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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2013
I am a business statistician an have experience in performance measurement.
I wanted to get a good grounding in KPIs.
The book gives what seems to be a good comprehensive guide into a 12 step model for implementing a KPI system. It also gives a "resource kit" set of tools and templates to use for each step.

I found this book reasonably clear, though I did have to "study" rather than read parts of it to fully work out connections between chapters, and it left a some gaps in my knowledge. However, this is a very useful book which I will keep to hand when I am working with KPIs.

The book can't - and doesn't aim - to do everything, so for complete coverage of the topic you will probably also need:
- a book focusing on the design of balanced scorecards and charting (e.g. Balanced scorecards & operational dashboards with Microsoft Excel - of which the second half of the book on drawing scorecard charts in Excel is very helpful)
- a book giving detailed discussion on specific KPIs (e.g Key Performance Indicators by Bernard Marr which discusses 75 KPIs in detail)
- a book on designing charts/scorecards - perhaps one by Stephen Few would be best

These 4 books would, I think be a pretty much complete guide.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
David Parmenter is a Chartered Accountant (New Zealand as well as England and Wales) and a leading expert and presenter on performance measures. This book had been on my "to read" list for some time, and recently when considering the applicability of Kaplan and Norton's "Balanced Scorecard" (see, e.g.Balanced Scorecard, The: Translating Strategy into Action) approach for a particular organisation I decided to make the investment; luckily, my delay means I have purchased the recently published second edition (2010).

This book stands out as different from the Preface; over just nine pages the author tells you exactly how to use the book to implement a successful KPI project, refers you to additional material on two other websites (most of which is free of charge), gives you a model letter to write to the CEO to explain his or her involvement if a project is to be successful, and provides an overview of each chapter and a table to specify who - e.g. CEO, KPI Project Team, User Team Co-ordinators - needs to read and apply which. It's pretty clear from this that this is not an academic discourse on performance metrics, rather it's a practical and prescriptive handbook about how to do it - or, indeed, not to do it: in several places, Parmenter tells you, in effect - if you haven't got that level of commitment, or preparation, or time - forget it! postpone or cancel the project.

He doesn't just refer to the Balanced Scorecard, his methods are based squarely on Kaplan and Norton's work, and he takes the idea to new level. He proposes, for example, six "perspectives", adding Employee Satisfaction and Environment/Community to the original four (financial, customer focus, internal process and learning and growth). He makes definitions more rigorous, e.g. for Critical Success Factors and of the types of performance measure that help an organisation achieve them - Key Result Indicators, Result Indicators, Performance Indicators and finally Key Performance Indicators - the latter being those (relatively few, always less than 10)things that tell you what to do to "increase the performance of an organisation dramatically". He's critical of the imprecise use of KPI to describe less critical measures, and he illustrates what a real KPI should look like with a few examples. One that he uses throughout the book is that of a "senior BA official" (whom I think he eventually identifies as John King, later Lord King) who adopted "late planes" as the primary KPI for the airline and in so doing turned the airline around. By getting the planes to leave on time, everything else fell into place, and to get that to happen the CEO picked up the phone to the unfortunate manager responsible every time a plane was reported as late. Parmenter is also keen on the business dashboard concept, giving a number of examples.

This book is a detailed and prescriptive action plan for deciding what an organisation's CSFs, KPIs and other performance measures should be and how such measures should be implemented. It's written primarily for large corporates, but he provides some additional guidance for those applying his approach in smaller companies and not-for-profit organisations. Occasionally the level of detail seems a little over the top - e.g. "pack power cable for laptop"!

Applying Parmenter's methodology is "non-trivial" to say the least, and I suspect that he would be unapologetic - if you want it to work well, you have to invest the time and to get as many people in the organisation involved in the project as possible. There are other ways of implementing KPIs that are less onerous, and I know that these can work well in small organisations. Even if the full implementation methodology goes beyond what you feel you need for your organisation, however, you'll get a great many ideas from this book. There is a list of more than 300 performance measures in an Annex at the back of the book, to help you select what your KPIs and other measures should be. This book is highly recommended to anyone trying to manage an organisation better or trying to measure how well it's performing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2013
This has to be the most frustrating management book I have read. At over £20 I think it is unquestionably over-priced for what you get.

The author clearly knows his KPI stuff, but avoids divulging a lot of his knowledge in this book. Instead throughout this book he refers you to additional material on a web site that no longer exists. For example, he refers to white papers and web casts on showing what you should do when implementing KPIs, etc, but when you get there the web site no longer exists. And for a book that is not even 3 years old, this is a sin.

Other issues I have with this book are:

1. He refers mainly to just one performance measure example in his book - British Airways in the 1980s under Lord King! Now this is old. Frustratingly, there are hardly any references to any other case studies or examples covering the last decade in this book.

2. He sells himself and his services in this book, frequently pointing you to his own web site where the vast majority of content is chargeable.

3. In the section on critical success factors (CSFs), there is not enough emphasis on the customer as the no.1 focus. It is critical when developing or defining any company's CSFs that the main emphasis has to be on the customer - what is critical to success in any organisation is satisfying the customer.

I would advise finding a more suitable book that is much more reasonably priced.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2011
A really practical, easy to read, common-sense book about Key Perfromance Indicators (KPIs). It offers an excellent introduction to KPIs and basis for introducing and implementing them within an organisation, and is followed by resource kits and templates. The only problem is that the words 'resource kits' and 'templates' suggest I am free to use them but both the copyright and the format (a book) prevent this. A reprint in a manual format in line with other publishers would serve to protect those parts which the author wishes to protect and make available those resources and templates intended for wide use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2013
David Parmenter knows his subject, has many years of experience and has written an informative book. I was disappointed that the book was also a sales document.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2011
All in all the book is good, it contains a good introduction to what KPIs are, their importance and the differences between them, RIs, and simple PI's. It also has a good amount of information about how to develop and implement KPIs. This in itself fulfils the objective of the book, or at least you get what the title says. The reservations I have regarding this book are mainly related to two things:

1.- The author sells himself too much, he's always hinting at available templates and extra material on his website that you can get by paying extra money, granted some(but not much) of the material is free.

2.- The book is very focused on management and financial issues. I was personally hoping for something more oriented into manufacturing, process or general factory level Performance Indicators and Key Performance Indicators, so I couldn't get much from this book, at least not directly. Although it will perhaps help me develop some ideas about how to go about my needs.

In general I believe this is a good book if your a manager, CEO, or are in a position to lead a team that can help you develop and implement better KPIs. If you are just seeking better understanding of KPIs and are not a manager this is perhaps not the best book. Although it would provide a good general idea of the subject, it is mainly a list of steps, tips and many redundant comments drilling the same information into you over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
While there is some good general advise I found this book had far too simplistic a view of how organisations function. In this world data to support the measures is available and needs no auditing or validation and teams seem to have unlimited time to do workshops and communicate. And directors don't throw ridiculous expectations around like confetti at a wedding.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2011
Exciting isn't the sort of word you associate with a business book, but this one really sets you thinking.

Highly recommended - in case you hadn't worked that out! I'm an MBA implementing IT systems to address many senior executives' concerns in this area.

This book is excellent at dispelling some of the myths about measuring business performance, and should be compulsory reading for any Directors of a business, and for the entire Finance function of any business.

The book does offer ways to address common mistakes with advice such as "KPI's should not be financial" as a good example.

There's additional material available on line from links in the book, and the author has a good blog too with updated thoughts.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2010
A very easy book to read would recommend this to any one involved in producing Kpi's
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