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Case study: designing a KPI framework for a telecom giant


Published: 11 Jan 2013 Updated: 26 May 2023 Update History

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This case study is based on the work with one of the world’s biggest telecom companies. The company wanted to identify its most important performance measures and create simple performance dashboards that would provide a simple overview of company performance to the board and senior management team.

The need for a consolidated and focused dashboard arose from the fact that previously the reporting of management information was done in siloes (eg finance reporting financial data, operations reporting operations data, HR reporting HR data).

This led to uncoordinated and unaligned reporting (eg HR data was reporting whenever the HR survey results came out and not when the business needed the results) and meant that real business insights could not always be made taking into account a full set of data or decisions were based on limited insights from just one business area.

At the beginning the company identified the key areas it needed KPIs for and therefore created a performance framework. They did this through a number of facilitated workshops and individual and group discussions with each of the key business units and key executive. It allowed everyone to express their views on the most important measures needed to provide a complete overview of business performance. All the viewpoints expressed in the workshops and interviews were then analysed and a final workshop was held to reach agreements on the areas to feature in the dashboard.

Perspectives of performance

The following perspectives of performance were identified, each with a number of high level objectives:

  • Our shareholders
  • Our customers
  • Our network
  • Our people

Once the objectives were signed off by the board, more facilitated workshops took place to identify the questions the management team needed answered before KPIs were identified to help answer the key performance questions.

Once the KPIs were agreed and signed off, new data collection and analysis routines needed to be put in place for a number of the new KPIs, while the collection and reporting of other traditional KPIs ceased. A new software application was implemented to deliver interactive dashboards to the senior leadership teams with meaningful charts and graphs for each of the KPIs.

The table below sets out the strategic objectives for shareholders, customers, network and people together with the associated key performance questions and key performance indicators.

For more examples of financial and non-financial KPIs browse the KPI Library.

Table of strategic objectives with KPQs and KPIs

Strategic objectives Key performance questions Key performance indicators
F1: Deliver superior shareholder returns How well are we delivering shareholder value compared to our competitors? Total Shareholder Return relative to major competitors
F2: Grow revenue How well are we growing our revenue relative to our competitors? - Total revenue over time
- Revenue (by channel and segment)
- New revenue generated (e.g. week, month – compared to last year)
- Average revenue per user (by brand, segment, voice, text, data, care, accessories)
F3: Grow profit margins To what extent are we growing our profit margins relative to our competitors? - Earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation
- Profit Margins (by segment, product, pre-post up-grade)
F4: Maintain and grow cash flow To what extent are we generating consistent cash flow? - Free cash flow
- Compound annual growth rate
C1: Be the industry retention champion To what extent are we retaining our most valuable customers? - Customer churn (# and value, by brand, segment, channel)
- Average revenue generating unit per customer (# and value, by brand, segment, channel)
C2: Attract customers and grow market share To what extent are growing our market share? To what extent are we writing high value business? To what extent are we getting more business from existing customers? - Total revenue market share
- Service revenue market share
- Base market share
- Upselling and cross selling (success rate and revenue)
- Net-adds (by overall #, brand, and product channel)
- Customer life-time value (by overall #, brand, product, channel)
C3: Deliver superior customer experience To what extent are we delivering a superior customer experience? - Net promoter score
- Customer experience tracker
- Customer satisfaction score
C4: Ensure brand strength To what extent are we maintaining healthy brands? - 1st choice purchase intention (by brand, by segment)
- Spontaneous brand awareness
I1: The network is performing well To what extent is our network performing well? - Number and level of incidences (+ resolution)
- Network availability and congestion (by geographic region, by peak demand)
- Call setup success rate
- Dropped call rate
- Data traffic (compared to forecast and capacity)
I2: Improve and simplify customer operations To what extent are we improving and simplifying our customer operations? - 1st call resolution rate
- Call abandonment rate
- Propensity to call/actual call volumes (by brand, product, etc.)
- % and trend to self-serve
- Cost-to-serve (by segment, product, etc.)
I3: Develop new and innovative products and services To what extent are we developing new and innovative products and services? - Product and service innovation pipeline (# & potential value)
P1: We have engaged people, with focus and goal clarity To what extent have we got engaged and motivated people? To what extent do our people understand our strategy? To what extent do our people understand their role in the strategy delivery? - Staff engagement (by retail, customer service, head office)
- Pulse survey results (focusing on engagement)
P2: We provide visible and trusted leadership To what extent are our leaders visible? To what extent do our people trust the leadership team? - Pulse survey results (focusing on trust and visibility)
- External staff survey results
P3: We attract, develop and retain our talent To what extent do we attract talent? To what extent do we retain talent? How do we develop our people? - Staff advocacy index (would you recommend this company as an employer?)
- Recruitment (# of applications to open posts, time to fill posts)
- Staff turnover rate (regretted)
- Pulse survey results (focusing on development)

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Further reading on business performance management and KPIs is available through the resources below.

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  • Update History
    11 Jan 2013 (12: 00 AM GMT)
    First published
    26 May 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Page updated with Related resources section, adding further reading on performance management and kpis. These new articles and ebooks provide fresh insights, case studies and perspectives on this topic. Please note that the original article from 2013 has not undergone any review or updates.