Thursday, February 19, 2009

A matrix of measurements !!

When we look at using those clever little things called Key Performance Indicators or KPIs most IT professionals will list the things that first come to mind as the best way to measure the health and vitality of a particular process.

However, if you apply a simple matrix you may find you can create a much richer list of KPIs. The added bonus here is that you can select entry level KPIs for your process while it is in its infancy and grow the KPI maturity over time. This thought is at odds with most "set and forget" approaches that IT managers use.

It is not as if the IT managers and process owners deliberately set out to treat the field of measurement with disdain, it is just that they have not been given a way to treat KPIs with the importance it deserves.

Here is a simple way forward.

Create a table 4 columns by three rows. Leave the top left cell empty. The other three column headings are SERVICE, CUSTOMER and BUSINESS. The other two row headings are OBJECTIVE and SUBJECTIVE.

Now you have a mechanism for categorizing your KPIs across three different perspectives and into two styles.

The three aspects are quite logical and relate to the actual service delivered, the views and opionions of the sponsor for the service and the actual business value that the particular process delivers to the business.

The styles of KPIs recongnize that some KPIs can be factual and measured (Objective), but others are based around feelings, perception and emmotion (Subjective).

It would come as no surprise to know that Subjective based, Customer focussed KPIs are relatively easy to define (e.g. generally based around satisfaction surveys, town hall meetings, etc.). Likewise we would expect to easily define several Objective measurements for the Service and Business aspectss.

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