Don’t corporations love their KPIs and balanced scorecards? In the year 2000 I was involved in a project to apply six sigma, to the design process, at a well known mobile phone handset manufacturer.
Their notice boards were covered in pieces of dark red paper. I asked what these were. Apparently everyone had their own “vital few” KPIs. Since all the KPIs seemed to be different that actually meant there were hundreds of vital few KPIs. The management wanted a focus on the vital few and ended up with a trivial many. Can you imagine wasting your life away in these kinds of charades?
My own preference, which has its grounding in theory of constraints (TOC), is for what is known as a hedgehog strategy. To implement a hedgehog strategy, the organisation just has to choose one KPI. Just one. And, according to TOC you have to subordinate everything else to driving performance on that one measure – better get it right then!