Success with Key Performance Indicators [KPI’s]

Key Performance Indicators [KPI’s] are meant to help define goals and measure the progress of achieving those goals. Maintenance managers are always searching for ways to improve their department, and because of that you might be thinking, “Sounds great! Let’s get started and roll out the KPI’s!” While I love the enthusiasm, let’s take this one step at a time. In order for KPI’s to be successful you should understand the correct use, the limitations, and I’ll give you a few hints on focus on. Let’s get started.

KPI’s are excellent tools when used properly. When creating KPI’s it is imperative that you take the time to determine what is “key” in your organization and which department will be using them. Maintenance goals are much different than say, the sales department’s goals. While upper management may have ideas on what information they want tracked and sent to their offices it is often not the same information that helps the maintenance department improve itself.

KPI’s should focus attention on just a few leading factors of a business. The more you have, the more divided your employees attention will be, minimizing the effectiveness of the KPI’s. Less is more. Once your maintenance department is consistently reaching its current KPI goals then you can consider adding additional ones to reach newer goals.

KPI’s must be measurable, reachable, realistic and clearly defined. There shouldn’t be any confusion on what is being measured, how it is measured and what it means. KPI’s should also be revisited on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc). The review will help make sure you are focusing on the right factors and adjusting to the changing needs of the organization.

Once KPI’s are set in place and being actively used, follow up. Just because you set a goal doesn’t mean there is progress being made achieving it. Get your staff involved. Make sure they have access to the numbers and can see the fruits of their labor. Many companies use “Dashboard” display boards as a gathering place to find KPI information. Once workers become accustomed to reviewing the information it often creates a competitive environment where everyone joins together to reach the goal, or exceed it.

“Plan your work and work your plan” is a favorite saying in maintenance. While a KPI program takes forethought, planning and a lot of leg work to get rolling, the positive outcome is worth the effort. Make a plan and stick to it. When you think it isn’t worth the effort anymore, chances are you are just a few steps away. Push through, be patient and bask in the positive outcome!