It all started with a meeting about our goals in the office, and how our performance for the year was to be measured.

I’m a Software Developer on the delivery team at Hooroo, aka Qantas Hotels and Jetstar Hotels. While being a seperate company, we utilise the HR of Jetstar, and thus have some of their overhead in the company, which includes these KPIs and other stuff that generally nobody likes, but everybody lives with. If there’s a story there, it’s for another post.

Anyway, in my particular team at Hooroo we were having this meeting about how the specific technical KPIs applied to us. We have some about Technical Competency, Continuous Improvement and so on, but we also have this strange one, “Engaging with Financial Goals”.

So what does it mean to engage with financial goals? I don’t know either! So I thought I’d start with just getting something financially related displaying… somewhere, y’know, visible. Somehow.

I don’t know about some people, but if I don’t see something in a non-intrusive way every day, I find it hard to interact with, or remember to look for it. Emails, for instance, can be quite intrusive, if not just noisy. We totally get the relevant financial figures coming into our email inboxes on a day to day basis - along with lots of other things. Noise, alert fatigue, whatever - this has all been filtered out of my inbox so I can see what I think is really important, which are usually one-off, non-repeating comms with other humans.

We’ve got a couple of monitors up on the walls, showing a couple of different sets of information - we’ve got the status of our application builds, the total number of visitors currently on our main website, and a map display of where high-value bookings have been made. We’ve also got what we call a “Build Light”, which is an aggregate view of the status of all of our builds. I had something to do with that.

Personally though, I think the monitors are boring, perhaps a little too easy to get information up on. Build Lights, on the other hand, that’s pretty cool! How can I apply the build-light hardware foo to showing financial goals? Wouldn’t it be awesome to build a low-tech, multi-digit display to show our financial goals or current performance on? Perhaps using something like the kind of digits you used to see on your alarm clock, back when it was still a box that sat on your bedside table, before it was your phone…? But I couldn’t do that… Could I?