You use reporting to define success and determine if you achieved the results you set out to do. If each department looks at different reports with diverse metrics, how can you come to the same conclusion? Successful companies use one all-encompassing report to define their achievements.
Here are a few examples of how reporting processes can dissolve silos in business by galvanize organizations around shared objectives.
In the oil and gas industry, they focus on one report across all aspects of the company, and everyone has access to that information; from the engineer on the ground to the CEO in the corner office. Their focus is “barrels down the pipeline.”
While each team may have specific concerns, like oil from the wells, equipment, market activity, etc., the number of barrels that come down the pipeline is what it’s all about. After all, oil = barrels and barrels = money. Everything else contributes to those equations. Each department focuses on what they’re doing to influence that number.
Healthcare providers often use two main markers of success: lives saved and lives extended. If you take away all the details, all the regulations, medicines and equipment, the healthcare industry exists to achieve these two goals. Everything they do should ultimately contribute to extending lives and saving lives.
In higher education, one key area of focus is the percentage of alumni that donate to the college. Some teams will focus on the number of students who enroll or graduate and the number of majors offered. But ultimately, the number of alumni that donate to the school is a strong indicator of how well the college met and continues to meet their needs.
After all, if students were educated well, they should have found great jobs and earned enough money to give back. If the college provided the student with an educational and life experience they value, they should have the desire to give back. By and large, the ultimate measure of success for higher education relies on the activity of their previous students.
So, how do you define your company’s best measure of success?
1. Identify the main thing you do
Every company has a long story between quote and cash. Think big picture. Look at the above examples. With everything an oil and gas company works on and controls, their main goal is always to get barrels down the pipeline. If you take away all the incidentals in healthcare, the main purpose is to save and extend lives. What is your company’s purpose?
2. Make sure your metric aligns across all functions of your organization
Your key metrics have to be something affected by every department, not necessarily directly. For example, in higher education it may be important how many Ph.D. level professors work on campus, but that metric alone can’t define success. Think bigger and think end game. You want your metric to be an ultimate organizational goal, not a step along the way.
3. Plan, do, evaluate, and revise as necessary
Once you’ve decided on your metric, you need to plan how to focus on it. You need to decide how to get the entire company on board using this for your KPI. It’s not enough just to decide on a new report and tell everyone to follow it. You need to teach them. You need to evaluate the process, and you may need to revise it a few times before you get it right.
How Aspirant Can Help
Would the support of an impartial, unbiased partner help your teams overcome siloed thinking or competing priorities? Aspirant's Organizational Effectiveness experts can help develop and socialize a cohesive plan that keeps your company engaged and actively collaborating. Use the form below to schedule a casual discussion to explore how we can help amp up your team's productivity.
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