Building and Conveying KPIs Visually with Flowcharts

“Strategic-operational KPIs alignment gives the organization a powerful tool to use when implementing change.” – Pearl Zhu

The idea of globalization represents a watershed in the history of economic development. Many factors have enabled this worldwide phenomenon; these include digital technologies, the World Wide Web, knowledge (and skill) transfer mechanisms, training programs, outsourced service paradigms, labor arbitrages, time zones, and efficiency metrics. Enterprises that have globalized have deployed a range of KPIs to boost their growth measured in terms of pure performance. Hence, a key performance indicator – KPI – represents “a measurement used to track a team’s progress toward strategic goals.” In this context, corporate leaders and process owners may design or build a variety of KPIs in accordance with the demands of process or operational requirements. The design venture, when undertaken inside flowcharts, enables managers and supervisors in conveying KPIs visually.

  • Why KPIs?

Modern manufacturing enterprises may seek to reduce maintenance costs as a method to boost profitability and attain lower cost structures. Pursuant to this, enterprises may set about conveying KPIs visually through diagrammatic constructs, such as flowcharts. Work teams may be allocated fixed targets that enable said objective; these targets may be raised over time, thus depicting a visual narrative etched within diagrams. The chief value of this technique resides in creating a mechanism that contains the costs of maintaining and repairing equipment and machinery. The KPI could also specify costs allocated under vendor development, thereby spotlighting additional levels of performance for teams. In addition, the flowchart may depict the rationale that underlies the design of specific KPIs suited to manufacturing enterprises.

  • Mode of Communication

KPIs could therefore be a form of communication, one that allows clear transmission of information to all relevant stakeholders. The use of numbers drives the mission of building and conveying KPIs visually through flow-based diagrams. This technique empowers organizations to attain quantification and measure progress in terms of set benchmarks. For instance, a consulting firm may set high performance benchmarks in servicing client projects. Teams of analysts may be allotted KPIs in a variety of parameters set inside flowcharts. The act of developing and implementing KPIs may vary from one project to another.  The flowchart acts as a development template that enables relevant actions. Consultants could utilize this matrix to rank their performance, thereby spotlighting the efficacy of designing custom KPIs for the knowledge industry.

  • KPIs drive Success

The building of a KPI must co-relate directly to the factor(s) responsible for driving success in modern organizations. In this instance, business planners could utilize the spaces of flow-based diagrams to locate, weigh and assess such factors. Subsequently, planners may embark on tasks of formulating and conveying KPIs visually in a bid to inform/educate all stakeholders. For example, a trading enterprise may stress the primacy of volumes of trades initiated and executed. This technique may influence the design of KPIs endorsed by said enterprise. Additionally, parameters such as client servicing could enter the proverbial picture, thus completing the mission of conveying KPIs visually. The enterprise may elect to refine the composition of KPIs periodically in tune with the demands of the trade.

  • Mapping Performance

Intelligently designed KPIs must depict the positive change in performance mapped over periods of time. When described inside stages of flowcharts, such KPIs can graphically portray the percentage change in performance, thereby completing part of a picture describing the performance of processes within organizations. A multiplicity of such KPIs can be designed and embedded within separate flowcharts; the emerging imagery could contribute to an overarching narrative of organizational performance. Analysts may also work on conveying KPIs visually in the interests of building a growth and expansion narrative. The information conveyed by flowcharts could mold the flows of budgetary processes and expenditure patterns endorsed by organizations.

  • Action Plans

Certain observers aver KPIs must contain the kernel of action plans. In essence, a spot sampling of KPIs must inform businesses of the nature and expanse of actions to be undertaken subsequently. Therefore, designers must invest effort to graphically depict KPIs as part of the mission of conveying KPIs visually. Such technique guides the course of future action, informs and educates stakeholders on the performance of teams, and leads the way toward higher attainment in process and system performance. In addition, businesses can ideate on and effect micro-level adjustments in response to reviewing series of KPIs. The flowchart may perform as a useful tool in such contexts by spotlighting the state of actual performance vis-à-vis benchmarks.

  • Exploration & Experimentation

Certain elements of experimentation must permeate projects that hinge on conveying KPIs visually. Therefore, enmeshing a series of KPIs as part of attempts to elicit coherent images of, say, process operations, within flowcharts, would make sense. This stance can be implemented within flowcharts – it allows organizations to generate a composite picture that can potentially guide the future design of sales campaigns or business development initiatives. This stance also implies math-based methods that allow organizations to analyze multiple KPIs in various contexts. Flowcharts enable experimentation, and therefore could prove vital to the success of such initiatives. These diagrams may also emerge as templates that offer organizations greater ability to conduct visual analysis in different modes.

  • The Role of Text

Creators of KPIs may embed brief segments of text-based analysis inside flowcharts as part of the project of building and conveying KPIs visually. Such actions promote comprehension, assist a comprehensive narrative to gain ground, and may invite suggestions that uplift the value of future narrations. Hence, we may envisage flowcharts containing sections demarcated for analysis. Such diagrams can comprise part of an expansive dashboard that portrays performance of various layers of an organization. In addition, text-based analysis empowers designers to mold the flows of interpreting numbers-intensive indicators. Further, businesses may invest in additional sections that can be appended to flow diagrams as part of initiatives designed for conveying KPIs visually.

  • Types of KPIs

Qualitative and quantitative KPIs can represent separate silos of delineated information within flowcharts designed for conveying KPIs visually. This stance would help to sketch different narratives that segue into a picture of organizational performance. Multiple editions of flowchart could aid this venture, and empower creators to convey streams of operational information. This stance may help organizations add flavor to internal discussions on the future courses of action. Quarterly data and annual performance information could emerge from such projections, thus qualifying such imagery for inclusion in company annual reports. In addition, collections of such diagrams could enable organizations to embark on sets of action that may enable higher trajectories of expansion and growth in competitive landscapes.

  • In Conclusion

These texts can guide actions and ideation in the domain of devising and surveying key performance indicators. Flowcharts could thus help to re-imagine the concept of KPIs, invent new expressions of indicators, assess fresh vistas of performance, generate new methods of evaluating data, and build advanced measurement techniques and mechanisms. Flowcharts can also help organizations to develop new methods of measuring performance at levels not explored.

In addition, creators may use these constructs to ideate on improvements to KPIs, enhance the selection criteria for indicators, connect multiple streams of information, and assess the impact of indicators on corporate performance. Further, flow-based diagrams bear potential to guide the development of thought processes that may precede the development of KPIs. In enabling these scenarios, the spatial construct emerges as a versatile force multiplier that could guide the destinies of organizations.

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