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Malaysian Evaluation Society

What are Key performance indicators?

A performance measurement tool is not only used to evaluate outcomes, it’s a tool for program management. Here’s a simple guide on how to set effective KPIs.

Step1: Defining KPIs

KPI stands for ‘Key Performance Indicator’.  KPIs are the key contributors to the success of the goal and should be measurable, quantifiable and adjustable.  KPIs are very useful for keeping track of project/program progress throughout the year and fine-tuning actions related to your KPIs along the way can improve performance dramatically.

For example, if the goal of your project is: ‘to improve the health status of 5-12 year olds from the Roma population in Belgrade’, it will likely consist of several KPIs that contribute to the success of the goal.  They might be: ‘the extent to which the population has access to primary health care’, ‘number of diagnoses made among the population’, ‘number of community health care workers per KM/sq.’, etc.

By monitoring these KPIs throughout your project, you’ll be able to keep track of your results in real time and you’ll be able to act quickly if one of them is not achieving the results you want.  That’s why it’s important for KPIs to always be measurable - they will always provide an indicator of what you have defined to be a successful outcome.

Step 2: Defining Tools and Methods for Monitoring, Measuring and Evaluation

After establishing KPIs, it’s time to define the methods, measures and tools for keeping track of them.  Some of the things you’ll want to consider are what sources of data can be used to collect information on your KPIs, what method you’ll use to collect data (ie, document review, interview), how frequently you’ll collect data, who is responsible, budget, etc.  Methods, measures and tools will likely vary across KPIs.

Step 3. Make a Monitoring Plan

During this step, you’ll want to list the activities that you need to do in order to monitor each KPI using the methods decided upon in Step 2.  It would be helpful to put this into table form and determine how frequently your KPIs will be measured. It’s also important to foresee resources required to conduct monitoring and measurement and assign responsibility to the team members responsible.


Article written by: Nicole Ristic

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