You Have KPIs, But Do You Have KPQs?

Guest Post: Tris Hussey is Nugg’s Customer Success and Marketing Manager and was Canada’s first professional blogger. He has written several best-selling books on social media and WordPress including Create Your Own Blog (1st and 2nd editions), Using WordPress, Sam’s Teach Yourself Foursquare in 10 Minutes, WordPress Essentials (video), and The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to WordPress (2014). You can connect with Tris on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Many of us have a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure how we’re doing at our jobs. Number of calls made, meetings booked, contracts signed, tweets, retweets, replies, page views, unique visits, lots of numerical ways to see how you’re doing. Numbers are great. Numbers tell us a lot about the outcomes of our work, but they don’t always track how w are doing ahead of time. If numbers look at the past, what looks to the future? Questions. Questions force us to look at what is coming ahead of us.

Introducing Key Performance Questions (KPQs)

We talk and think about questions so much, sometimes I feel like we have entire discussions where we only ask questions. Good questions don’t just beget good answers but also good questions in turn. Questions should make you think. Questions can guide how you decide on the course of your company or product. Questions can help guide better performance. What about asking yourself: How have I improved my customer’s day? How are you adding value at every touchpoint? Does what we’re writing on social media support the KPIbrand? The thing is, you probably ask yourself these questions already. Probably every time a new strategic initiative starts. But what about asking yourself these questions once a month? What about asking yourself about adding value for customers before every newsletter or blog post goes out? Why not ask the tough questions more often to push us to be better at what we do?

What questions match with your performance?

The trick is figuring out how and what to ask yourself. Not an easy task. Maybe the way to start is by looking at your KPIs and asking why those numbers are important. What does it mean when you have more retweets? What does it mean when you get more page views per visit? From these questions you can derive answers and questions that get to the heart of why you do what you do. Retweets mean your followers find what you tweet interesting enough to share with their followers. This means you’re tweeting things of interest, this might indicate the broader interests of your audience, which might suggest changes to your app to better reflect your user base. Take anything you measure and you can ask not only why you measure it, but also why it’s important in the first place. What’s important becomes an essential part of what drives key performance questions.

Not navel gazing

There is a risk to continually asking self-reflective questions. You can get stuck asking and never answering. You get stuck looking inward without looking up and outward to avoid running into the tree or stepping in the hole. Deciding on KPIs and KPQs is about asking things that will drive better performing teams. Not questions for questions sake, but truly learning what are the important factors that drive your company and business. If you don’t measure, you can’t ask. If you don’t ask, you don’t know.

If you don’t answer, you can’t move forward.

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