Realizing Value from Key Performance Indicators
KPIs allow managers to focus on activities that are important to your airline or airport. Understandably, many of these activities may also be important to your civil aviation authority.
Safety managers today are expected to come up with a list of their company's KPIs and to track them religiously.
Aviation key performance indicators may be seen as the "canary in the mine." When the canary dies, there is something wrong with the system and action is required by diligent management personnel.
Below are some guidelines for managing KPIs effectively at your airline or airport. Most are common sense, but definitely worth a quick review.
Setting Up an Effective KPI Strategy
There may be no correct way to establish your KPI strategy, but the following guidelines are worth reviewing.
Some common thoughts to consider are:
1. Understand corporate direction and corporate values
- Is the company profit-driven, or employee focused?
2. Learn what matters to upper management
- What are their goals and how do they measure them?
3. How can your safety team contribute to corporate success
- Bolster morale or focus on key values via safety promotion activities
4. Align aviation safety goals around established KPIs
- Set measurable goals and display for all employees to see progress
5. Update KPI goals and objectives on a regular basis
- Communicate to all employees when these goals and objectives are updated
6. Don't be afraid to change KPIs when they become meaningless
- Allow users to offer feedback and accept suggestions for other KPIs
7. Keep practicing and refining your KPIs
- Operational and economic environments change, as should your KPIs
What's Important for Effective KPI Strategies
KPIs should never intimidate safety managers.
If you don't have a modern aviation SMS database tool to manage your KPIs, it will certainly pay off as you start tracking KPIs and generating meaningful reports to management.
Without a modern aviation SMS database program, you may create your reports, but you won't be excited about creating them the second time. Good aviation SMS tools easily pay for themselves in the time and energy required to manage and track your KPIs. In short, tracking KPIs without a database program is certainly not sustainable in the long run.
Below are some KPI checklists you may find useful for comparing against your KPIs.
This article was published originally in June 2015. Last updated January 2018.