It can be difficult to decide what to measure for any product or service due to conflicting advice from best practice frameworks. DevOps, for example, tells us that we should measure everything and make the measurements available to everyone. This makes metrics more accessible, but it is important to understand the question your metrics must answer in order to avoid being overwhelmed.
Global Knowledge is a view that allows us to explore all options before we choose the best path for our organization. We will be looking at three common metrics questions and how ITIL (r) can help us solve them.
What can my metrics tell me about the future?
Metrics often only give us information about the past, rather than providing insight into the future. This can be overcome if you use a mix of leading and following metrics. The output-oriented metrics that are most common in the industry are easy to measure, but difficult to influence or improve. Input-oriented indicators are more difficult to measure, but easier to influence. Our trailing metric could be “numbers of incidents or service requests relating to a new product/service” — simple to measure, but difficult to influence if the cause is not known. One of the leading metrics that could indicate a problem in waiting could be “uptake by users of product/service education” — poor understanding could lead you to asking lots of questions to your service desk. This is definitely more difficult to measure, but easier to influence.
How can I link the service provider view with a business view
One way to connect the two perspectives is to link critical success factors (CSFs), and key performance indicators. CSFs ask, “What do we need to be successful?” Similar KPIs answer the question “What is the sign that we are succeeding?”
KPIs can be used in a literal or loose manner. KPIs can be taken literally to mean that you have established a baseline (e.g. Close 90% of priority 1 incidents within the SLA targets You can use them loosely to monitor data trends to determine if performance is improving (e.g. We will be monitoring customer experience scores throughout the month, as they are a clear indicator about our performance.
Both methods of using KPIs can be used. The more you know the relationship between your CSFs, business goals and KPIs, the more precise you can define KPIs. Each CSF should have at least three KPIs. Here is an example of incident management.
CSF: Prioritization in accordance with business goals
KPI1 – Number of incident priority change (how often was a priority raised/lowered by category).
KPI2 – Customer satisfaction index (lower satisfaction could indicate poor prioritization).
KPI3 – Number of escalations requested by customers or users (how often they request escalation by category).
I have multiple stakeholders. How can I satisfy all of them?
Global Knowledge has seen many instances where metrics fail to satisfy all stakeholders. This includes customers, sponsors, regulators, service providers, regulators and users. There are two solutions to this problem.
First, the use metrics that are balanced between compliance, progress, effectiveness, and efficiency. This is a good set of metrics to use in a project or product environment.
Progress is a measure of milestones and deliverables that are essential to the development of a product/service. A progress metric is usually expressed in terms of the number of actions completed or the percentage of completed projects. The new service has been tested for operational acceptance or the measurement of tasks against a burndown chart.
Compliance measures the product’s compliance to governance and regulatory requirements. A Boolean pass/fail, or yes/no result, is often used to describe a compliance metric. For example, “Compliance with GDPR regulations.”
Effectiveness is the accuracy and reliability of the product/service and its ability to deliver the correct results.