Could I seek some guidance please on how to design a performance indicator?

The workflow is related to data analytics from digital devices such as computer hard drives.

Each task allocated to a staff member, can have multiple digital devices to analyse, and the volume of data from each device will vary.

Rather than measure the staff on just how many tasks they have completed, a fairer solution perhaps would be to take into consideration the quantity of devices and volume of data to analyse.

This is a rough concept I would like to evaluate, however I'm unclear around the mathematics required to produce such a system.

I'm trying to avoid a scenario, where one staff member completes a task that only included one digital device that equated to 750GB of data to analyse, versus another member of staff who had two tasks, with a single device each but cumulatively equates to say 100GB of data.

If the quantity of tasks is the measurement, then the member of staff who had less data to review appears to be the better performer.

I may have answered my own question, however I feel like i'm missing something. Any help, advice / experience would be most appreciated.

Many thanks

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  • Well the existing KPI is displayed to all staff, and I believe the expectation was that by displaying the quantity of tasks each staff member had completed within each month it would generate competition between the team. I would imagine management hoped that this would force complacent staff to work harder. However it hasn't quite had the desired affect. As Toss touched on its had the adverse affect of staff completing tasks with less devices to maximise quantity of tasks, and cutting down on processes (less quality) in order to again maximise on quantity of tasks. – Simon Ridley May 20 '18 at 14:30
  • My hope would be that an alternative KPI would consider all the factors discussed and score staff fairly. – Simon Ridley May 20 '18 at 14:31

Is there a qualitative aspect both to the data and the work done? I.e. data sets don't probably all have the same levels of complexity. The quality of work done by the employees probably differs too.

Or can you assume that only the quantity of data matters and all analysis has the same quality?

If there is a qualitative aspect you need to include it.

Probably the most important thing when designing KPIs that are to measure performance is to consider their unwanted consequences.

If you really measure just the quantity of the work done, it might be that employees will give you just that... And the quality will suffer.

And remember, it's better not to have KPIs than to have bad ones, which can impact on morale and the work culture.

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  • 1
    A great point Toss! I would totally agree. To shed some light on the situation, the scenario I provided of measuring tasks only, is the current KPI. At this moment time I don't think the removal of a KPI would be considered, therefore I would like to take the time to research and propose an alternative KPI that staff would be less resistant to and management accepting of. There is a qualitative aspect which should be considered, and can be accounted for. – Simon Ridley May 19 '18 at 16:32

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