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Strategic Planning
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators are measures of an essential performance outcome of a particular organizational performance activity or an important indicator of a precise health condition of an organization.

Value to the Process

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide the foundation that allows strategic planning to answer these fundamental questions:

  1. What measures will our stakeholders (both internal and external) use to determine whether we are being successful? Put another way…What are our obligations as an educational institution and how can our successful achievement of these obligations be measured?
  2. What are the most important outcomes of performance that will demonstrate our success?
  3. What are the institutional factors of which we must be continually aware and attempt to control (e.g., allocations, grants, public relations, retention, recruitment)?
Fundamental Features of KPIs

To be of legitimate use in strategic planning, KPIs:

  • Must be clearly defined
  • Must be measurable
  • Must have an identifiable and consistent method of measuring over time
  • Must clearly articulate and connect to a specific goal that the university wishes to achieve or a direction it wishes to head
Use of KPIs

By the end of the strategic planning process, every Master Goal (those fundamental constructs identified by the university as necessary to achieve its definition of excellence) will have a set of KPIs that will be constantly reviewed to evaluate the status of achievement of each Master Goal.

The concept of “Key Performance Indicators” is credited to D. Rowley, H. Lujan, and M. Dolence (1997), in Strategic Change in Colleges and Universities: Planning to Survive and Prosper (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass). All information on this page is quoted from or otherwise attributed to their work.