In 1973, my family first visited Walt Disney World in Florida. At that time, you had to purchase tickets for the rides with the number of tickets for each ride determined by its “category”. My parents spent a significant amount of time standing in line in order to purchase tickets while always keeping the balancing act in mind: purchase just the right amount of tickets so there were no leftovers.
After we were home several days, my Dad received a phone call from Disney asking for his opinion of the trip with an emphasis on what they might be able to improve on. The person on the phone made a comment that has stuck with me since: “You can’t get better until you first know where you are”. My Dad went on to explain the frustration with having to stand in line often to buy tickets. To this day, my Dad will tell you that his feedback is the reason that Disney operates that way it does today.
The quote has driven my belief that the effective collection and use of metrics is a critical element in managing the delivery of Managed Services engagements. Metrics provide information needed to proactively manage the processes for the delivery of services, providing an ability to predict and control the quality of the products being produced and the visibility into the status of the on-going effort.
The post is the first of four that will focus on which metrics I feel are most helpful in determining where you are and then identifying potential improvement opportunities.