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KPIs are metrics to monitor or measure that things are working properly, and a dashboard is a summary of those KPIs.

Over the past two episodes of my journaling, I spoke about silos in organizations and breaking them down, rebuilding them in a holistic manner where one part is no more important than any other part, or the sum of the whole, using the human body as a great example. In order to accomplish that there needs to be a mechanism or path to do so. I have found that the gap analysis is the best way.

By definition, a gap analysis is in management in volves the comparison of actual performance with potential of desired performance. In other words, you know where you want to be, you know where you are; how do you get there.

One of the best ways to think of it is liken to building a 2000-piece puzzle, or any number of pieces. You know what the final picture looks like, and you have all the pieces. Just like with a gap analysis, there is not just one way to achieve the result. I have found that there are three ways to build a large puzzle:

  • Build the border first and fill in the rest, most common approach
  • Put all the pieces out and find what fits together, most complicated
  • Build known sections, place them in appropriate locations and fill in around them

Two other factors that are necessary in achieving your final process and achieving your goals are Key Performance Indicators, (KPIs), and a dashboard. I believe we all know or should know what these are.

KPIs are metrics to monitor or measure that things are working properly, and a dashboard is a summary of these KPIs in aggregate for ongoing evaluation, and trends, typically taken for granted. Could you operate your car without a dashboard? Will you know your speed or when you are low on gas, tracking your miles as to when you need an oil change, and even how far to get to your destination?

Believe it or not, dashboards of KPIs can encourage team comradery, as all are working towards the same goals. Remember, the silos are rebuilt for:

  • Knowledge sharing
  • Cross functionality
  • Interoperability
  • Standardization
  • Accountability

Going back to the human body as the best example of holism, we have KPIs and dashboards there:

  • Labs
  • Monitors when hospitalized
  • And more

Use a gap analysis to rebuild your silos, your puzzle, using your own technique. Make sure to include KPIs and dashboards for monitoring ongoing activity, goal achievement, and sustainability of results.

Remember this: without dashboards and goals, you won’t know where you’re going and when and how you got there.

Don’t run blind!

Programming note: Listen every Tuesday to “Journaling John MD” on Talk Ten Tuesdays at 10 Eastern.

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