Sunday, November 25, 2007

KPI's and the Importance of Measurements (part 2)

Continuing from my previous post here, we're going to get more in depth into KPI's and their measurement now.

How do I measure KPI’s?
Get the data (whatever is important to you ... if you use the examples previously mentioned, then track service outages by minutes for example vs. a specified date) into your spreadsheet or other tracking tool, then keep on adding more and more information every time you have another service interruption or outage.  

The key here is consistency and ensuring that you reflect as realistic a picture as possible so the more information you can capture the better.  If you are measuring outages, then make sure you reflect the customers impacted, total amount of time, volume of calls or interactions it created and reason for outage (even a simple 3rd party vs. internal tag is important as it tells you where you need to focus your attention).

Once the data has been captured - make sure you have and are using the right tool for this ... (a spreadsheet as mentioned is great in the early stages but if you can tie this back into a good Incident & Problem Management system and/or a database (I'll get into ITIL and Six Sigma in later posts) you're going to do really well!) - then you need to come up with an appropriate means of analysis.

We are all familiar with the disparaging quotes about statistics (including "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics", attributed to either Mark Twain or Disraeli, depending on whom you ask), and it's no secret that many people harbor a vague distrust of statistics as commonly used.

Averages don’t tell you very much. One data point that is extremely far outside the curve will skew everything towards it so care must be taken to ensure that you are measuring information correctly.

Good analysis is an ongoing process, so set targets and assess whether any changes you make are improving your KPI’s or not.
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