“In business the idea of measuring what you are doing, picking the measurements that count like customer satisfaction and performance… you thrive on that.” – Bill Gates
Motivation and resilience in the face of adversity represent key factors that enabled the human species to compete inside ecosystems and survive on the planet. Contributing factors include the application of intelligence, the powers of observation, the ability to learn from mistakes, using trial and error methods to perfect processes, and court fortuitous interventions that hinged on pure chance, etc. In modern times, brands and businesses rely on similar inputs and methods when they seek to survive, thrive, and expand in competitive markets.
In this context, the act of measuring business performance has acquired special significance, because it denotes “the process of collecting, analyzing and reporting information regarding the performance of an individual, group, organization, system, or component.” The calibrated undertaking of such initiatives enables business operators to assess their position vis-à-vis competitors in various markets, generate motive power to attain new levels of performance, scale entrepreneurial ambitions, evaluate the quality of performance of business associates, test the proverbial big picture, and plan future actions that could elevate the depth and width of existing operations.
Entrepreneurs can embark on the voyage of measuring business performance by tracking the return on equity of a business. Such a strategy includes regular actions that promote the buying back of company stock, acquiring certain levels of debt from money markets, gaining benefits from low interest rates on commercial loans, using accumulated cash reserves in constructive manner, etc. Each of these stages can undergo adjustments in view of market conditions; primarily owing to the fact, these help preserve high levels of return on equity for each calendar quarter. At the same time, entrepreneurs and operators of businesses can make efforts to consolidate gains stemming from profitable business operations. A flowchart can help design different editions of such strategies, and enable the task of measuring business performance in modern businesses.
The act of articulating and defining roles and responsibilities associated with various positions inside a corporate hierarchy remains central to measuring business performance. Such a tactic helps an organization to define the key responsibility areas (KRAs) of each position; KRA is an accepted metric that helps “define the job responsibility of an employee and also refers to the specific areas of work for which s/he is responsible.” In line with this, members of senior management teams have KRAs that hinge on strategic planning for business growth. Members of the middle management cadre must work to manage the day-to-day aspects of operating a business, while operational leaders must enforce quality and standards specifications in different processes. Therefore, a variety of KRAs may emerge inside an organization, with the explicit mandate to assist in measuring business performance. The agency of flowcharts, when deployed, allows planners to utilize said metric in an intelligent fashion.
The Balanced Scorecard method has gained significant acceptance as a technique for measuring business performance inside modern organizations. Observers note that the method helps an organization to communicate its business priorities and objectives to employees, measure the extent to which an organization is serving its clientele, and “define and manage action plans to ensure initiatives are in place to deliver the business’s priorities and strategic objectives.” Flowcharts can assist in the task of creating a Balanced Scorecard through stages that pose a number of queries. Typically, these queries interrogate an organization in terms of its areas of excellence, assesses its work practices from a perspective of efficient delivery, evaluates methods of satisfying the manifest needs and requirements of customers, tracks levels of financial success achieved at various levels of the organization, ideates on the means to create and deliver incremental value to stakeholders, etc. In essence, the flowchart emerges as an analytical device that drives organizational efforts at measuring business performance from different points of view.
Certain authors of business strategy recommend a highly structured approach when organizations set about the task of measuring business performance. Per this vision, large buckets are positioned inside a flowchart with labels denoting financial performance, customer satisfaction, organizational capacities, the alignments of the workforce, management perspectives, the stages of achieving a central vision, and various internal processes. Each bucket encloses sets of stages and sub-stages that seek to evaluate the present stance and direction of said attributes. Strategists can position parallel stages and sub-stages that depict the desired direction of movement for each attribute. In essence, the flowchart becomes a document of organizational strategy, one that assesses present performance and indicates the way forward in tune with the vision endorsed by founders and management cadre. Such a document also allows for correctional interventions in instances that describe disconnects between operations, strategy, and vision.
The area of customer satisfaction is one the cornerstones that can help businesses assess the level of organizational performance. The modern entrepreneur or senior manager must realize the innate value of this essentially unquantifiable metric. In line with this, businesses can devise a variety of methods such as customer surveys, client interactions, reviews penned by users, etc. to gauge customer satisfaction as part of firm-wide efforts at measuring business performance. The digital domain can assist in such initiatives; for instance, a quick service restaurant chain can deploy regular surveys of users on social media platforms as a means to determine the mood of customers. Such a technique also allows the chain to solicit comments, inputs, and feedback regarding the performance of business. The outcomes of such initiatives can empower said operator to create new thrusts in service delivery standards, thereby authoring new benchmarks in the domain of customer satisfaction. Flowcharts remain the premier platform that allows varied lines of ideation on such initiatives.
Analytics packages (and online dashboards) remain ideally positioned to help providers (and marketers) of digital content to measure business performance. Metrics such as unique page views, the average time spent by visitors on web pages, bounce rates; organic search, pages visited, conversion rates, etc. allow content marketers to exact a clear picture that helps the project of measuring business performance. Flowcharts can ably assist in the design stages, whereby professionals work to define the outlines and parameters of an under-construction analytics package. In addition, flowcharts can help develop strategies that hinge on re-directing users to specific URLs as part of converting visitors into paying customers. Further, flowcharts can enrich packages by helping develop strategies to locate the number of mentions of a specific brand on social media platforms, the number of citations a brand receives on third-party content, the search volumes of a certain brand name, etc.
Captains of industry and stewards of the modern business enterprise can gain insights when they investigate these lines of exploration in pursuit of measuring business performance. Inter-connected illustrations should serve as a steady companion in such ventures; the expansive spaces enclosed in these diagrams allow individuals to chart a variety of performance measurement strategies. These spaces also allow operators to refine the benchmarks of measurement, leading to stalwart changes in the mechanics of measurement.
In addition, the flowchart helps record the output of cyclical events that track performance over multiple calendar quarters. In doing so, the flowchart serves as a competent record keeper that can describe successive cycles of performance etched over decades. Such record-keeping ability offers intelligent business operators additional scope to fine-tune various elements of strategy and execute smarter tactics of implementation.