Foster a KPI

Jota , "dont dream it, be it"
5 min readNov 6, 2020

Leadership Recipes:

Going back to writing is something pretty hard. Time takes a toll and the ideas do not go out with the same flow as they used to before.

So, that is the reason why I am doing this.

To structure my voice again.

I want to share some tips and tricks that I have been practicing during the last couple of years. They are not “leadership recipes” but things that I believe my team helped me to do differently.

The first 5 articles that I am writing are:

  1. Team identity:
  2. Shared Vision
  3. Safe Spaces for team development
  4. Giving and receiving feedback
  5. Learning and sharing

Please, any suggestion, recommendation, or constructive criticism are welcome.

#helpmegrow

A Team Identity Recipe:

Many times I have been asked about what are the biggest challenges that I have faced as a leader and even though the normal answer is “depends” in most situations it is safe to say “To create a team identity”.

I am well aware that depends may look like a get out of the jail free card, but in management, you face completely different problems in many moments of your career. When you are building a team different techniques are needed and the problems that you have are not the ones that you have once you have a fully established team. The next level is when you are running a few multidisciplinary teams as it was my case.

For the last 5 years, I have lead the Digital Sales and Digital presence teams in one of the biggest health insurance companies, 27 FTE counting Devs, UX & UI, Project Managers, SEO, Performance, email marketing, and customer service teams.

I know what you are thinking right now. Christmas parties were quite fun.

;)

Having such a diverse team presents several problems.

  1. First, everybody has tunnel vision all around. As a specialist, they only think in the problem from their point of view. The second derivate of this situation is that normally they blame on other parts of the team for the problems that they may suffer. “I am not hitting the numbers as the devs…”
  2. Secondly, you have informational silos. Performance specialist report on CPC / CPA, SEO, Visits, UX, Bounce Rate, Devs, releases, PM time to market, customer service NPS… You name it. I do not want a metric, I want the insight, the number behind it.
  3. Finally, they do not build together. As objectives are normally role oriented, they do not collaborate. (and if you are working under a matrix structure, you know how big the pain it is.

Long story short, you manage a department instead of facilitating for a team.

So, cross-functional teams, ages between 26 to 46, and pretty much a completely different language.

Building the Identity:

I launched an initiative called “Foster a KPI” to create a team identity. It is true that the process is hard to implement on the beginning, but it is pretty easy to keep alive and it works to showcase “why are we here and why are we together”

  1. You have to divide all your initiatives into a simple set of metrics. Something easy to follow and to communicate.
  2. Acquisition metrics: Tráfic & Paid Traffic (Number and Percentage)
  3. Activation: Conversion Rate, Bounce, NPS
  4. Efficiency: CPC, CPA
  5. Next task is to assign each metric to someone that has nothing to do with it and this is something extremely important. The reason why its not about avoiding them to brag about their numbers or present excuses is about bringing new knowledge on the table. Example: If the SEO person has to explain why the CPA or CPL has dropped (or not) he/she will have to ask around and learn some new stuff. Keep a few metrics for yourself.
  6. Prepare the monthly half an hour meeting and do the homework. Share the templates you are going to use and explain how would you like them to present the data, who is going to be on the meeting, and remind them that this is something meant to be made as a team( that there is no problem if some numbers are wrong the first times, as maybe you are the one that has not explained yourself right.) Reinforce the safe space for some is going to be the first time talking about some of those numbers.
  7. At the first meeting, set the stage. If you tell the story before, the team will tend to follow the same structure. I found this hard in the beginning, but we came across additional benefits. If you set how conversations are structured around your numbers, you are changing the company culture. (you coach the system to change the culture)
  8. In the first couple of meetings, people will get the numbers wrong, surely they will not know what causes what and they may feel embarrassed of explaining the “work of others” but that is completely right. Just let them know in advance.

What did we get in the end?

  1. Each member of the team knew how their work was related to the rest of the team. Before the information flow was vertical (bottom-up to me), then it changed to be more horizontal as they wanted to help the rest of the team in this task and they started to visualize how could they collaborate.
  2. Second, they get recognition, by listening to others explaining what have they accomplished they get the ego boost.
  3. Finally, as we rotate the KPI on a regular basis, they get to know more about the other roles. (how the increase of investment normally brings prices up, how changing the literals on a web page increase the conversion rate so the prices drop or how by improving the response time of the web page, the conversion is higher and the prices lower.

The day after:

Years have passed since we started this journey, it is true that we skip some sessions and that it took time, but we got that feeling of belonging, of understanding how do we relate to each other, and the ego boost of knowing that we were the ones that were pushing up those numbers, the ones that could tell the story of what was going on, the ones that really knew why we are there, as a team.

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Jota , "dont dream it, be it"

Passionate Rock Climber, Avid Mountaineer, and clumsy surfer. I create safe spaces for team development. Hands-On Marketing Director