This way, the CIO always has access to the decisive information for the controlling of the IT services

// IT Processes and Organisation, IT Quality Improvement

How often do you hear the familiar saying "Only that which can be measured can also be managed"? Managing includes three central tasks: setting objectives, determining paths, and achieving objectives. In this, measuring helps in the third task – a navigation device constantly measures the position and speed, and helps in navigation to the target. The setting of the targets is left to the user. In a navigation device, the possible targets are limited to a location on the globe. For the exact determination of reaching the target, therefore only two measuring criteria are needed, longitude and latitude. But what are the longitudes and latitudes of IT management? And where is your personal favourite location in these latitudes – 19°49′20.4″ N 155°28′20.2″ W or 51°55’47.5“ N 7°43‘7.6“ O?

The latitude was standardised already by Claudius Ptolemy (* approx. 100, † approx. 160); for political reasons, the definition of the longitude was specified variably on a per state basis until 1884. The indicators of IT service management are by far not as mature, they are still faced with the approx. 1700 years of political influencing.

Just like COBIT, ITIL® defines sensible indicators of IT service management. But what all standards share is that they are providing a confusing flood of indicators. For the incident management process alone, ITIL® specifies 23 different indicators (here, COBIT is limiting itself to 12) and depending on the way of counting and viewing them, these frameworks specify up to 37 processes! Who does still want to see the forest for all the trees?

Therefore, we firmly believe in the advantage of an individual analysis and reporting solution – based on indicators that make customer-specific objectives provable. But to nevertheless be able to achieve a quick implementation, we utilise a standardised data management and analysis environment, in addition to the expertise of the consultants. The typical process for the setup of an IT Service Performance Cockpit is as follows:

Definition of top objectives

Here, business strategy, market insights, and business plans serve as input. Derived from them are in typically four perspectives: Finances, customers, processes & organisation, and employee objectives for the IT management. Through the alignment of the IT objectives with the business objectives of all perspectives, the shift of the focus from IT as a cost factor towards IT as a service component can be achieved.

Derivation of an individual hierarchy of objectives

The top objectives are the target coordinates for the navigation. To reach them, intermediate targets and/or sub-target are necessary. Each sub-objective supports one or more top objectives and is dedicatedly assigned to a process, an organisational unit, an IT service or a project/program that is responsible for achieving it.

Determination of the measurability

The necessary metrics are defined for each objective. In this, the minimum amount of indicators necessary to clearly define the objective is strived for. For this, it must be ensured that the metrics are factual and can be determined with acceptable effort. The implementation of the Cockpit starts with this step.

Specification of the measurement criteria

The indicators and the required dimensions (possible axes in the analysis) are specified. In this, the volume is reduced once again in order to summarise similar indicators. Therewith, the data sources are specified and the data integration into the Service Performance Cockpit is established.

Setup of the Service Performance Cockpit

By means of pre-defined data model template, the Service Performance Cockpit is set up in a short period of time. For this, data integration jobs are created, the template is adjusted to the individual indicators and requirements, and the reporting and analysis level is designed. In this, it is possible to utilise MS SQL and MicroStrategy or existing database and analysis systems.

The noventum Service Performance Cockpit methods combine the advantage of predefined analysis and reporting functionality with the precision of individual consulting and the analysis of the indicators that are actually relevant.

noventum consulting

Marc Buzina


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