ISO metrics make objectives quantitative. When we start setting objectives, we want to measure and show measurable results that will gain consumer confidence and more business.

Peter Drucker says, ”What gets measured gets done.”

When we set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), we have a yardstick to see where we are and where we want to be. Measuring determines the gap.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Definition

A Key Performance Indicator is a value that can be measured to gauge the performance of a particular action or set of actions. Organizations use KPIs to determine success at reaching their goals. High-level KPIs are often those that pertain to the big picture performance of business, and low-level KPIs commonly measure the particular moving parts of the business such as:

Business Financial KPIs

  1. Profit
  2. Cost
  3. Revenue
  4. Cost Of Goods Sold
  5. Accounts Receivables
  6. Sales
  7. Expenses Vs. Budget

Customer Metrics

  1. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  3. Customer Satisfaction & Retention
  4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  5. Number Of Customers

Process Metrics

  1. Customer Lead Times
  2. Number of Non-Conformances
  3. Number of test/calibration done in day

Personnel ISO Metrics

  1. Employee Turnover Rate (ETR)
  2. Employee technical competency and training percentile
  3. Employee Satisfaction

What needs to be measured should be decided from the following criteria:

1) How does it add value to have this objective measured in long term?

2) How critical is it for the Business?

3) Does it make sense to measure it in order to help with internal or external customers?

4) Does it reflect clearly the objective of measurement?

5) How difficult would it be to come to the stage of measurement?

Because an objective is difficult to measure does not mean to neglect the action.

Management and supervisors have to be patient to explain the very need, criteria, impact of the measurements to each personnel responsible with data collection. Often this stage is not taken into account as part of Quality Management System training. Useful information can come to forefront when brainstorming ISO metrics. Discuss and determine what to measure and for short and long term goals.

Determining relevant KPIs, how to compare them, learning interpret the data, and how they relate to each other and what weight to give the data is all part of the process. Mastering data-driven results take time and some trial and error. KPIs for one business might not be the best KPIs for different companies.

Establish which KPIs are standard in your industry. Then determine goals and incorporate the measurements in each area of your business. KPIs need to fit with your unique strategies and goals to give you the best results.

Any KPI is only as valuable as how you use the information. Many adopt industry-standard KPIs or use what another company is using. This frequently leads to gathering useless or inaccurate data that does not reflect the specific business, and no positive conclusions are reached.

The best KPIs are how your business talks to you. You must understand why you are collecting the data and what it means.

If the data is not interpreted correctly, no solid conclusions and sound decisions can be made. Your data should be clear and easy to understand.

When developing a strategy for creating your ISO metrics, let your team know the objectives, how the data will help, who can respond or act on the information, and what course of action will be taken. In time, you will know which business processes to measure and how to use the information.

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