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How do you set/track your company/project goals or KPI?

We have a problem with how to be aligned with the marketing and development teams and set clear goals for them and the company in general.

Basically, I want to set goals, update their progress over time and give understating to all team members where we are and what our Q and year goals are.

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    It's a great question. Here's what I've seen/experienced working well.

    1. Start at 30,000 ft and outline the north star of the business - where you're going, what it looks like, etc. Do this in non-technical terms and be as descriptive as possible. Tell a story that the whole team can get behind, get excited about, and imagine themselves in it.

    2. Breakdown that picture into metrics - sales, number of customers, etc. - think through the question, "if this picture exists, what facts are true about the business and the general market we're in?"

    3. Break those metrics into sub-metrics. For example: sales = number of sales x average sale value, number of sales = number of customers x average sale per customer, number of customers = traffic x conversion... and so on. Now you have somewhat of a map of the mechanics and metrics of your business.

    4. Identify the critical metrics (your KPIs) and what sub metrics drive those KPIs. The goal isn't to come up with more metrics to track but understand what levers you have access to and what has the most impact so when things do well/struggle you can quickly diagnose what part of your "machine" is broken and inefficient.

    5. Track your current performance across those metrics and identify which metrics are holding things back or making the rest of the machine lag.

    6. Focus your teams on coming up with targeted initiatives focused on driving performance around the lagging areas. For example, sales are sluggish but traffic is booming and customers come back frequently, therefore issue is in average sale amount or conversion (or both). Marketing and product teams then shouldn't spend any time focused on traffic or making the product better for loyalty. The focus should be on designing a higher conversion process, identifying what bounces customers out, what their priorities are that aren't being met, etc. as well as designing additional complimentary or add on products.

    This is a quick and easy, somewhat oversimplified process but hopefully the point is clear.

    The end result is a strategic plan document that everyone the company can recite by heart. Everyone should know, with complete confidence and clarity:

    • what winning looks like
    • what their role and goal is
    • what they are doing to achieve that

    Specifically, I advise (as well as use myself) a shared doc with the 3-5 more important things to our business's goal - such as: sales, talent, efficient operations, etc. Then the goal metrics that if these numbers = targets, we did it. Then the submetrics for each section that show our strategic focus for the current strategic plan (usually 1-3 years) and a list of the major initiatives we believe are how we'll accomplish them.

    Then each team has their single most important metric (one of the 3-5 outlined above), the specific metrics they're pushing on within the team, and what the goal is. Example, Marketings big goal could be sales. Their sub targets are: awareness as measured in traffic, conversion, etc. and they have 3 major projects aimed at improving those.

    Lastly, these metrics have to be readily available, accurate, timely, and everyone is accountable to them. 3 month old data, numbers filled with outliers, or indicators that no one actually knows where to find or what they are aren't helpful. Everyone also needs to regularly check in and articulate where things are at. This doesn't have to be scary or punitive feeling. It should be fun. Think of all of this like a video game. Everyone needs to know the score and should be excited and celebrate when they level up, achieve the target. If it's a game people become laser focused on making the number go up. It's addicting. Build that for your team.

    The toughest part is understanding what is driving the numbers and then identifying the right moves to make to change behavior. Example: conversion is low. Is this an issue of quality of the traffic? Product fit? Price? Trust in the brand? But if teams are all aimed at the right metric then they're focused on a result rather than an action. If metrics aren't driving the work then it's easy for teams to spend a lot of time "doing their job" without getting a result. The team's goal should be achieving a result which is measured by __ and it is their responsibility to ask questions, test, poll, interview, whatever to determine what moves that number and focus their work on that.

    Anyway, hope that helps. I'm curious to see what others have to say and am happy to answer further questions on this.

  2. 1

    Good question. Interested to hear solutions for this as well.

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