Combine KPIs with regular project metrics to engage Management

KPI_imageMany program managers collect vast amount of program/project related data (lagging indicators) and report to senior management as part of weekly status reporting. In general, they include – what was accomplished last week, what is planned ahead, milestones met, where is the project on overall plan, issues/risks, RYG indicator, etc. While useful, senior management is not just interested in current performance but wants to know more on future performance. Hence it’s important to discuss leading indicators to provide more holistic view of business.

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. They are measurements that define and track specific business goals and objectives.

So, what KPIs should we be measuring and reporting to engage Sr. management? In general, KPIs should cover 4 perspectives. The key thing to remember is to pick and chose KPIs that match your strategy, industry and business objectives/goals. Some example KPIs listed below, no way comprehensive, and includes both leading and lagging indicators.

Category Sample KPIs
  • NPS (how likely will your customer recommend your product to others?)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost
  • Customer retention cost
  • Lead generation rate
  • Customer Conversion rate
  • Market share (you vs. competitors)
  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) (efficient way to seek customer feedback)
  • # of Customers
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Brand recognition
  • Revenue
  • Profit (net, gross, operational)
  • ROI
Internal Processes
  • # of new innovations
  • Earned Value Management (EVM)
  • Cycle time to fulfill and order
  • Process downtime (how much time is wasted due to downtime, staff/tech issues, etc)
  • Quality (issues, defects, rework, customer support tickets)
Employees (focuses on intangible assets of organization i.e. internal skills/capabilities required to support internal processes)
  • 360 feedback
  • Employee feedback (on project management, quality, team, working environment, gauge employee satisfaction, and such)


If KPIs can be illustrated graphically (bar graph, line chart, areas chart, etc alongside some historical data), the better! Consider using Visual Project Dashboards to highlight key KPIs. No more than 4-6 KPIs should be developed at executive level.

An example of KPIs across Financial Planning Firm is here.


Reporting KPIs is a model for effective communication with Sr. Management. Program Managers should consider augmenting above KPI on top of regular project status reports to engage senior business leadership for a successful outcome.

Which KPIs are you reporting? and which ones has made the most impact to Business? Please chime in with your thoughts.


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