Strategic Measurements that Elevate Business Performance

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Strategic measurements are metrics used to monitor how well a business delivers on its strategic imperatives. These strategic imperatives generally cover five areas. They are customer, financial, operations, people, and partner.

In monitoring performance in these five areas, it is a question about what information the business needs to convey that it is successful.


Understanding the unique value proposition of the business is key to determining the best metrics on success in this imperative. The common metrics include customer satisfaction, net promoter score, and customer effort score. These generic metrics are good but not enough. The business needs to use more poignant metrics to monitor whether customers indeed receive the promised value proposition.

The best way is to monitor whether the business has delivered the promised value is to ask the customers directly. If a value proposition for a wholesaler was one-stop shop, it would have to ask its customers if the product portfolio and services are adequate in enabling the customers to do one-stop shopping. The best way is to monitor whether the business has delivered the promised value is to ask the customers directly. Share on X


Financial metrics might be the most straightforward area to report on. There are the typical metrics on revenue and profit. The aggregate data are readily available and accessible from the finance application. However, another level of detail is necessary.

Profit by product or service category is essential information for determining sustainability of various offerings. Without the breakdown information, marketing programs could be misdirected. The ability to conduct proper analysis is subject to sound operational metrics.


Operational metrics provide signals on efficiency. Inefficiencies impact the bottom-line directly.

The ability to allocate expenses by product or task facilitates a better understanding on specific product or service margin. In addition to disaggregated margins, productivity metrics are useful for evaluating resource deployment.

Key productivity metrics include labour, material, and capital. These ratios provide the basis for assessment of processes, systems and tools deployed. There will be a plethora of operational metrics for consideration. The key is to identify what the business should focus on.


Metrics related to people are often linked to individual performance. Volume based metrics such as the number of transactions completed per hour are common.

Individual performance monitoring usually causes people to put on a defensive mindset when questions raised about their performance. The evaluation of past performance is useful but a forward-looking perspective is more beneficial.

Shifting business needs and technology advancement place a growing need to identify skill and knowledge gaps. As a result, investment in employee development to ensure competency is important to monitor.

This includes technical knowledge and soft skills. Gaps in technical skills are relatively simpler to address via training. The soft skills, leadership for instance, require coaching and are developed over time. Paying attention to these forward-looking metrics would be advantageous.


Partners include vendors and others the business relies on to complement its ability to serve. The metrics associated with partner performance are often overlooked.

For instance, an e-commerce retailer which relies on a 3rd-party to do delivery essentially has this outsourced delivery partner act as an extension of its operations. The receiver of the product views the delivery an integral part of the total experience.

Metrics such as on-time delivery, damage, and service are important to monitor. It would be good to establish performance targets and include them in the service agreement with the delivery company. Inattention to these metrics would lead to customer dissatisfaction and revenue loss.

Pertinent strategic measurements are essential. They need to be looked at holistically because there are interdependencies. These metrics ought to be aligned in order to optimize performance. Otherwise, conflicting priorities would chew up resources inadvertently.

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