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New Post 6/17/2017 9:42 AM
User is offline Seth
2 posts
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What are KPIs, business drivers, objectives, and business goals? 

How do they play with one another?

 
New Post 5/28/2019 6:10 AM
User is offline Stewart F
91 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: What are KPIs, business drivers, objectives, and business goals? 

Ok, so lets take each one, one at a time.

What are they?:

KPIs: 'Key Performance Indicators'. These are methods for understanding performance of either a person (so a member of your team) or as a unit (so maybe the team as a whole or even your Company). They should always be set BEFORE any judgement is made against them. So at the start of your year, you should agree what they should be. So for your Team's KPIs they may be: Complete 10 projects in the year, Be in budget for at least 6 of those projects and Increase your team by 25%'.

There is no real right or wrong thing to put in a KPI as long as that person or unit has the ability to influence the outcome (Its no good adding a KPI tor a BA of 'Make sure we win the World Cup at Cricket' if that BA actually works in Finance. How is he supposed to be held responsible and affect the Cricket World Cup? 

Make them realistic, achievable and reportable. Ideally have a method of showing to all involved where the person or Unit currently sits with achieving their KPIs. KPIs can be re-negotiated, but I personally find that by failing them, that sometimes lead to good discussion as to why that happened. So don't be afraid of KPIs. They are, after all just an indicator !

Business Drivers: Business drivers are the key things that impact the results of a business. So for example, is a growth plan in progress which will increase the number of products being sold, or has your company just taken over another.  

These can be both good and bad to you as a BA Manager. They can raise the importance of a project you are working on but also add pressure because the delivery date is shortened.

 In short, it is something that impacts on the thinking and therefore the direction of the Business.  

Objectives & Business Goals: I have linked these two together as they are very similar. The main difference between the two is that BGs are general statements that a Business wants to achieve. These are likely to be achieved over a long period of time - say 3 years. For example, 'Reduce headcount and improve productivity by 5%'. Whereas an Objective is a short term plan/idea to achieve something (usually, but not always a BG). An Example might be 'Hire another BA as we have a backlog of projects'. 

 

So how are they linked?

Typically, a series of Business Goals are set (this can be in the form of a Business Plan or Roadmap), then these may be affected by Business Drivers (Sometimes these may be the other way around, but in all honestly it doesn't really matter to you as the BA Manager). A series of Objectives are linked to Business Goals in order to achieve those Goals. Typically these are the projects your team will work on. It is unlikely but possible, that there is one objective to one Business Goal - normally there are many objectives to one Business Goal. Lastly, when the Goals and Objectives are known, the KPIs are set to measure how the Unit or individual is/are doing to achieve those Objectives/Goals.

As a BA Manager always be aware that the Goals can change due to new Business Drivers - they shouldn't but in working practice they do. This has a knock on affect to your team as Objectives may well change as well. As a rule of thumb any project in your backlog should always be able to be linked with a named objective AND a named Business Goal.

 
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