8 Steps to Take in Creating Powerful KPQs

Consumer insights on Key Performance Quesitons

We’re familiar with KPIs (key performance indicators) but I just cam across an article from the Advance Performance Institute on KPQs (key performance questions).

We are usually better off knowing what questions to ask rather than knowing the answers.  Ideally we start by knowing what we’re looking for and then knowing what we’re going to do with the information once we find it.

I’ve seen, and answered, too many questionnaires or surveys that are too long and I seriously doubt that much of the information I’m providing is being put to use in a productive way or providing significant insights.

The article suggest having two to three KPQs for each strategic objective and then using the answers to your KPQs to inform your KPIs.

KPQs should be:

  • Open ended
  • Focused on the present and future rather than the past
  • Short and clear
  • Refined over time to improve their focus

KPQs can be extremely powerful management tools:

  • KPQs enable us to design meaningful performance indicators
  • KPQs wake us up and focus our attention
  • KPQs help us to think clearly, logically and strategically
  • KPQs allow us to challenge the status quo
  • KPQs build a culture of engagement and accountability
  • KPQs unlock a conversation and trigger a dialogue
  • KPQs lead to reflection, new insights, learning and performance improvement

Here are the eight steps for creating powerful KPQs:

  1. Start with your strategic objective and design between one and three KPQs for each objective.
  2. Spend some time and effort to agree the final list of KPQs (try to keep only the critical few).
  3. Engage people and subject matter experts in the creation of your KPQs
  4. If possible, formulate your KPQ as an open question.
  5. Focus your question on the now and the future, and not on the past.
  6. Create a short, focused, clear and unambiguous question.
  7. Refine and improve your KPQs as you use them.
  8. Use your KPQs to guide the design of indicators and to discuss performance.

Are you developing your KPQs prior to developing your KPIs?


About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog.
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2 Responses to 8 Steps to Take in Creating Powerful KPQs

  1. elizabeth dove says:

    I read, with great interest, your comments on how effective KPI’s are in managing a business. I couldn’t agree more. To what degree do you think most businesses today live and die by KPI’s and are software tools designed to help businesses refine these KPI’s over time ?

    • ctsmithiii says:


      Thanks for your interest. I don’t know what percent of businesses use KPIs to manage their business. I know mine does and I’m in the process of updating them for this past month.

      I’m finding Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be very good in providing the reports I need to populate my KPIs. Other people within my organization will have to populate a portion of the spreadsheet from our Sage ERP.

      I’m not sure that software will help businesses refine KPIs as much as the management team determining what they really need to measure, and take action, on an ongoing basis — hence the importance of KPQs.


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