IT Metrics

Reorient Your IT Metrics for Better Results

IT often misses the forest for the trees with its metrics, and it does not need to be that way. Small changes can make a world of difference in the results to operations. In an article for CIO magazine, Mark Robinson describes a few quick tips for more effective IT metrics.

Easy Fixes

The first thing IT should do is to probably collect less data. Data is not like a box of crayons, where the more crayons you have, the better. Instead, data is like cars on a two-lane highway, and too many cars clogging up the road prevents anybody from getting anywhere. That means IT needs to home in on just a few essential metrics that inarguably connect with business health and business goals. If you need help doing this, Robinson recommends conducting a performance cascade, where you “break down your organization’s mission statement into a series of steps that are assigned to specific team members and subsequently measured and tracked.” Along the way, weed out any vanity metrics you might be considering or are already using. Vanity metrics are always dangerous.

Another thing IT needs to do to improve its metrics is to emphasize the proactive, forecasting side of measurements:

Once the firm has identified the most important reports to focus on, it should ensure that they always first consider the data points necessary for business forecasting. IT firms should always focus on the KPIs that can bolster forward-looking business plans because tracking these metrics is key to maintaining continuous improvement and growth. These often include measurements such as billable utilization, annual revenue per billable consultant or profit margin.

One more thing IT can start doing is to use its metrics as a means of motivation. Celebrate legitimate improvements to business. And in areas where people are not delivering the expected results, use the data to help you understand why people are underperforming instead of just reigning down condemnation on people. Metrics are about developing understanding, after all.

You can view the original article here:

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