Baselining your organization – by Patrick Bouldin

When we recently created the video discussing “MTS” or “Measuring to Success” I was worried that the whole topic of “hey, best to measure in order to improve” may sound overly simplistic and not valuable.  But as I reflect on many companies I’ve heard about over the years I’m pretty comfortable in repeating that seemingly basic idea.  How many shops do you know of that do not measure?  More than you would expect if looking at our industry from the outside.  Many companies have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars or more of “Service Level Monitoring” software and somehow have not tapped into its potential.

The single most important thing is simply to START measuring.  Whether a company does or does not have software does not preclude it from measuring.  Let’s look at some of the many arguments you might hear “against” measuring.

Argument #1:  “The system administrators have different jobs, so one ticket may be way harder than another.”

Response:  True, but the point is, measure anyway, establish a BASELINE of support tickets.  Jim and Becky may have different jobs but they will still produce a track record which can be reviewed or compared in the future.

Argument # 2:  “We don’t have the time to install or run software and produce reports!”

Response:  By producing reports and measuring groups you will get improvement quickly.  Improvements will mean repeating fewer mistakes, buying you new time.

Argument # 3:  “Awww… we’ll never implement, we’ll never use the reports!”

Response and final summation –

If you’re the CIO you are in FULL ownership as to how true that is.  Schedule a once per month SLM or KPI meeting.  Get your managers and directors to speak about  all of their metrics for the month.  Put them to task that they need to present research as to why anomalies happened (good or bad) last month.  This will result in some MAJOR collaboration on lingering issues, eliminate a lot of finger pointing and drive towards true “root cause” analysis.

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