A fast and furious recovery!

Will Zoom meetings become the post-pandemic new normal? It may be too soon to say. What we do know is there’s a high degree of uncertainty in the design industry. We also know from previous recessions that when the spring back happens it will be fast and furious.

In times like these we need to rethink our performance measures and set new goals for the next three, six and 12 months. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the perfect way to do it. Whether you have set KPIs in the past now is the time to get onto it.

Stressed, separated, and challenged to do their best in lockdown, designers need greater insight into how they’re doing. Productivity now demands more appropriate measures. But also needs new types of communication.

Resetting KPIs is a perfect way to manage client expectations and ensure that working from home actually works.

Learn to love your KPIs

The right KPIs will help you achieve results faster. There are 5 reasons to develop KPIs.

To monitor business health.
To measure progress over time.
To make adjustments and stay on track.
To solve problems or tackle opportunities.
To analyse patterns over time.


Now is the time to set some short term very specific KPIs that will help you manage the disruption in bite sized chunks.

There are two KPIs we need to rethink in the current climate.

Customer KPIs: Traditionally these metrics describe the real and potential economic value of prospects, leads, and clients. We would examine what insights we get by profiling these prospects, leads, and customers. What are the trends in their spending? How vulnerable are they in a depression? What is the likely change in their lifetime value? Which touch points matter most? What behaviours signal churn? Which clients are the 20% of the segment driving 80% of the outcomes?
Now we need something much more micro. We need to set KPIs that track the conversion of prospects to clients over a short period.
“By November we will have contacted 30 prospects, made five pitches and quoted on three new jobs.”
This is an achievable KPI within a short time frame.
Now extend that and develop KPI’s for six and 12 months.

Studio analytics: These KPIs measure the productivity and engagement of the team. In the current climate where working from home is an on-again off-again exercise we need to be more specific in our KPIs.

For example. “To log 7 hours per day with 5 hours accounted to jobs in progress as reported in the studio management system.”

Developing some simple short term KPIs will allow you to manage in these uncertain times and better prepare you for a healthier more certain future.


KPIs are more than numbers you report out weekly or monthly – they help you understand the performance and health of your studio so that you can make critical decisions to achieve your strategic goals. Knowing and measuring the right KPIs will help you achieve results faster.

Greg Branson

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Greg Branson

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business. He applies this research in mentoring and coaching.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path.

 Contact Greg.