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KPI practices to motivate and leverage productivity of tech teams

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One of the most important factors in business is the performance of technology teams responsible for IT support and development of new products and services for customers. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are vital in project management to monitor the team’s productivity and performance in an effective way. They provide specific, tangible data that can inform business decisions.

Although creating KPIs seems straightforward, many project managers make mistakes in identifying, organising, and tracking them. As a result, ineffective KPI management can undermine productivity and cause a lack of focus. For example, focusing too much on profit, which although important, is not the only applicable KPI, especially for tech teams that are not directly involved with sales.

Here are some tips on how you can properly define KPIs for your tech team to help your project reach its goal.

  1. Define the role of the team in the organisation

As a project manager you need to consider the team’s role within the organisation alongside the organisation’s goals.

Project managers work with different teams all the time and to manage a tech team, KPIs need to be defined carefully to ensure the project meets its goals and the tech team knows what they need to do. Organisations should strive to work with a strategic tech team because it fosters the development of new technology that can contribute to the growth of the company.

If the team’s main purpose is to resolve tech-related problems, then the team is functional. If the team is responsible for developing new approaches and adopting new technology to reduce business costs and speed up issue resolution, then it’s transformational.

  1. Encourage collaboration

Teamwork is a strong precursor of success in any business, so if you create a KPI which you simply hand down to your team at the beginning of a project, chances are that they’ll fail to meet it. They understand what it takes to meet a goal, so encourage an environment where everyone works together.

For example, let’s suppose that the manager of a company is frustrated with the current pace of innovation in the organisation and wishes to release new features in the existing products every month. The data they possess supports this idea, so they create a KPI and command the team to meet this requirement.

However, researchers from the team end up spending a lot of time studying what features are desired by the target audience and struggle on their own. Working with them from the start will help manage the customers, as well as your own expectations.

  1. Make KPIs measurable

This is an essential requirement because it defines whether a team is making progress or not. This can help you advise and work with the team to ensure you achieve the project goals. Besides, it’s critical to determine if a team is really on track to hit the KPI, which would be difficult if it was vague and not quantifiable.

  1. Make sure that everyone understands

One reason why tech teams often fail to hit KPIs is that some of the technical components or concepts are not completely understood by everyone. For example, managers can measure some success by using complex technical measures, which may be a problem as some members may be completely lost.

To avoid that, describe a KPI in a way that everyone can understand and ask questions to make sure the team is on the same page.

  1. Don’t set too many KPIs

Setting KPIs may be fun, but if you get carried away, your team may not appreciate it. In many cases project managers may think numerous KPIs are necessary to be thorough, but this can add unnecessary pressure, so keep the number of KPIs for one project around ten. Setting a KPI is like creating an entirely new process or strategy; each one should be treated accordingly.

Have you found that KPIs are effective when working with a tech team in your project? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Bakhtiar Zein/


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