Turnover, complaint rate, on-time delivery – key figures like these have become an integral part of modern (quality) management: After all, they make it possible to measure the quality of products and processes in a comprehensible manner and thus to continuously improve them. However, not everyone involved is always enthusiastic about the use of key figures. But how can this conflict be resolved?

Such measurements play a decisive role in the management of a company: after all, they provide important insights into the company's performance and thus represent an integral part of the proven PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) and therefore of the Continual Improvement Process (CIP).

More Than a Normative Necessity

When applying common standards such as ISO 9001 in quality management, the definition of key performance indicators is also generally considered necessary in practice, as can be seen from an article (in German) published by the German Association for Quality. In order to meet this necessity, a great deal of effort is often required: the correct key figures must be identified, collected continuously and as accurately as possible and then interpreted.

In addition to the workload, employees sometimes fear that their own performance will be monitored and perhaps even sanctioned on the basis of the figures collected. Companies that limit themselves too much to achieving short-term, easily quantifiable targets can also run the risk of losing sight of their long-term strategic development.

Performance Indicators and their Selection

In order to capture factors that cannot be measured directly, quality auditor and keynote speaker Dr. Markus Reimer, for example, advocates the term "performance indicators" instead of "key figures". According to Reimer at the Q.Events 2023, these indicators should measure the performance of the processes in the company, which in turn serve to achieve corporate goals. In short: the performance indicators should be in line with the company's objectives.

If this is the case, then some of the previously exemplified reservations can already be resolved: Firstly, the focus is now on the company's strategic goals, and the risk of too much focus on short-term goals is reduced as a result. Similarly, monitoring and possible sanctioning of employees is not the main focus – it is not primarily about monitoring the performance of individuals, but about measuring and making transparent the performance of company processes.

A Quick Look at the Most Important Data

In terms of transparency, it is also helpful to have the easiest possible access to these performance indicators: the more such data can be recorded automatically or at least with little effort and then brought together in one place, the lower the probability of errors due to manual transfer and the lower the effort required to record and analyze the performance indicators. This can also have a positive effect on their acceptance.

At the same time, it quickly becomes clear where there is a need for action. The aforementioned PDCA cycle does not end with the "check", but the data collected should also lead to concrete actions with a view to the company's goals and continuous improvement.

Increasing Acceptance and Motivation

Choosing the right performance indicators is therefore an important factor in increasing their acceptance within the company: if they are in line with the company's goals and are easy to read, this can significantly increase their acceptance. This transparency can also help employees to better recognize their contribution to the company's success and thus increase their motivation.

Audit software BabtecQ on desktop
Important Data at a Glance

In order to visualize performance indicators transparently, the dashboards in BabtecQ combine important key figures from the modules of the QM software, external data from third-party software or Excel data sheets as well as from other databases. The Quality Cockpit provides important quality-related key figures.

More about the Quality Cockpit


No Comments

Write Comment

[Translate to English:] Q.Mail auf dem Tablet
Your Newsletter for Quality

With our Q.Mail, we deliver news from the world of quality management directly to your inbox. This newsletter for QM is issued every two months and is of course free of charge and without obligation.

Networking und der Austausch mit Branchenkollegen aus dem Qualitätsmanagement
Be our Guest at Exclusive Events

We invite you to exciting presentations by renowned experts, interdisciplinary dialogue and high-quality networking – find the event format that suits you!

Unsere gemeinsamen Werte
Get to Know Babtec as an Employer

As an expanding company, we are always on the lookout for committed young talent and experienced specialists. Whether a breath of fresh air or many years of expertise – we are happy to welcome new members!