All the Dollars
Utilizing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
to track your design spend phototype.com
“That’s what it costs”
For years, the time it took for a designer to
develop the big idea was very hard to
challenge. Design often took as long as
needed, with rounds of revisions adding
Marketers were often left feeling reactive vs.
proactive as costs escalated. It felt like no
one was in control.
But those days are gone.
I paying for?”
Today, Marketing is being asked
to manage budgets more closely
The demands of less expensive,
better and faster have made
their way into design.
Delivering the big idea may still
take longer and cost a little more,
but ﬁnding out late in the game
causes an unwanted ripple effect.
The truth is, every “what if” and each
additional color study takes time –
and time is money.
“Why so much?”
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) track
your spend in near real-time, so you…
• Know where you are
relative to budget, at any
given point in the project
• See overarching trends
by department, brand
• Get an objective overview
of your process and
identify areas for future
Create an Executive Dashboard
of all your KPIs
See, at a glance, an
overview of all your
manage your spend
at a high level,
or “click” to evaluate
Drill down to individual custom reports
year or any
Review data by custom date ranges
activities such as
Create spending reports
Review and share
charting for best
Track costly revisions at a high level
Drill down to
costs at a
Get an in-depth view of revision costs
Get easy to read details
about who is requesting
See who is requesting revisions
See what’s driving the
change requests and
how frequently they
Review why they are making revisions
Look deeper and
see the number of
changes within the
scope of the
design brief, as well
as how many were
out of scope
Understand revisions and budget needs
KPIs are a valuable tool to help you...
• Make informed process
improvements by focusing
on areas causing delays
or increasing costs
• Plan yearly budgets
• Have an accurate idea
of the cost and time
associated with getting
an idea to market
• Make high-level business
decisions while you have
time to affect change
How to get started…
• First, meet with your design teams and see how
they’re recording project information: estimates, budgets,
allocated hours, revision requests, etc. If they are using
any form of database for order entry, you’re on your way.
• Next, determine how to track and publish the
information, creating KPIs that are actionable and
produce effective results. This will require some type
of business reporting software.
• We’ve developed our own system, Phototype BizIQ™,
but several business intelligence software solutions are
What to track
• Work with your design teams to determine what to track; they have a
unique perspective on your business and may suggest metrics you
wouldn’t have considered.
• Remember to keep the metrics actionable – for example, tracking the
number of times the color blue is used may not be an actionable metric.
• It’s as important to track the reasons for a change as it is to track the
number of changes. If you are tracking design brief revisions, establish
criteria for the reason behind the revision.
• Lastly, be honest. When tracking revisions, incorrectly attributing the
reason for the change will produce false data and make it difﬁcult to
make real process improvements.
Many of our clients ﬁnd it useful to track:
• Total number of projects by category or sector
• Number of projects by brand
• Types of projects by brand or category
• Project duration, time budgeted versus actual
• Budget versus actual spend (by brand and/or project)
• Design brief revisions (scope creep)
• Revision requests and costs
• Reasons for revision requests
We’d be happy to share
speciﬁc information with
Where Have All the Dollars Gone?
was written by thought leaders:
Director of Brand Strategy
at gravity (a subsidiary of
Vice President of
at gravity (a subsidiary of
Want to know more about KPI technology?