Recently several of my clients asked for help putting together company or departmental scorecards. For many organizations and leaders, finding the right set of 5 to 15 leading indicators that provide an absolute pulse on the business (or the department) is a difficult challenge. Often it takes several months or longer to truly fall in love with your Scorecard.
Like most worthwhile journeys, though, strengthening the Data Component starts with a single step.
I’d like to challenge you to take that step today by dividing a blank legal pad into two columns. At the top of one column, write the title “Great Day.” At the top of the other column, write “Lousy Day.” Now do the following:
- Make a list under each title of everything that might happen in a “great day” for your company (or your department). Maybe you got a bunch of new leads, took a few big orders, got positive customer or employee feedback, permanently lowered production or operating costs, collected on some past-due receivables, improved your liquidity – you get the drill – just make your list.
- Now make another list of all the things that happen on a “lousy day”. Some of the items on the list are just going to be the opposite of what you’ve already recorded, but some stuff will be new. Just rack your brain and make the list.
- Lastly, ask yourself if any of the things on either list can be measured weekly. Can you measure “number of leads” on a weekly basis? Will it provide valuable insight into the potential for your sales team to hit future revenue goals? Can you measure “big orders” or “total dollars ordered”? Better yet, are there any leading indicators that will give you the same information earlier in the sales process? What if you measured “total dollars proposed”?
- Once you’ve compiled a list of all the things you could measure, pick the 5 to 15 most important measurables and start there. Set goals, review the scorecard weekly, and wait until you’re looking at a full quarter’s worth of data (or more) before you make a decision about whether or not you’re measuring the right stuff.
At the end of this journey to strengthen your company’s Data Component, I promise you’ll have far more “great days” than you will “lousy days”. But only if you have the courage to take the first step.