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Leading and Lagging Indicators Best Practices

Leading and Lagging Indicators are two types of measurements used when assessing performance in a business or organization. The difference between the two is that a leading indicator can influence change and a lagging indicator records only what has happened in the past. Both types of measures, however, are useful to track and measure overall performance.

More about Leading and Lagging Indicators

Description of Leading and Lagging Indicators

Leading Indicators are a potentially predictive measurement of how a company might perform in the future. They are more easily influenced than lagging indicators, but are harder to predict. For example, a Leading Indicator, if you wanted to increase sales, could be increasing the number of sales calls or developing a stronger marketing plan. Measuring these activities provides a set of Lead Indicators, but it is difficult to measure what exactly was the cause of the increase in sales. They are difficult to assess because they are not straightforward.

Lagging Indicators, on the other hand, are easier to measure because they measure what has happened in the past. For example, a Lagging Indicator for Sales would be measuring the number of sales calls made last month. This kind of information is easy to obtain and measure. Lagging Indicators are a post-event measurement which is essential for charting progress, but not helpful when attempting to influence the future.

When developing a business strategy, a combination of Leading and Lagging Indicators is the best way to measure performance. The reason for this is that a lag indicator without a lead indicator will give no indication as to how a result will be achieved and provide no early warnings about tracking a strategic goal.

Praxie's Online Leading and Lagging Indicators Tools & Templates

Most organizations use spreadsheets and online dashboards to track and share their key metrics, as well as presentation software to communicate the current state of the organization to executives, managers and employees. Get started with our Leading and Lagging Indicators template. 

How to use it: 

  1. Enter your Business Objective or Strategy followed by a headline description of your leading or lagging indicator.  
  2. Insert your KPI goal measures along with quarterly targets. 
  3. List your supporting leading or lagging indicators and fill out the rest of the template. 
  4. Create an action plan to develop and implement your Leading and Lagging Indicators. 

Unlike most traditional Leading and Lagging Indicators processes, Praxie’s online Leading and Lagging Indicators tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.