What Are KPIs?
KPIs, or key performance indicators, track performance in business, quality, and safety. Understanding and using KPIs is a crucial part of SMS.
SMS can track hundreds of data points, especially when using advanced SMS software. Use data tied to objectives and goals to get the most from your KPIs.
Selecting key indicators helps to focus on the outcomes. Looking at all the data can be overwhelming. Much of it will be irrelevant to measuring performance. Selecting the right indicators will save time and increase productivity.
Why Track KPIs?
Tracking KPIs allows organizations to make improvements based on data. Often, we struggle to make decisions without data to back them up. Having data from KPIs helps to lend perspective to decision-making. By basing decisions on the data from KPIs, we can have confidence in those decisions.
KPIs alert us when things are not working as we expected them to. They also let us know when things are working. KPIs inform our decisions, allow us to identify areas of improvement, and course correct as necessary.
Picking the right KPIs is crucial. It’s easy to become so buried in data that it becomes useless. Selecting KPIs allows us to focus on the most important data for decision making.
Good KPIs are specific and measurable. Consider the goals of the SMS and work backward. One of the key goals of SMS is to foster a safety culture, but culture as a concept is difficult to measure.
KPIs must be quantifiable to be effective. To measure your safety culture, you could set a KPI that tracks reports or training.
When selecting KPIs, keep the following criteria in mind. KPIs should be SMART:
For more on selecting KPIs for your organization, check out How to Choose KPIs in Aviation SMS Programs.
The best KPIs become useless when they are not monitored. Picking KPIs and gathering the data is not enough. There are many ways of doing this.
The simplest and most accurate way to track KPIs is using off the shelf software designed for SMS. These products allow managers to easily create and track KPIs. If your organization doesn’t have software for this, you may need to get creative.
Share Your Stories
What KPIs have you found effective? How did you track them? Share with us in the comments below!