Too many indicators kill the indicators!


Indicators have now become a TREND! All companies are putting them everywhere and in every shape. With lean and obeya, KPI became a solution to everything. The only problem is that companies don’t always know how to use them and sometimes they lose their efficiency completely.

There are too many indicators

An indicator is not bad in itself, but it quickly becomes useless if it is drowned in a host of other indicators. The goal is to highlight an important event to watch. However, if events multiply, it will be very difficult to follow everything.

Most managers manage several projects and therefore follow dozens of indicators. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear him complain because of the abundance of these KPI.  Indeed, it’s very difficult if not impossible for him to monitor so many indicators so regularly, knowing that he also has other tasks in hand.

But then, why is the manager displaying so many?

A lack of trust?

Adding an indicator is sometimes a response to a fear or problem that we don’t know how to solve. This one takes the role of the “solution” because we imagine that if the problem is visible to everyone, someone will eventually take care of it. However, displaying all the “problems” indicators won’t solve anything! A collaborative strategy needs to be developed between the manager and his/her team to understand how to resolve this issue. Of course, displaying KPI is great, but you have to know how to use them and exploit them effectively.
Be careful not to take the problem backwards! Find the source of the problem before posting it and if you are lost or need help, think about your team!

Usefulness of indicators

Of course, this doesn’t mean that indicators are useless and that they should be removed. These are essential management tools only if they are used properly.

Here are some tips:

  • Adapt KPI to each manager, team & project
  • Limit KPI to 5 per screen
  • Don’t hesitate to change them
  • Analyze KPI as a team and seek insights from everyone
  • Delete a KPI if it no longer has interest


Do you need help setting up KPI and creating screens to optimize your digital visual management?

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