ITSM: Making Metrics Work

If you want to do IT service management, service level management, or continual service improvement, you need metrics to ensure you are growing and growing in the right ways. Too often, we leave reports on a shelf to die instead of using them to review and demonstrate value of services. Joe the IT Guy writes a post about rectifying this behavior and making smarter use of metrics.

Identifying Problems
Joe first picks out what he sees as some of the big problems in using metrics effectively. One is that there is too much internal focus, in that IT reports on what it does, but not how what it does produces value for customers. Another problem is when service level agreements (SLAs) are expected to answer for too much. This is in part because the wrong questions are asked in the first place while building SLAs, because IT asks IT-centric questions that customers cannot answer accurately. The questions need to be customer and value-centric. In fact, if you want to generate buy-in and excitement with IT initiatives at all, you need to be able to communicate initiatives’ significance in non-IT terms.

Identifying Solutions

Chiefly, Joe says to be clear on business expectations and outcomes:

Throw away cynicism for a moment and go and talk to your customers about what’s important to them that you can measure and improve on. The results might not be hugely different from what you currently do but you will definitely learn something. It’s the process of engagement that’s important here more than the output, as you will develop some common objectives and understanding that will force you to re-focus your reporting, and that’s got to be a good thing for you and your customers! [source]

Develop bundles of metrics that together tell the most complete story of what is going on with a service. Look at inputs and categories and determine if some of your categorizations are repetitive or do not align with what you really need to learn. Report information preferably in one-page summaries, with lots of color and pertinent information prominently displayed. Then just make sure that action results from the reports this time!

Read the original article summary in AITS here>>

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