By Robbert van Os
Posted on 2023-03-03T00:00:00.000Z

Help, I need to track KPI's for my technology department!

Learn how to track KPIs for your technology department with these 5 steps. Set goals, determine KPIs, set targets, track progress, and adjust as needed.

As businesses grow and evolve, measuring performance and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) becomes increasingly important. This is especially true for technology departments, where the pace of change is rapid and the impact of technology on business outcomes is significant.

KPI Setting for Startups in Technology Teams: A Challenge

For startups, setting KPIs for technology teams can be especially challenging. The pace of change in a startup environment is often rapid, and goals and priorities can shift quickly. Additionally, startups may not have established processes or systems in place for tracking KPIs.

When setting KPIs for a startup technology team, it's important to strike a balance between setting goals that are ambitious and realistic. Startups often have limited resources and competing priorities, so KPIs should be achievable within the context of the resources and constraints that exist.

Another challenge in KPI setting for startups is identifying the right metrics to track. Startups may be innovating in new areas, and may not have established benchmarks or industry standards to compare against. In these cases, it may be necessary to develop custom metrics that are specific to the startup's goals and context.

Despite these challenges, setting KPIs for technology teams in startups is essential for driving progress and ensuring that technology investments are delivering value. By taking a thoughtful and agile approach to KPI setting, startups can establish a foundation for success and create a culture of continuous improvement.

Managing Dependencies: Creating Independent and Shared KPIs

When tracking KPIs for a technology department, it's common to encounter dependencies with other departments or areas of the business. For example, a technology KPI around system uptime may be impacted by factors outside of the technology department's control, such as changes made by a different department to the underlying infrastructure.

While these dependencies can make it more challenging to track and measure progress, they also underscore the importance of creating KPIs that align with overall business goals. Technology KPIs should roll up to broader company objectives, so it's important to consider the interdependencies between technology and other parts of the organization.

One approach to managing dependencies is to create KPIs that are independent of other departments. For example, a technology KPI around time to market for a new product might be measured independently, but still align with a broader company objective around innovation or revenue growth.

Another approach is to create shared KPIs that involve multiple departments. This can help align incentives and drive collaboration across different parts of the organization. For example, a shared KPI around customer satisfaction might involve both the technology and customer service departments.

Regardless of the approach taken, it's important to communicate clearly with other departments and stakeholders about KPIs and their interdependencies. By creating transparency and alignment around KPIs, technology departments can drive progress toward overall company goals and create a culture of accountability and results.

What about you?

If you find yourself in the position of needing to track KPIs for your technology department, don't panic. Here are some steps you can take to get started:

  1. Identify your goals: Before you can measure anything, you need to know what you're trying to achieve. Start by identifying the goals of your technology department. What do you want to accomplish? What outcomes are you trying to drive? Examples of technology department goals might include improving system uptime, reducing time to market for new products or services, or increasing customer satisfaction with technology services.

  2. Determine your KPIs: Once you've identified your goals, you can start to think about the KPIs that will help you measure progress toward those goals. KPIs should be specific, measurable, and relevant to your goals. Some examples of KPIs for a technology department might include:

    • Mean time to repair (MTTR): This measures how long it takes to fix a system or service after it goes down.
    • Time to market: This measures how long it takes to develop and launch a new product or service.
    • Customer satisfaction: This measures how happy customers are with the technology services they receive.
  3. Set targets: Once you've identified your KPIs, you need to set targets for each one. Targets should be realistic and achievable, but also challenging enough to drive improvement. For example, if your current MTTR is 4 hours, you might set a target of reducing it to 2 hours within the next 6 months.

  4. Implement tracking and reporting: To track your KPIs, you'll need to implement a system for collecting data and reporting on progress. This might involve setting up automated monitoring tools, implementing manual data collection processes, or using a combination of both. You'll also need to establish a reporting cadence and format, so that you can regularly communicate progress to stakeholders.

  5. Continuously evaluate and adjust: Finally, it's important to remember that KPIs aren't set in stone. As your business and technology environment evolves, your goals and KPIs may need to be adjusted. Regularly evaluate your KPIs and adjust as necessary to ensure they remain relevant and effective.

In conclusion, tracking KPIs for a technology department can seem daunting, but it's an important part of driving business outcomes and ensuring that technology is delivering value. By following these steps and staying focused on your goals, you can develop an effective KPI tracking system that helps you measure progress and continuously improve.