIs will strengthen shared values and support the creation of common goals.