Improve your metrics using this easy flashcard system.
From schools to universities the use of flashcards has been applied for many years with great success. You probably have used them already or know someone that has used them. Their format ranges from paper to card to electronic app software solutions.
Did you realize that flashcards can also be applied outside the academic arena and into normal commercial environments? You are probably are using a version of them. It’s called a framework, checklist or reminder notification.
For any busy manager or leader using a visual reminder can become an invaluable reference tool to ensure the full portfolio of approaches is given to a wider strategy. In our case today, we look at a manager or team member active and responsible for some metrics or reporting KPI’s.
The use of flashcards when working with KPI’s and metrics offer new advantages.
1) Data and reporting is too often an outcome of measures that are treated in the same way each review cycle. The responsible person for review of the measures becomes habit driven in their response and management of the metrics.
2) Cognitive bias and limited belief questioning and eroding analysis skills sets creep in over time. – Flashcards can be used as a training tool so their use and application reinforce the fresh perspectives and critical thinking skills.
3) It works! Consider amongst the tools mentioned within by Time magazine that shows beneficial evidence in the use and application of flashcards.
We decided to share a sample of the full range of flashcards we already use within JAMSO. The free pdf (subject to you joining our monthly newsletter) is ideal for anyone implementing for new managers or with current experienced leaders managing metrics and key performance indicators.
How it works: -
- Simply enter your email address and download the free pdf document.
- Then print out the sheets and trim to size.
- Carry the cards with you and review a set short session daily.
- Write in pencil the date and the actions, comments taken on the reverse of each card.
- Mix the cards daily
- Use the cards to stimulate ideas, enhance quality and ask the correct questions with your project.
- Set aside the cards you no longer have need for
- Create your own cards using the blank template with your own ideas or the additional free list provided within the pdf.
- Reflect on your answers and actions to check for natural bias and critical thinking actions.
FAQ about the JAMSO Metrics flashcards
How should I use them on a normal working day?
Follow the guidelines above in the “How it works” section.
How can I use them just as a training tool?
1) Their use is optimally in pairs but can be used solo or in wider team groups.
2) Raise the card with the text shown to the participant.
3) The user of the card then seeks to correlate the word used to tactical and strategic activity within your reports and measures.
4) Record and use the outcomes to ensure overtime that the full range of gamification management tools are deployed, utilized and considered.
5) Review the learning on a periodic basis.
Are flash cards not just for learning?
The original intent for flashcards has indeed been used for learning. However, in our experience, we have found and discovered people using them as inspiration, reminder tools, and self-development tools. So, we have extended our encouragement of flash card use away from a workshop and training environment and into the workplace to boost and improve your results with metric measures.
Are flashcards not just for school kids?
No. Although teaching methods have adopted the use of flashcards in recent years, their embrace of the system does not mean they apply only to children. Try them; you will be surprised and pleased with the results.
What other free resources does JAMSO provide?
We are proud of our reputation to provide people and companies possibly the widest free portfolio in the areas of metrics, goal setting, and gamification. We have hundreds of free resources both created and curated for each of these key areas. Find many on our social media platform of Pinterest and also through this website. Most articles are supported with free downloads and useful tips. Do not forget that this is just a sample of what we offer to our paid clients. So, get in contact with us with your project needs.
An example case of the metrics flashcards in a business setting:
Diana is a busy retail manager for a shop in Southern France. The shop sells furniture for high-end customers and occasional business clients. She is very busy managing the staff, stock, finances, advertising and profitability of the store. Other responsibilities include building maintenance, competitor analysis, and market trends.
Diana has been promoted from sales assistant to store manager and is in her third year within that position. She is seeking to get more from the information she holds but has limited experience and skills in data management.
Using standard histograms and monthly reports Diana has pleased her store owner but realizes there is more potential to be gained from smarter analysis of the various measures the business collects through a normal trading year.
Reporting is a monthly task with a high skew to lagging metrics such as sales made, stock levels and cash flow status.
After a review of prior metrics and current metrics, Diana gathered her 2 sales assistance and 1 warehouse manager to a 4-hour workshop meeting.
They used the flashcards to question the actual measures, frequency, and use of each metric. Then the flashcard helped apply new questions and research needed to challenge benchmarks, standards, and assumptions.
Diana reviewed the output from the workshop and made some simple changes. Others needed to wait as more clarification was gathered on other areas measured.
After two months some improvements had already been noticed by the business owner, Diana and the shop workers. They had discovered new ways to improve shipments so as to maximize the payment terms and minimize the stock holding period by an average of 3 days. This improvement to cash flow freed up money to invest in better analytics software and training.
In the course of a 12 month period, the store improved its profitability, reduced the time spent on reactionary market sales offers and helped improve the safety in the warehouse area.
They then create new flashcards for other areas of their business covering sales procedures and marketing.
The reality of today’s commercial environment makes it harder for small companies to compete with large multinational companies. However, through the application of system tools, it becomes possible to increase your competitive edge and define your niche so that not only can you compete and service, but thrive.
Using flashcards for metrics and KPI’s management helps improve their quality, consistency and retain high performance. Flashcards also develop staff skills and accelerate experience within a motivated team.
There is no need to pay for expensive dedicated software, indeed the JAMSO cards are simply created within Microsoft Word as an example to keep costs low as possible but provide maximum impact.
We love hearing success stories, challenges and questions raised by our articles and free material. Please send us a message or drop a comment below.
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