Key performance Indicators are the barometers for the results we want. For example, how fast, far, or frequent. For companies, the key performance indicators are typically profit earned (or service provided in the case of non-profit).
Leading indicators on the other hand provide insight into how we can go about achieving the key performance indicators. A good metaphor is input/output. Input being the leading indicator and output the key performance index.
When we are not getting the results we want, check the leading indicators.
How do we go about finding leading indicators? Ask the persons closest to the input/output process:
- Why Johnny can’t write? Ask his teachers on how to make Johnny learn to write.
- Why the flight is late? Ask the pilots about how to eliminate causes of delay.
- Why the budget deficit? Ask the President on how to eliminate the budget drivers and achieve a balanced budget.
Any examples of leading indicators that you care to share?