Keeping Score on Your Metrics

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quarterly and yearly planning sessions fall under your strategic planning umbrella, and regular tracking gives you timely, accurate and plentiful data with which to work.

October 01, 2003

 

Matt Plaskoff

mpc@plaskoff.com

 

 

 

You've measured, tracked and tallied. Now, what do you do with all of this information? Where do you put it? Who enters it? Who gets to see it? How do you share it?

 

As discussed in previous columns, each department in a company is responsible for its own numbers. Of course, all departments interconnect and need to communicate, but accountability for accuracy and posting remains with each department and its manager.

At Plaskoff Construction, we believe that everyone should have access to the critical metrics information. Restricting access to a chosen few does not produce a fully engaged organization. Knowledge is power. However, only department managers can modify the password-protected spreadsheets we post on our server and make available for viewing by all employees. Each departmental spreadsheet is tied to the entire company's "Metric Scoreboard." When information is entered into a departmental sheet, automatic calculations allow the numbers to flow to the company's main spreadsheet.

Every week, the managers of our Sales, Production, Estimating and Administrative departments enter their specific data into their department's spreadsheet. One department might track and post a great deal of information to create one metric that can be shown on the company's main tracking sheet. For example, Sales might track what's shown in the table below.

As shown on page 92, a department's tracked metrics might be boiled down to six lines on the overall company metrics board. But the table below, which is the Sales department's Metric Scorecard (at Plaskoff Construction, the company scoreboard comprises the departmental scorecards), tracks many additional metrics that might be of interest and use to Sales and other departments.

Also note that the name of the manager responsible for the tracking, accuracy and input of the information appears in the left column, so everyone knows whom to consult if an issue arises.

Matt
New leads planned
33
Matt
New leads forecast planned
33
Matt
New leads actual planned
22
Matt
Lead dollars per month planned
$7,000,000
Matt
Lead dollars per month forecast
$8,500,000
Matt
Lead dollars per month actual
$5,312,500
Matt
New prospets planned
10
Matt
New prospects forecast
8
Matt
New prospects actual
5
Matt
Prospects to sale (bid-to-get) planned
45.55%
Matt
Prospects to sale (bid-to-get) actual
43.45%
Matt
Lead-to-get ratio planned
11.11%
Matt
Lead-to-get ratio actual
13.79%
Matt
% of yearly lead goal
146.66%
Matt
% of yearly prospect goal
134.97%
Matt
Backlog in design/build planned
$5,000,000
Matt
Backlog in design/build forecast
$4,200,000
Matt
Backlog in design/build actual
$3,775,000
Matt
Backlog in sales volume planned
$12,687,190
Matt
Backlog in sales volume actual
$13,435,000
Matt
Lead average job size planned
$200,000
Matt
Lead average job size actual
$292,065
Matt
Active leads
46
Matt
Backlog on design/build board planned
$10,000,000
Matt
Backlog on design/build board actual
$8,400,000
Matt
Backlog on signed design/ build actual
$3,775,000
Matt
Number of jobs on desing/build board
34
Matt
Average design/build job size
$343,182
Matt
Backlog on bid board planned
$5,000,000
Matt
Backlog on bid board actual
$5,035,000
Matt
Number of jobs on bid board
12
Matt
Average bid job size
$419,583
Matt
Job sales per month planned
$700,000
Matt
Job sales per month forecast
$425,000
Matt
Job sales per month actual
$425,000

This sheet is not only a tracking tool but also a forecasting tool. It's updated weekly, so the team can look ahead and forecast how the month will end. However, the Metric Scoreboard below shows only how the company actually performed in a month. It's interesting and important to compare forecasts with performance.

This information can be shared and used weekly, monthly, quarterly and/or yearly. At Plaskoff Construction, departments meet weekly to share and input data as a team. This allows them to discuss how they are doing, how they can meet their goals and where they are on their forecast for the month.

Each week, we also conduct a companywide meeting that all department heads must attend but is optional for other employees. At these meetings, we share only the main company metrics sheet, so all employees can view performance. Concerns or questions about forecasts can be directed to department managers after the meeting. These meetings are only for education and sharing knowledge, not discussion, and they generally last about 20 minutes. Departments and department heads, knowing their information will be shared with potentially the entire company, are held accountable for results and accuracy, and employees become involved in all facets of the company, so they can get involved in solutions. At the last companywide meeting of each month, we review forecast-versus-actual results.

Sales
Goal
Actual
Deviation
Closed
 
$700,000
$425,000
($275,000)
Bid-to-get ratio
45.55%
43.45%
(2.10%)
Marketing
Leads #
33%
33
0
Leads $
$7,000,000
$8,500,000
$1,500,000
Average size
$212,000
$257,575
$45,575
Prospects per month
10
8
(2)

In addition, department heads meet monthly to discuss issues raised by employees as well as strategy. The employees' issues are resolved and then shared at the next companywide meeting.

This regular tracking simplifies quarterly and yearly tracking. Quarterly and yearly planning sessions fall under your strategic planning umbrella, and regular tracking gives you timely, accurate and plentiful data with which to work.

A word of warning: Meetings can become overwhelming, too frequent and unproductive if not managed appropriately and held at the time most appropriate for your company. Ask your employees what day and time work best for them, and make your meetings timely, concise and on point. Set time limits and an agenda upfront, follow the agenda and end promptly. Meeting too often can affect productivity and frustrate results-oriented individuals.

Also, clarify for employees that the company's mission outweighs meetings. In other words, for a project manager, client satisfaction takes precedence over attending the weekly meeting. Find the proper balance between employee involvement and job-site management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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