Team Metrics Drive Team Performance
Are you focused on measuring the right things?
If you were running a Formula One Racing Team which of the following team metrics would be most important to you?
- Engine power output
- Aerodynamic drag coefficient
- Usable tyre life
- Average lap time
- Duration of pit stop
- Fuel efficiency
- Braking distance
Well, the question you must always answer first is what are you trying to achieve.
It is critical that you have accurately defined what a winning performance will look and feel like before you can accurately determine which of these, all potentially valid metrics, is the one that demands your focused attention.
Let's say you are focused on winning a 50 lap race. Within this context the Key Result Indicator will be the final finishing position in the race, but you cannot manage team performance based on a result indicator because it only becomes available once the process of racing has been completed.
The Key Performance Indicator that most strongly influences performance in this context is the average lap time over a 50 lap race, because that determines your completion time, and the fastest completion time will always win the race.
That is not to say that the other team metrics are not valuable, but a successful team manager will have delegated responsibility for metric performance across his team and each team member will know the context (average lap time) within which to strive for greater performance in their area of contribution.
The tyre specialist can improve tyre life but potentially to the detriment of the average lap time. The pit stop crew can reduce the time the car is stopped easily but not necessarily complete all the necessary tasks needed to maintain the desired average lap time.
The point being made is that a Winning Team is crystal clear on how their performance is being measured and how their specific area of responsibility can best contribute to overall performance without proving detrimental to another area of contribution. This is real teamwork in action.
If you want to lead a Winning Team, you must:
- Maintain visibility of past, present and future performance of team metrics
- Focus on the vital few measures for peak performance
- Link measures to your definition of a winning performance
- Ensure that definition incorporates the needs of customers, shareholders and employees
- Keep measures consistent across similar teams within the organisation
- Fine tune your measurement process as the strategy or situation changes
- Verify the achievability of your winning performance through market research wherever possible
Measurement is easy, but the challenge most team leaders face is measuring the right things and learning to ignore other interesting data that does not contribute to team success.
Team Performance Measurement
It is critical to have the basic team foundations established before any performance measurement model will be truly effective.
We encourage all teams to establish a clear Team Charter that every team member is aligned with.
Targeting Incremental Performance Improvement
If you could improve just one performance metric which one would it be?
We suggest it should be the one that contains the greatest capability to positively influence the remaining performance metrics.
Returning to our Formula One Racing Team analogy, let's assume your team is racing at Silverstone which includes the Hangar Straight as part of the circuit, one of the longest and fastest straights on the grand prix calendar.
The speed that your car can carry down that straight will make the greatest impact on the reduction of your lap time. Therefore the speed that you can carry through the corner before the straight becomes the most critical influence on performance improvement in this scenario.
To improve the speed through this corner the team will examine the contributing performance metrics:
- Point at which the accelerator is applied
- Car's acceleration
- Amount of grip
- Suspension settings...etc
This is why Formula One teams are reknowned for their focus on delivering ultimate performance and the same process can be applied within your business.
We provide a laser-like focus on the team metrics and critical issues that determine a winning team performance, and the most effective mechanisms for measuring and improving them.
Return from Team Metrics to Team Goals, Measures & Responsibilities
Return from Team Metrics to Team Foundations
A FREE consultation is always available, so to discuss any aspect of performance please either:
- Contact us by phone on 0845 434 9589 or
- Complete the form below
To quickly assess the current performance of your team and how to target vital improvements quickly, explore our Pit Stop Process here