Objective Metrics

As a matter of practice, I love metrics and measuring how we are doing. It is great to put in an improvement initiative and see the results.

Metrics and measures, though, should be objective. I remember the old quote, “statistics do not lie, just the people who use them.” This is true with our metrics, too. They are manipulated to meet an agenda. We have all seen this up close.

As an industry, we do not talk enough about leading and lagging indicators. These are metrics that either give us an indication of what will happen or what has happened.

Today, I want to focus on leading indicators. As a leader, you should be trying to identify these and use them in your decision-making process.

Some examples of leading indicators are:
1). Opportunities/RFS/Project requests – > indicating the future business needs and outcomes. Should use to align resources.
2). New Assets/CIs found through discovery -> indicating that the onboarding of Assets/CIs is not working
3). Number of Emergency Changes -> indicating something may be off with Change approval process, whether not assessing well or not approving fast enough that non-urgent Changes are now urgent.

Vendor Contracts

One of the things rarely discussed in outsourced or multi-sourced environments, on either side of the table, is change.

Most outsourcing/multi-sourcing contracts are for 5 years.

Yet, the business needs change dramatically over two years, if not more frequently. Consider how much change we’ve had the past two years. Looking ahead, the rates of change are only picking up.

So, the measures, including penalties, are out of alignment for more than half the contract. They do not measure outcomes.

This leaves both sides unhappy: the business with unmet outcomes and the third-party partners, with IT stuck in the middle.

Service Management Leadership can help align these objectives and outcomes.

Focus on Outcomes

In this multi-sourced, multi-partner environment we are in today, we need to focus on outcomes. The contracts, SLAs, and every communication has to be focused on outcomes.

The process must be identifying customer outcomes working backward toward the partners.

When we see poor experience, both from the consumers and employee point-of-view, it is usually due to the lack of alignment with outcomes.

The same is true for establishing an ITSM/ESM program, implementing an ITSM tool, implementing a CMDB, and everything else.

If your organization is not yielding the success you desire, contact Service Management Leadership to hear how we can help your organization.

Value Co-Creation

The ITIL4 concept of value co-creation is novel and practical as it means that both the service provider and service consumer contribute to the creation of value.

As we think about this further, very few things are purchased without input from the consumer. When you have a house built, there is co-creation as each party provides feedback to help the outcome (house) be what each party desires.

This ITIL4 concept should further solidify the need for relationship-building between IT and the consumer. It also means that agreements with third-party partners need to be focused on delivering outcomes the consumer desires.

Back to Basics

We are in a time when the basic fundamentals are overlooked and remain underappreciated.

People are anxious about all that is going on.

Companies are striving to show value via Digital Transformation. The focus is on innovation, not doing the current things better.

In a time when executing well is overlooked and underappreciated, I want to encourage you to focus on doing a great job (executing) and improving your skillset + capabilities.

Incremental improvement is like compound interest. It will grow and build off the previous improvement. This will yield much better results than trying to hit home runs.