Your IT Report Card

How many of you remember as a kid the trauma associated with Report Time at school? I still have never forgotten my report cards. The trouble was that my brother was incredibly smart and always received A’s across the board. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as effective in convincing my teachers that I knew what was going on. ‘Nuff said.

Unfortunately, when it comes to time for IT to report to the business we’re not always that good at communicating in simple terms that the business can understand. As a result anecdotes about Outages, Software incompatibility and poor Performance prevail. Without a good set of benchmarks and KPIs covering a range of services that the business recognizes, and written in terms that the business can relate to, we in IT leave ourselves exposed to the poor reputation I often hear about. But I think there is a better way.

Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it

-Peter Drucker

The problem with just talking about what we did in IT, using terms that we regularly use to communicate internally, is that the business doesn’t understand what we mean and why it’s important. With so many high quality consumer applications and services now available at home, the business doesn’t understand why it’s not the same at work and is losing patience with IT. Instead of focusing on specific activities – changes and projects – and events – incidents and events – we need to talk to our customers about what they were expecting, a comprehensive view what they received and why. And the progress changes that they have asked for to further improve service delivery and lower costs.

Talking in (customer) tongues I’d like to suggest an enlightened way of sharing with business customers what IT has accomplished. Let’s look at how IT reporting can better serve the business.

Here are key reports that should align better with what the business thinks they’re paying IT to deliver:

  • How well are Services delivered?
  • What new capabilities are being delivered?
  • How did the Service Desk perform?
  • What rework has been avoided?
  • How well are we using our assets?
  • What work has been automated?

How does your IT team communicate with its customers? Is it effective in supporting IT budget aligned with changing business needs?

[Image credit: Unsplash.]

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