What Is A KPI? And Why Is ‘Done on Time’ a KPI?

A key performance indicator is something that you can measure and will tell you if you have a good chance of succeeding. The achievement of good results of a key performance indicator doesn’t guarantee prosperity. But you aren’t likely to succeed if you don’t at least have some indicator that you can perform.

An Example

Speed is a key performance indicator for a race car. A faster car could indicate a winner. The fastest car doesn’t always win, there is a driver’s and mechanical skill that is also a factor, but if you don’t have a fast car, you don’t have any expectation (indication) of winning.

KPIs and Your Project

The acronym for key performance indicators is KPIs. Completing your project on time is a key performance indicator. If you are not finished your project when you say you will be, you are either not very good at planning or executing. A good project result is based on both good planning and effective execution of the necessary work. So, if you are not done your project on time, it may indicate that you are not good at planning and/or executing your work.

KPIs aren’t a measurement that you apply to a single instance. You may fail at a project or be the slowest car in a single race. When you look across many cases, the true picture begins to come into focus. This is why it is important to keep data on your project successes and failures. This data can help you see if you are getting good results in your key performance indicators (for example, being done on time.) If something isn’t succeeding, you can use the same data to help you make improvements in the problem areas you see.

Look for the indicators that you are doing well or failing. Measure something to ensure that you can continue to improve.