Measuring the right thing and communicating to your team members what is being measured can save a lot of confusion at a later stage.

Very often, we see people interchange the words measure and metrics. Broadly, they mean the same thing. But there is a difference that you need to be aware of that will help you make better decisions, evaluate data better and be more effective when you’re evaluating KPIs.

A metric is a broad measure. For example, the number of people who have visited your website is a metric.

A measure goes slightly deeper. For instance, it tells you how many people have downloaded the free E-Book on your site or subscribed to your newsletter.

Seen in this light, an effective KPI involves taking into consideration both metric and measure.

So if 100 people have visited your site but only 20 have downloaded your free Ebook, you might want to re-look at your user interface and messaging. Do you need to make it compelling enough for someone to download your free Ebook or subscribe to your newsletter? If you get caught up in the metric of the number of people who visit your site, you will be stuck there forever, celebrating a shallow victory.

We usually hear the term KPI during appraisal time. Sometimes, we feel we have been given a fair evaluation and sometimes we don’t. This happens mainly for one reason – the KPI wasn’t communicated to us properly. We were probably focussing on the metrics (how many clients we met) and the boss was evaluating us on a measure (how many clients did we actually sign on). If we knew what we were going to be evaluated on, we would have focused our efforts in a different direction.

KPIs and Project Management

Project managers across industries understand the key role of KPIs in evaluation. They don’t just reflect the performance of the people under them but also their ability to get the best out of their people. KPIs aren’t goals. Rather, they are an indicator of whether we are on track to meet our goals.

When KPIs are used on projects, they’re essentially measuring team progress.

Kinds of KPIs

There are two kinds of KPIs you can use to measure team progress on your projects.

Quantitative KPIs (Measured with numbers)

  • Overall task programs
  • Workload efficiency
  • Timesheet submittals
  • Task dependencies

Qualitative KPIs (Measured by opinions or traits)

  • Mentoring time
  • Collaboration
  • Stakeholder satisfaction
  • Communication

Just in case you’re wondering, quantitative KPI is a metric and qualitative KPI is a measure. Choosing the right KPIs depend on what you deem as your critical success factors (CSF) – such as the industry you’re operating in, the nature of your product or service, and stakeholder business. For example, if one CSF of a new software business is to develop a web-based portal to garner new customer sign-ups, then the KPI could be quantitative (i.e.,  number of new subscribers). Ideally, when you set your KPIs, they should be a good blend of both quantitative and qualitative.

Online project management tools are a very effective aid to set KPIs, evaluate team progress, get real-time updates on project data, visualize project performance through interactive dashboards, and much more. When choosing a project management software, make sure you pick one that allows you to measure against both quantitative and qualitative KPIs through features like:

  1. Task tracking
  2. Cost tracking
  3. Resource and Workload tracking
  4. Schedule Baselining. Read more here.
  5. Forecasting
  6. Hierarchical task linking
  7. Real-time collaborative multi-party editing
  8. Google-integrated communication tools. Read more here.
  9. Auto-generated work breakdown structure
  10. Built-in analytics and dashboards. Read more here.

Doing a fair evaluation of KPIs, be it for your team, an organization or even for yourself, involves common sense, due diligence, empathy, and an effective project management software that ties everything together.

Check out all our features and start a free trial to see why millions of users worldwide use Gantter to measure their team’s progress and project performance.

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