The Brockville Braves, MBO , KPI – NFG

I worked in era of MBO style leadership and assessment. Management By Objectives, a lot of effort went into establishing them and were easily reviewable. Always made everyone think about their role and how it could be sustained, improved and so on.

Currently we are in an era where measurable success is pegged on KPIs ! Key Performance Indicators. The theory is that overall success must be supported by an array of measurable sub goals. Almost akin to a strategy I often explained and used when introducing a complex new topic. To devour an elephant, the best strategy is to break it up into bite size chunks.

Now I don’t know which school of management the brain trust of the Braves subscribe to. If my research proves correct and the jungle telegraph doesn't lie, Dustin went to Clarkson, Jeff attended Western and Devin graduated from Carleton. So what’s their philosophy ?

My 5 KPIs for the Braves would be:

  • Standings
  • Total Points
  • Wins
  • Goals Scored
  • Goals Against

Most ventures today do include that elusive but not ignorable biggie Sales or income or profitability. For the Braves I would venture to say the equivalent is STANDING. That is the key goal. Be the top dog, be # 1. A secondary success  might be to finish in top 4 for home ice advantage. And a tertiary objective would be to at least make the playoffs. Easily measured.

Total points is another one of the five KPIs. A very important measurable stat but it is relative. I used to subscribe to the theory 70 points got you into the playoffs, 100 points got you first place. Possibly but not definitively true. 70 points is nice but what id the 8th place team has 71. Or if we have 100 and the first place team has 101 ? How about our Fred Page Cup year, 2009-10, Braves finished first with 106 points, only one point ahead of Pembroke ! The past five years have seen the top team with points of 101, 110, 86, 97, 104. Once again for management easy to assess/measure.

If the total points KPI gets you the spot in the standings, then do wins get you the total points. Yes, WINS are a integral factor but not the sole contributor to the point total. Just ask Norm about those 3 point games!

Can GOALS SCORED get you where you want? They certainly help but are not the sole determinant of success. Carleton Place is a leader in scoring and are in first place. But can they be had ? Would you rather win 4 – 3 or lose 8-6 ?

And last but not least , GOALS AGAINST. Definitely a major factor in the success of any team in any league! I am still a firm believer that when building a team, a championship team in this case, you start between the pipes and work your way out. strong goaltending supported by a stingy defence and supplemented by forwards who are extremely defensively responsible. I was going to say “minded” but that has connotations I would prefer to stay away from. I also believe in the age old adage, offense is fun, defence is work.

The Braves 5 KPIs:

  • Standings – finish in first place
  • Total Points – 95
  • Wins – 44
  • Goals Scored – 221
  • Goals Against - 155

 

In this age of stats and more stats and more believing in them and relying on them (check out these;

  • NHL.com, the old standby for traditional numbers
  • Hockey-Reference.com, which makes creating a list of comparables for any given player a snap
  • SomeKindofNinja.com, a site that generates both player-usage charts and shot- and/or goal-location maps for teams and players
  • HockeyAnalysis.com, host of a range of fancy stats and the go-to source for seeing how a player did in combination with different linemates or against specific opponents

But wait, is KPI a valid approach to setting goals and measuring success? You might want to read this opinion: Why KPIs Are Bad For You . And there are many more similiar approaches to KPIs.

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