KPI Do Or I Don’t

K – P – I’s – KPI = Key Performance Indicators are among the first things you learn when you start your career, something such as “this is the target, if you don’t reach it, you don’t fit”. KPI’s are merely performance measuring tools, tools that show you and your employer how you’re… performing or not.


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In order to translate this in soccer language, the main KPI is to score more than the other team or not receive any goals. If you do get goals, give as many as received back. Doesn’t matter if you take advantage of some weaknesses or simply if you got lucky.

No matter the employer, you will certainly have to reach some KPIs, even when they are not called KPIs. In order to measure any advancement, you’ll have to know your current position.

The bigger the organization, the more KPIs, hundreds or even thousands so you can measure as detailed as possible everyone’s activity. From how many bolts you have to make per hour to the number of errors allowed per million of screw nuts. From the number of words typed per minute to the number of holes in your Swiss cheese, the KPIs have the purpose of measuring people’s performance; but if you are not measuring the right things, the effect is exactly opposite from expectation.

If you don’t define what you measure, you might get the harmful effect of employees “checking” the KPI before you do, or a spread of the syndrome “Fake it, ‘til you make it!” – just so it looks good in the boss’s excel.

If all you have to do at work is to deseed 20 plums every minute, you have a great chance of losing quickly your enthusiasm. You may even lose your interest in plums whatsoever, even when it comes to plums brandy.

Good news is there is a life outside KPI measuring and many times the enthusiasm of a project cannot be measured in numbers, though numbers are equally important.

If an employee has to resume (for example) every phone conversation to an average of two minutes, no matter the topic, he/she will do the best to achieve that particular KPI and the only one who suffers, in this case, is the customer.

The success of a company doesn’t reside only in “checking” or “unchecking” of KPIs, but also some stuff that cannot be measured in an excel: passion, teamwork, enthusiasm, and many others.

Good luck becoming a Key Performer / succeeding with all your KPIs!

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