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The success of professional services firms like yours will ultimately be determined by the consistency of results. And those results can only be reached if your workforce consistently meets its expected goals and targets.

KPIs (key performance indicators) are quantifiable measures that your business can use to determine how well your goals are being met. Plus, KPIs can be set out for projects and used to identify how well certain employees are performing.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the benefits.

  1. Easily measure your targets
  2. Encourage accountability from your workforce
  3. Boost team morale
  4. Analyse patterns over time
  5. Solve problems or tackle opportunities

1. Easily measure your targets

While they can be easily confused, KPIs aren’t business goals or target themselves, but a measurement of goals/targets. For example, if your goal is to reach a specific win rate of new projects each month, your KPIs will show how close (or far) you are from achieving those targets.

A KPI in this instance could be showing that your teams new project win rate is only at 50% and below what your business has set as a benchmark. This would make the leaders in your organisation instantly aware of your team’s progress and reason behind them not hitting the expected new project win rate.

By measuring goals in this way, you can pinpoint exactly where your teams are going wrong and make the necessary changes to help you reach your goals faster.

2. Encourage accountability from your workforce

KPIs can reveal vital statistics about performance. So, by not using them, you increase the chances of making inaccurate assessments of your employees during reviews. For example, you might assume an employee is performing below par because of their punctuality or a perceived lack of company engagement, but you have no measurable proof of this.

A KPI might reveal that your assessment is incorrect and the “underperforming” employee may have some favourable stats and had been delivering good results.

On the other hand, staff who are performing poorly can hardly argue their case if their KPI stats are making for unfavourable reading. Essentially, KPIs encourage accountability for both employees (if they’re underperforming) and employers (if KPIs are believed to be unrealistic).

3. Boost team morale

Keeping your employees happy is arguably the most important aspect to a building a successful professional services firm. However, many companies have trouble finding measurable ways to track their employees satisfaction.

Setting targets which can only be achieved once a quarter/year isn’t enough to keep them engaged. A good KPI system can be highly rewarding for your employees if they’re getting positive reports for meeting specific KPIs in the interim.

These results are often instant, helping them create a sense of purpose and remain focused on meeting targets. Plus, KPIs help keep your managers informed on your teams performance.

This data can then be used to:

  • Monitor employee actions and progress
  • Discuss findings with employees/leadership team
  • Provide feedback to team members
  • Ultimately increase employee job satisfaction as upcoming targets are met

businessman hand working with new modern computer and business success as concept

4. Analyse patterns over time

By measuring the same KPIs over each quarter, you can begin to identify patterns in your data. For example, you can better predict when your slowest quarter will be. This time could then be used to improve other areas of your business (think running a system update or a company-wide training initiative).

Other patterns you might spot is your sales manager always forecasts that you’ll win a certain amount of deals over/under where you normally end up at the end of the quarter. Or, you’ve got team members who are consistently under/over performing on their KPIs - use this data to talk to them about the expectations required (good or bad)

5. Solve problems or tackle opportunities

Use a combination of KPIs in a dashboard to gain access to the right information at your fingertips, helping you solve problems or tackle opportunities.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a great idea for a new service. You could test it out with a few clients and use KPIs to validate your business model before launching it on a larger scale.

You might monitor:

  • Number of customers interested in the new service
  • Implementation time
  • Money needed to support the new service
  • And so on

Using KPIs will put you on the path to business agility

Without a clear understanding of how to measure your success, you’ll struggle to get the maximum value from your business and deliver the best results for your customers.

KPIs will give you clear goals and specific metrics to track performance. And in today’s professional services market, ensuring your business can pivot on demand to meet growing expectations is a must.

Our checklist covers the five key stages to achieving business agility. Download it below.

How to achieve business agility

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Customer satisfaction essentially measures whether you met their expectations from the products or services you provide. 89% of consumers have been reported to have moved to a competitor based on poor customer experience, emphasising the importance of meeting customer expectations and making sure they are satisfied in the process.
Business agility is your ability to pivot quickly in the face of unpredictable or unexpected change. An agile business can respond quickly and effectively to both internal and external opportunities/threats. 
Many professional services companies face similar challenges due to the nature of their work. They regularly have to deal with issues such as maximising billable hours, managing complex projects and planning for unpredictable demand.  
Your ability to keep scope, people and schedules on track can make or break a project. With all these moving parts, it’s crucial your project managers stay one step ahead of the game.
 Effective resource management is about allocating the right resources to the right place at the right time. This means you can match resources to projects, ensure projects run on time and budget and improve customer and employee satisfaction - among other benefits.
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