At a recent event I was speaking with someone
who said that they were doing all kinds of reporting but it never seemed to
make any real difference to their ability to improve the delivery of services.
Reference to the 5 why’s speaks to a style of
root cause analysis that asks the question “why” to outline cause and effect.
The hamburger is cold – why?
The order took a long time –
There was no staff in the
restaurant – why?
The staffing software did
not project the right numbers – why?
The system did not receive
correct updates – more whys could be asked but you can see where this is going.
While the 5 whys is typically used for root
cause, I start to think about how asking why applies to reporting and the
gathering of metrics for continual service improvement.
We had an increase in
incidents last month – why?
There were more failed
changes than normal – why?
The lead times for
implementations were shorter – why?
The business required faster
implementations – why?
IT needs to be better
coordinated with the business to ensure this type of issue doesn’t occur.
More than ever we have the ability to collect
all forms of data the question that you have to ask yourselves is what benefit
will pulling this information serve. In other words why?
Far too often we extract data in large
quantities and are really unable to translate the information in ways in which
IT is able to make any type improvement. More is not always better. What we
need to ensure is that we align our critical success factors to our businesses
goals. From there we can determine what we really need to measure as far as KPI’s
in order to make lasting improvements.
So when I asked the person about the data
being pulled and said why, there was no real definitive answer to indicate what
value the information extracted would provide. It’s not to day that we shouldn’t
collect more information than we need, but we need to focus our attention on
what outcomes we are trying to achieve with our business partners and then
tailor the reporting to line up to those goals. After all, everybody is really
busy so spending time focusing on the statistics that matter is time well spent.
Why are we reporting on
What business objectives
will this align to?
What improvement initiative
can we build to achieve the business goals?
Asking questions will allow you to increase
your ability to make overall service improvements.
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Labels: Continual Service Improvement, ITSM, Service Management Reporting