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I'm looking for a way for the IT Department to improve our reporting to the other Execs.

I am not happy showing a "charge for service" or "charge per license" approach - I feel it's not accurate and means very little to the other business units.

So... wondering how you all do it? What works best for you? Although I know there are no magic bullets, I wouldn't mind an upgrade to my six-shooter. :wink:

I'm sure anyone heading an IT Department has seen reams of data about how to show IT profitability to the other execs. I'm always looking for ways to improve this, as IT as so abstract.

Now, we are using a lot of cloud computing, which changes the dimensions a bit.

rwwh's picture

Are you looking for ways to measure your performance? There are casts on measuring!

BJ_Marshall's picture

[quote="eagerApprentice"]I'm looking for a way for the IT Department to improve our reporting to the other Execs.[/quote]

Have you asked your Execs what they want to see? The 'casts on measuring things are great, and you want to make sure you're measuring things that matter.

BJ

Gareth's picture

What information do your Execs actually want to see?

Are you measuring things of importance?

If a measure is showing something negative does it trigger an action? If not why are you measuring it?

eagerApprentice's picture

Hi Guys, thanks for your comments!

Executives here want a way to see that the money they invest in IT has a direct impact on the business - enabling other departments, cutting costs, increasing speed, etc.

Right now, I'm trying to measure the amount of work people are able to get done now, and in the future. If I can show that IT systems has made it possible for more people to get more work done, that is great.

One way I've thought to do this is by measuring headcount over the years, compared to company growth in reach and profit. But this still feels too abstract.

I've also tried to measure COGS impacts after a new system is released, but again, it's hard to pin down COGS being lowered because of one system when so many dynamic things are happening in a business.

Hmm... other things like that... investment in IT Dept measurements, etc.

EDIT>> I have listened to the measurement casts many times, and found them to be helpful, but I feel I am still missing something~

jamie_p's picture

A lot depends on what area of IT you are in. IT is a service department and the goal is to support the business and make the business more efficient and productive. Some ideas include:

Customer Satisfaction
Avg Turnaround time compared to benchmark
Hours Saved - use business estimates
% Downtime - the lower the better
% Projects completed on time.

As others have noted, you should measure what is important to your bosses and your customers.

BJ_Marshall's picture

[quote="eagerApprentice"]Executives here want a way to see ... a direct impact on the business - enabling other departments, cutting costs, increasing speed, etc.[/quote]

This is a great start; you know what your execs want. You can measure cost cuts and increased speed. But how do you measure "enabling other departments"? What's that look like? And what does all the "etc." look like? You're going to have to define what those look like and find proxies to measure them.

BJ

Gareth's picture

[quote="eagerApprentice"]
Executives here want a way to see that the money they invest in IT has a direct impact on the business - enabling other departments, cutting costs, increasing speed, etc.[/quote]

If there is money invested in IT then there must be justification for it in the first place? For example develop platform x to allow automation of job y.

Surely it is not the IT department driving the investment, the company must have a requirement for it in the first place?

Why was the money invested... expected outcome?

US41's picture

I am usually very successful at establishing performance metrics and delivering measurements to management:

* Time to market = start date on projects - the finish date = total days

* IT cost on the project as a percentage of total project cost = % of revenue generated by project deployment over two years that is projected and actually taken in

Those should keep you busy for six months at least. Then you can add others if you can pull these together. You'll be chasing data all over the place.

Remember that the marketing/sales people who sponsor IT projects usually know the total project cost and the total revenue - they measure that carefully to show profitability from their ideas. You can show revenue generated as well as net income if they track that.

canario's picture

If I understood you correctly then the closest, natural answer would be the one posted by jamie_p, though "Customer Satisfaction" part might be a bit tricky.

From my short, two year experience at the front line, I've learnt it's all much about the ability to convince customers that they are satisfied (a bit of PR, marketing and professional approach).

I know I might be sounding as my job position fanboy but in my opinion well managed help desk / service desk do help a lot.

From the report maker perspective - it can partly be measured by periodical customer surveys (not too effective, usually ignored - last year we had less than 30% of response rate) and performance metrics like Service Level Agreement contract. The organization I work for uses data such as: number of tickets which breached the SLA deadline vs total number (the limit is 90%), avarage time for processing service requests, time to answer customers calls (how long do they need to wait before someone answers their call), etc.

There's one catch here - you must have a stable system recording all (or at least 99%) incomming requests/incidents/calls, which can be pretty difficult to achieve with internal customers who tend to bypass procedures (you just can't say - "No, wait in line like everybody else" to an executive)

This is theory - the practice shows that by the end of a day when that "very critical mail/spreadsheet" had not been sent - IT will take the beating anyways ("This darn excel!!! Why wouldnt it let me send this file!!!" :) )

Frankly I am trying to figure out some sort of solution for the very same problem. Hopefully the Quality Improvement Team, whom I am member of, manages to figure it out before upcomming project reviews next year.

eagerApprentice's picture

Hi guys,

Many thanks for all of your extra advice, suggestions and questions.

I've taken your ideas and really started to put something together that is more powerful than what I had before.

When I'm done, I'll post it here so you can tear it apart and give me more ideas, if you wish. :)

Again, I appreciate your help!

douglase's picture

Standard measures on a Service Desk are things like:
Average Wait Time,
Grade of Service,
Average Call Length,
Time to Resolution

And they keep going.

the ITIL framework has some information on measures.

One of the most important measures is how little time the business needs to call you, or needs to use to get help. Many people don't realise that their job is not to be on the phone to your help desk/support area getting help, it's to um.. be doing lawyery things, or public servicy things, etc.

eagerApprentice's picture

[quote="douglase"]

One of the most important measures is how little time the business needs to call you, or needs to use to get help. Many people don't realise that their job is not to be on the phone to your help desk/support area getting help, it's to um.. be doing lawyery things, or public servicy things, etc.[/quote]

Good point - I am currently looking through the ITIL section, glad to see another listener who recommends this resource~

griffj3's picture

Hi, I just read "How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business" by Douglas W. Hubbard and it might be a useful resource for you. Mark touches on some of the same concepts in one of the podcasts - sorry I cannot recall which one- but he has a story about measuring the performance of security gate guards.