Automating Status Evaluations in ClearPoint
Webinar 72 in the "I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!" Webinar Series
- Intro (0:00)
- Agenda (1:25)
- Why Automatic Status Evaluations? (2:40)
- Measure/KPI Evaluations (4:28)
- Objective Evaluations (9:17)
- Initiative/Project Evaluations (13:32)
- Poll & Questions (16:38)
DeAndre: Hello everyone, and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar Series!
Today, we will be talking about setting up automatic status evaluations in ClearPoint. We have several best practices that we are excited to share with you that will hopefully make your ClearPoint experience better and more efficient!
But before we get started, here are your smiling hosts, I am DeAndre!
Alex: And I am Alex!
DeAndre: As a few housekeeping announcements:
We will be recording this session and will make it available within a week.
The webinar will last about 25 minutes with time for questions at the end.
So, you can submit your questions to our Q&A chat box!! This is located in the toolbar at the bottom of the Zoom window.
As always, any questions that we do not get to, we will follow up by email!
Finally, the Comments box is meant for you to add any additional insights or thoughts that you may have as we go through the webinar.
Now, on our last installment, we hosted a webinar on a glimpse into the future of ClearPoint, so if you are interested in seeing what the new user interface will look like, be sure to check that out! Additionally, you will also see some upcoming new features, including expanded capabilities for page layouts, a discussion thread feature, a Microsoft Teams integration, and more!
DeAndre: First, let us talk through an agenda of topics for today.
We will walk through why automated status evaluations in ClearPoint will be useful for you. Then we will dive into ClearPoint and go over a measure evaluation and how to set criteria and apply them to the data set. We then will review how to make these same evaluations within objectives. Which means, we will be looking at the collection of elements to evaluate an overall status output.
Next, we will discuss the Initiatives or Project Evaluations. We reserved this one for last as everyone may not have the access to do project evaluations.
Alex: There is clearly a lot to go over today, and we will only be going over an example or two of how to utilize each of these features within automatic status evaluations. However, there is definitely a lot more that you can do than what we will show! I would recommend taking some time at some point after this webinar to explore status indicator options in your account and be sure to reach out to your account manager if you have any questions on what automations you could use!
Why are Automatic Evaluations in ClearPoint Useful? (2:40)
DeAndre: Before we dive into ClearPoint, let us discuss why utilizing automatic evaluations may be helpful for you.
Auto evaluations use rules or criteria to tell ClearPoint whether to assign a green, yellow, or red status to an element based on a certain threshold that needs to be met for each status. For example, you could tell ClearPoint to evaluate a measure to green if it is above its target number for the month or evaluate it to red if it falls below the target number. Then once you enter in your data for that measure, ClearPoint will compare it to the target number and assign the appropriate status based off its value.
Alex: This sounds very helpful, could you tell me why you would use this if you were a ClearPoint Champion?
DeAndre Great questions, I think the most immediate benefit would be the time savings. It would take forever to manually review data and input what status represents my elements. Another reason I would leverage this feature is, I would want to hold myself and my colleagues accountable. If we have an element that is operating below target, we want to be aware of this and allocate the appropriate resources to get back on track. We would not want inaccurate status reading because of someone’s subjective reasoning of what is green or red, or they just did not want to see red for their element. Vice versa, I would want to be aware of the areas where we overperform. The team should be rewarded for meeting and/or over exceeding their marks. Over time, this leads to more accurate and consistent performance reporting that holds workers accountable for ownership. With that being said, Alex let’s get into how we can accomplish these with measures in ClearPoint.
Measures/KPI Evaluations (4:28)
Alex: Automatic measure evaluations can be an exponential time saver not only for you but for your updaters too! Making reporting out on your measures or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) a simpler smoother process. Furthermore, automatic measure evaluations take out the subjectivity when it comes to evaluating a measure’s status, by assigning status based on a set of pre-determined criteria. Guess work has no place when it comes to measuring progress of our measures and KPIs. Let us have a look at how we can set up some of those automatic evaluations.
Alex: Navigate to the Measure ‘Net Profit’s’ Data Table and double click on the header of the series you would like to evaluate. In this case we will choose the Actual column. This now opens the measure series edit window. Click on the Evaluation tab on the left. To enable a series status option, check the box next to the status indicators you want to use. Next, select how you want to compare the current series and then which series you want to compare against. If you want to compare against a specific value rather than a series, select Static Value. Enter the calculation criteria for the evaluation. Finally, we would like to use this series to be used as the overall element evaluation, in that case we will check “Use this series for overall element evaluation.” Click Save when finished.
In this example, we leave the Above Target calculation blank. We want the series to evaluate to Above Target whenever the Actual is greater than or equal to Target. We want the series to evaluate as Caution when Actual is greater than or equal to Target*.9 (i.e., 90% of the ‘Target’). ClearPoint reads series evaluations from top to bottom, so once the criterion is met, it assigns that status and stops reading. This is why Below Plan is simply whenever the Actual is less than Target (as all values in the ‘Caution’ range will have already been identified). Since we checked “Use this series for overall element evaluation,” the evaluation has been enabled for the measure. Going forward, the measure will automatically evaluate when new data is entered.
DeAndre: Perfect, ambiguity eliminated, time saved. But (Alex) aren’t there other ways to set measure evaluations?
Alex: Indeed, there is another option for setting measure evaluations. In the above section, we checked “Use this series for overall element evaluation” to set the evaluation criteria for the measure. While only one Measure at a time can have this option checked off, you do have the option to add evaluations to multiple different series. If you would like to enable a different evaluation option, you can do so from the measure edit window.
