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Why we created KPI Karta

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The problem isn’t using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). The problem is with KPIs themselves. Often KPIs are poorly chosen and misused, producing numbers that no one understands or that aren’t very useful. And they mostly tell you what happened but, rarely why.

KPIs should require little or no interpretation. When properly set up, KPIs deliver exceptional insight into how business is performing and what to do to affect change.

KPI Issues

Tracking business success is difficult. It’s complex to figure out what to measure, so most companies monitor values that seem important but actually are not. According to Dean R. Spitzer, 93% of organizational leaders believe that measurement is important in influencing business outcomes, but only 51% are satisfied with their current systems, and only 15% are very satisfied. That’s a terrible gap in expectation to reality.

KPIs are a great way to help identify how your business is performing, but if they aren’t well conceived, you may be relying on faulty values which may cause more harm than good.

KRI (Key Results Indicators)

KRIs measure the results from your many business actions, whereas KPIs track specific actions or activities. Don’t confuse the two. KPIs don’t measure goals; KRIs do. Unlike KPIs, which measure the precise actions we take to obtain certain results, KRIs report on results of many activities, are backward looking and inform what has happened.

KRIs measure the effect of business activities but ignore the cause. Revenue, ROI, product efficiencies, staff turnover are KRIs and only inform how you did but not why. For that we need to establish KPIs.

Monitoring Revenue is obviously important, but if it changes, you don’t know precisely why and what to do differently. Instead, you need to track the activities that caused Revenue to change. Those activities are tracked with KPIs. If one of those KPI values changed, you know exactly what action to take.

The reason we make the distinction is that many people incorrectly track the results of many actions or activities and call them KPIs. It’s certainly important to track goals, but you don’t know what caused the goal to be reached or not if you don’t track the actions or activities that align with those goals.

What action would you take if revenue dropped? To identify what you need to do, you will have to drill down further into the activities and processes that cause the revenue to change.

How and Why KPI Karta was developed

KPIs can create a great deal of consternation for companies and their teams. Numbers are being asked of people that don’t seem to make much sense. In our consulting to help clients better measure business success, we discovered that KPIs often don’t align with overall goals. KPIs were encouraging behaviour inconsistent with what the company was trying to accomplish. And KPIs were causing frustration.

There were two reasons for that: KRIs were being used as KPIs; and KPIs were chosen from lists or inherited from past systems.

Our consulting showed us that the right way to select KPIs is to start with what the Goal of the company or team is. That seems obvious. But we didn’t start crafting KPIs from just the Goal. Instead, we then uncovered further layers in increasing detail to reveal strategic initiatives that eventually lead to actionable activities. That’s what KPIs should be based on. We delivered consulting workshops using this methodology for over 10 years to help clients create and track effective KPIs.

Once a goal is identified, we then look at what critical things need to be accomplished to meet that goal. We then look at the sales phase (acquire, engage, convert or retain customers) we are in. We then identify the customer segment we are targeting, and the overall approach we want to take, and finally what specific actions we are deploying. From there we establish KPIs and Targets for each Action.

The KPI Karta subscription service offers a cloud-based service that mimics the workshops we have delivered guiding clients through the process of building these hierarchical maps.


“A mere 7% of employees today fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them in order to help achieve company goals,” according to Harvard professors and co-authors Robert Kaplan and David Norton. By establishing KPIs that align with corporate goals all team members feel more engaged because they can see how their work affects the bottom line.

Creating KPIs in a logical, structured way, helps identify what to measure, and it also shows others the roadmap of how you got there. That provides several advantages because it shows:

  • progress of critical work
  • who is responsible for each activity
  • everyone that what they do is important and how their work directly drives corporate goals and objectives
  • how much has been accomplished

Be open about your KPIs. Tell the whole company about them. Make results visible for all.

We created KPI Karta to make it easier for organizations to figure out what numbers they need to track, and to then monitor them. This new cloud-based service mimics the successful consulting we have delivered for years in live workshops.

We hope you like it!