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How to Use KPIs to Boost Employee Satisfaction

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“Good job.” That seems like a straightforward sentiment, right? When you stop to think about it, it’s anything but that. 

Business analysis professionals should use KPIs to define “good” for companies. 


“Good” is an extremely subjective word. It means something different to just about everyone. By defining what “good” means for an individual organization, business analysis professionals can help increase employee satisfaction and promote better business outcomes.

“So, what does ‘good’ look like?” Cohesive Solutions asked. “...defining what success or what ‘good’ looks like is critical to you, your colleagues, and especially your organization…. Not knowing what 'good' looks like could mean millions of dollars of lost revenue or poor customer satisfaction.”

To define “good,” business analysis professionals must measure the success of a product, service, or project. When doing this, they shouldn’t rely on word-of-mouth from customers or employees. This will become confusing as everyone will have a separate definition of success. Instead, BA professionals should measure “good” using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  

KPIs are specific criteria that help business analysis professionals and others evaluate performance. Usually, KPIs are set once Key Result Areas (KRAs) of the individual have been identified. “For example(,) the key areas of work and achievement for a Business Analyst are capturing requirements, eliciting the key problems, recommending the solution, ensuring the solution built solves the issues of the client…” explained EduPristine. “KPIs for Business Analysts should be set around these key result areas.” 

KPIs for other roles should be set around key result areas specific to them.  
In “KPIs for Business Analysts,” Mariana Mitevska, President, IIBA Sofia Chapter, Bulgaria, explained that good KPIs for a business analyst should comply with the following characteristics:  

1. Agreed - All stakeholders should agree on the business analysts’ KPIs. This might be similar to the BABOK® KPI characteristic for "Communicated," but not exactly. Here "Agreed" KPI means "Communicated" KPI, which has gotten feedback and reached a consensus on its definition. 
2. Calibrated - Scaled with expectations, scope, and goals. 
3. Proper to the business environment - A KPI should be applicable to the relevant context of usage. For example, waterfall vs. agile process; BA position in the organization; team assignment (IT/Business team); internal/external BA; level in the organization (junior, regular, senior); level of business analysis (system analysis, business systems analysis, enterprise analysis, etc.). 
4. Relevant to the assessment purpose - A KPI target purpose should be clearly stated to predict (to set leading indicators) or to track (to set lagging indicators) the business analysts’ work. Leading indicators are those that predict the future. Lagging indicators are those which reflect facts that developed in the past. 
5. Weighted – KPIs should have their own weight. Priority may not weigh equally. 

Another aspect of setting effective KPIs is defining roles within an organization. If employee roles aren’t defined, it will be tough to set KPIs that get results.  
Just as employees need “good” to be clearly defined, they also need their roles to be defined. Business analysis professionals could work with organizational leaders to define employee roles for the purpose of setting more effective KPIs. This will help them define “good” for that organization.     
When “good” is clearly defined via KPIs for an organization, that company’s employees will know what they need to do to advance. As a result, organizations will see worker satisfaction increase.  
Not knowing how to get from point A to point B can be stressful for workers, as can being unsure of what performing well means. Taking the guesswork out of things for organizations and their employees by making “good” more objective could ultimately result in better business outcomes, which are exactly what business analysis professionals strive to create.

Learn more about KPI’s here or read Understanding Today’s Business Processes scenario under “How do I” in the KnowledgeHub. Take 11 minutes to learn why business processes are so important and follow the four-step approach. IIBA’s KnowledgeHub is your access to analysis!

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About The Author:
Tiffani Iacolino

Tiffani Iacolino is a Product Marketing Manager at IIBA® and has 15+ years of marketing experience across the legal, technology, telecommunications, publishing, media, and professional services industries. She’s passionate about delivering meaningful products and solutions to the business analysis community, including IIBA’s latest offering the Cybersecurity Analysis Learning and Certification Program. Hailing from the Greater Toronto Area, she enjoys an amazing cup of coffee, running, and yoga -- between chasing her two adorable children! 


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