On the measure detail page, click the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner.
Click into the Series tab on the left-hand side. From the Evaluation Option dropdown menu, select the evaluation option that you would like to use. You can choose any custom evaluations that you have added to series, or you can use “Best Series” and “Worst Series.” If you have multiple custom evaluations set up, you may want ClearPoint to consider all the evaluation criteria rather than just one custom evaluation. “Best Series” will give the measure the most favorable status indicator when evaluating based on all criteria. “Worst Series” will give the most unfavorable status. When finished, click Save.
Your status icons will now automatically update based on the criteria you have in place. When users enter new data in the measure data table, a status indicator will be automatically applied based on your criteria.
DeAndre: Marvelous! having covered Measure and KPI automatic evaluations we can now conduct an overall objective evaluation. How does that sound?
Objective Evaluations (9:17)
Alex: Wait! We can set up automatic status evaluations for objectives as well? That sounds complicated.
DeAndre: No, not at all complicated. Automatic objective evaluation is a cool feature and works similarly like the measure’s evaluations. How it works is, it starts by taking the statuses of elements linked to an objective and then rolling them up to evaluate the overall objective.
Alex: Nice! Could we walk through an example of how to that this with the measures we set up previously?
DeAndre: For sure! Let us dive right into our Profitability Objective and see how this works.
There are some steps that are different from automating the measures than objectives. Frist thing you need to do when setting automatic evaluations for objectives is to ensure you have scores assigned to your different status icons. We can find this by going to systems settings, admin options, and the status indictor tab. For this example, we are using the score of 3 for On Target status, 2 for Caution status, and 1 for Below Target Status, and lastly 0 for any element that has no information.
Next, you will want to ensure the linkages are formed correctly to the applicable objective. Remember the objective is evaluating the elements that are linked to them. Let us check our links now. We head back to the Profitability objective by clicking the history tab on the bottom left. By clicking into edit the objective and navigating to the link tab we can see all our measures that are tied to the profitability objective. At the top, here is where we can enable and set up our evaluation by enabling the feature.
Alex: Oh, I see we can apply weights to each element. How does this factor into our scoring and evaluation?
DeAndre: Great question! The idea is that the weights will and should always add up to 100%. In this example, we have 4 measures split equally so each has a weight of 25%. You can skew the weight if it applies to you. For this example, we will keep it split evenly.
The number you see being calculated here is the score we assigned to our icons at the beginning of this process. Do you remember that?
Alex: Oh yes! I knew that looked familiar.
DeAndre: Based on the status you set for the linked measures you can see the green measures are pulling in a score of 3, the yellow as 2, and below plan as 1. Now that we have both our weights and scores set, ClearPoint will multiply them together to get our weighted score for the measure. When you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see both your Total weight (which should equal 100) and Total score, which is the sum of our measures weighted scores. Next, we will click on the “Evaluation Criteria” tab and set up our criteria like we would for a measure. The only difference with objectives is that we are using the total score as the comparison number to define our criteria seen in the greyed-out box here.
Currently, we have set the criteria for the objective to read: anything equal to 3 will be green. A score that is greater than 1 is caution as long it is not 3, and lastly anything equal to or less than 1 will read as red. Anything other than that will fall under no information and will read as such. Click save.
DeAndre: Now we see our profitably is auto evaluated to caution based on the weight, score, and criteria we set. Having now covered both Measure and Objective auto-evaluations. Time to move up to the Project level. Alex, mind walking us through some Project Evaluations?
Project Evaluations (13:32)
Setting up a project evaluation has never been easier. If you’re an admin, you can enable it for others within your organization to use on their elements. We’ll first walk through the admin-only part, Enabling Project Evaluations.
From System Settings, click into Admin Options. Scroll down and click on the Project Evaluations tile. A new window will open. The first step is to click on the plus icon to add a new series. You can change the data type, add a calculation, or set an evaluation for all series. You can add as many series as you need. These will be the default series for when you decide to use Project Evaluations for this specific element. When you are finished adding series, click Enable Initiative Evaluations and Save when done.
This is the basics of Project Evaluations in adding quantitative tracking to other elements besides measures. Other users in your organization can now use these series you have created to better report on their Initiatives, Action Items, and more.
DeAndre: That certainly seemed…. basic, how about a situation where I need to see the percent complete across multiple element types, can I do that?
Alex: Absolutely! Reference series can be used to pull in quantitative data for Initiatives, Milestones, Action Items, and Risks that can be used for project evaluations. From Project Evaluations, the first step is to add a new series which will become our reference series for Percent Complete. To do this, click the plus icon in the top right corner.
Name the series and click into the Calculation tab. From the Series Calculation Type dropdown, select Reference Series. Select which Element you want to reference from, and then select the Reference Field to display in this series. Click Save.
DeAndre: Easy enough, but could it be even easier?
Alex: Actually, you can also set up automatic evaluations from the Project Evaluations menu in Admin Options. By creating evaluation criteria on a series, Initiative, Milestones, Action Items, and Risk performance can be automatically evaluated. From Project Evaluations, add or edit an existing series. Click on the Evaluation tab and select evaluation criteria. Check Use this series for overall element evaluation to set up automatic evaluations on any newly added elements. This is the exact same process as setting up automatic evaluations elsewhere in ClearPoint And you’re done.
Poll & Questions (16:38)