By Mike Paton
Several of my clients recently asked for help in putting together company or departmental scorecards. For many organizations and leaders, finding the right set of 5 to 15 leading indicators that provide an absolute pulse on the business (or the department) is a difficult challenge. Often it takes several months or longer to truly fall in love with your scorecard.
Like most worthwhile journeys, strengthening the Data Component™ starts with a single step. I’d like to challenge you to take that step today by dividing a blank legal pad page into two columns. At the top of one column, write the title “Great Week.” At the top of the other column, write “Lousy Week.”
FOUR STEPS TO CREATING A GREAT SCORECARD
- Define a Great Week for Your Company. Make a list of everything that might happen in a great week for your company (or your department). Maybe you got a bunch of new leads, took a few big orders, got positive customer or employee feedback, permanently lowered production or operating costs, collected on some past due receivables, improved your liquidity – you get the drill. Just make your list.
- Define a Lousy Week for Your Company. Now make another list of all the things that happen during a lousy week. Some of the items on the list are just going to be the opposite of what you’ve already recorded, but some stuff will be new. Just wrack your brain and make the list.
- Identify Weekly Measurables. Lastly, ask yourself if any of the things on either list can be measured weekly. Can you measure “number of leads” on a weekly basis? Will it provide valuable insight into the potential for your sales team to hit future revenue goals? Can you measure “big orders” or “total dollars ordered”? Better yet, are there any leading indicators that will give you the same information earlier in the sales process? What if you measured “total dollars proposed”?
- Prioritize Measurables and Set Goals. Once you’ve compiled a list of all the things you could measure, pick the 5 to 15 most important measurables and start there. Set goals, review the scorecard weekly, and wait until you’re looking at a full quarter’s worth of data (or more) before you make a decision about whether or not you’re measuring the right stuff.
At the end of this journey to strengthen your company’s Data Component, I promise you’ll have far more great weeks than you will lousy weeks, but only if you have the courage to take the first step.