Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the telemetry that underpins consistent, high quality service delivery. There are 7 steps to creating good KPIs. In today's final post in this series, Steps #6 and #7.
Step #6: Execute and Baseline the KPIs.
Once known, the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reports should be generated and reviewed on a regular basis The regularity of the KPIs depends upon usage and need. It is also important to create a baseline as soon as you have enough trusted data to set a valid target.
Creating a baseline is extremely critical for an IT organization. Baselines answer the question "where are we now" and provide a point in time from which to compare future performance. KPIs by themselves tell an organization nothing. Using baselines provides the IT organization with a standard that can be used to compare performance.
For example, a Service Desk has a 3-month First Call Resolution (FCR) rate: month 1 is 62%, month 2 is 63% and month 3 is 65%. Graphing these results in isolation indicates that the FCR is improving month-to-month; from 62% to 65%. However, when we include a baseline of 68%, we see that the performance of the Service Desk falls short of the desired performance.
Step #7: Review regularly at leadership meetings.
KPIs should be regularly reviewed. The frequency of the reviews is typically monthly. However, more frequent reviews are warranted when operational deficiencies dictate.
IT organizations should plan KPI meetings to coincide with end-of-month processing. Individuals invited to the meeting should include leadership, managers and stakeholders, but may also include customers. Topics at the meeting should include the results in reference to the KPIs. Attendees should come prepared to discuss the data presented by the KPIs. At a minimum, the meeting should discuss the following points:
- Results of the KPI and IT's success at meeting the defined baselines or benchmarks
- Any programs, projects or processes for improving deficiencies
- Any extenuating circumstances impacting the KPIs
Mature organizations that have successfully created a Continual Service Improvement process should add issues identified by KPIs to the CSI register for future consideration during the Service Review Meeting.
Ultimately, KPIs should be used to report on the most important services, processes or other critical activities to exhibit proficiency in managing IT operations. Robust KPIs provide leadership with the capability to assess the efficiency of its IT operations and investments.