There are certain key numbers, or metrics, that should be regularly measured in your company. Once you know which metrics to measure, you then need to decide who will be responsible for the measurements, and how often the data will be reviewed, either daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Having one person accountable is the key to making these metrics work. This employee, or the "SPA" person, will really dig into the different areas rather than simply “playing businessman” and watching the reports. Instead of sitting around looking at numbers, you’ll be able to proactively work on growing the business.
With regular attention to metrics, you’ll be able to notice important patterns, some of which may service as warning signs or opportunities for growth. Measurements doesn’t have to be too sophisticated; one simple way to decide which metrics to measure is by building a simple spreadsheet with columns to show the metric in question, the person responsible for it, when it will be reviewed, its status, and so forth.
Think about each business area at your company: operations, marketing, finance, IT, sales, production, engineering etc. What are the top 10 metrics each area should be continuously looking at to assist their team on hitting their goals? From those 10, what 2-3 should management or leadership pay regular attention to?
Have the business area review all of their metrics weekly. The leadership team can then review the summary or rollup of the top 2-3 from each business areas. Leadership can dig deeper later, but initial focus should be maintaing on the few critical numbers.
Once a year I have the CEOs I mentor look at and examine the frequency of the metrics they are measuring. It’s important to adjust how often you’ll review each one going forward. Did you have enough data at your fingertips this past year? Would more or less frequency for each have helped you? Make sure you answer these questions.
Remember: don’t turn this into a paper-pushing exercise or “analysis paralysis,” either. Keep it simple.