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Setting up performance indicator systems

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!” Numerous key performance indicator management systems have been set up in line with this well known management motto, although their existence often does not necessarily mean that the desired result is achieved. Why do things go wrong so frequently? And how can we change this?

Since the discussions about a “Balanced Score Card” and the “Economic Value Added”, this topic has not been such a frequent part of public debate, but creating or checking key performance indicator systems in order to measure the success of your own organization is still a core task of every new departure. Intero Consulting has filtered out some of the most frequent errors from its numerous projects and has created corresponding design rules.


  • Key performance indicator systems are intended to supply a rapid and focused overview and an initial indication of possible causes of inefficiency and problems. This is only possible by recording the complete functional chain and being aware of all factors which influence results.
  • Often target values are immediately assigned to key performance indicators, but without a clear preliminary analysis or overview of all factors. This automatically leads to errors in control, as goals are either unrealistic and thus treated as unfeasible, or the company or department promotes the wrong initiatives in the long run, thereby wasting resources.
  • Finally, the effort of gathering the data and the information which is gleaned from it is often disproportionate. This mostly results from an abstract definition of the requirements and a failure to check the relevance of the results.


  • Intero Consulting first prepares a cause-and-effect matrix which covers the full range of services in the service provision which is to be audited. On this basis, key performance indicators are created and selected.
  • Intero Consulting also determines target ranges on the basis of comparative values and various scenario calculations. On this basis, appropriate guide values can be derived for the purpose of setting objectives by the management team.
  • By applying an evaluation matrix, it is possible to determine the value derived by the company concerned on the basis of the amount of work involved in the survey and its informative value. It is also possible to assess the extent to which it is necessary to create new structures and processes for gathering data.


  • A significant increase in transparency, allowing controls to be implemented for processes and services quickly and at an early stage.
  • Sustainable management of projects and activities, which creates clarity within the company concerning criteria for success, thus providing employees with benchmarks for their activities.
  • Implementation of optimized data acquisition and key performance indicator calculation, which ensures the sustainability of performance auditing and control.

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