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Where IT Metrics Go Wrong: 13 Issues to Avoid

Not All Mistakes Are Equal

Mistakes can happen anywhere, but they are especially tricky when in the realm of IT. Even more so, perhaps, when dealing with IT metrics. Stephen Mann addresses this very topic in an article on the Forrester blog. Within, he discusses a recent report by Forrester which found 13 of the most common issues organizations come across when working with IT metrics, and how to avoid making those same mistakes in your own organization.

The first mistake is not recognizing that infrastructure and operations (I&O) don’t always know what they are doing, or why. Make sure that you have definitive reasons to collect the metrics you’re collecting (not just because it’s easy to do so or because it feels like you should). Having the why can make a big difference in the value of the metrics and how much they help your teams to reach big goals.

Metrics Everywhere!

Another mistake is having too many metrics. As Mann explains, many IT organizations try to achieve quantity over quality, which simply isn’t a good way of going about gathering metrics. Instead of quantity, try to gather metrics that contribute directly to the performance and outcomes that are important in the organization.

And what about the human element? According to Mann, there is a very real possibility that the metrics gathered will simply be those that are easy to gather—which, again, isn’t necessarily helpful:

I&O organizations shouldn’t spend more time collecting and reporting metrics than the value we get from them, but that still isn’t an excuse to just measure the easy stuff. The availability of system reports and metrics again comes into play, with little or no effort needed to suck performance-related information out of the ITSM tool or tools. Consider why you report each and every metric in your current reporting pack and assess the value they provide versus the effort required to report them. Not only will you find metrics that you report on just because you can (“they were there already”), you will also find metrics that are “expensive” to provide but provide little or no value (“they seemed like a good idea at the time”).

Read the full article to discover all 13 issues and how to avoid them in your metrics gathering efforts: http://blogs.forrester.com/stephen_mann/12-06-20-where_it_metrics_go_wrong_13_issues_to_avoid

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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