8 Tips for Better Metrics + What Would Add?

  • 8 October 2021
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No matter where in an organisation you work, there’s likely often debate around how performance metrics can be improved. The list below was crafted for IT service desks but is equally applicable to external customer support or other business functions:

  1. Use metrics for productive reasons, such as driving improvement - using them purely as a target to hit adds little to creating better business operations and outcomes
  2. Use only the metrics you need and report on only what’s needed - don’t overwhelm people with unnecessary metrics
  3. Align metrics with desired outcomes - move from what’s being done to what’s being achieved (by what’s being done)
  4. Understand the context of metrics and how different metrics are related - few metrics have little impact elsewhere, so ensure that you understand how improving in one area will affect another
  5. Look to trends for greater insight and inspiration - how performance changes over time is key to understanding what’s happening
  6. Understand the behavioural aspects of employed metrics - “what gets measured gets done” but also be aware that the wrong metrics will likely make employees go against what’s best for the customer
  7. Be careful with industry benchmarks - they relate to an average organisation that’s likely to be different to yours
  8. Periodically review the portfolio service desk metrics, changing metrics as appropriate to keep up with changing business needs

But what would you add to this list? Please let me and others know as a response to this post. Thanks.


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Thank you @manns for these helpful tips around performance metrics.

Use metrics for productive reasons, such as driving improvement - Completely agree with this point. Have seen so many instances where metrics have been used as a benchmark to achieve, but is the impact it has created or the outcome of it that we’ve achieved is lost most times. While setting targets is important, understanding the outcome is also very important.

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