In this article by Rob England he provides a point of view on the some not so desirable metrics for Service Desk and an approach towards a Balanced Scorecard. What I really admire about Rob’s approach is his different point of view on the usual norms and the way he would force you to validate your thinking and provide a different point of view.
In this article he has written about too much focus on Abandoned Calls undesirable. While it might be ok for an in-house service desk to not give too much focus on Abandoned Call Rate, more often than not SLAs which are written between third party/external service providers and customers have Abandoned Call Rate as an important statistic. This is something that is an indicator of the service to customers and drives customer satisfaction. Rob mentions that too much focus on ACR might force Service Desk agents to finish the calls in a rush, and a similar situation would occur with focus on AHT (Average Handle Time) for calls. I personally feel that these two metrics are an important indicator of the Service Desk quality and need to be measured. Some of the actions which need to be taken with these numbers going up could be
1. Identify a trend in Call Abandon Rate and staff Service Desk agents to handle those volumes (most call centers do that)
2. Identify agents which high AHT and identify reasons for high AHT. This might trigger a need for some training to be imparted to those agents
In my opinion, its not possible to reach a conclusion on these metrics unless a deeper analysis is done on them and over time a consistent performance should take these down the priority list.
Looks like today is a number day! The previous post was with the number 6 and this one with the number 7.
Hang Marquis in this weekly newsletter from DITY (Do IT Yourself) writes some truths about Metrics followed by a simple checklist to create metrics that matter.
- Align with Vital Business Functions. Regardless of the IT activity, you need to make sure your metrics tells you something about the VBF that depends on what you are measuring.
- Keep it simple. A common problem manager fault is overloading a metric. That is, trying to get a single metric to report more than one thing. If you want to track more than one thing, create a metric for each. Keep the metric simple and easy to understand. If it is too hard to determine the metrics, people often fake the data or the entire report.
- Good enough is perfect. Do not waste time polishing your metrics. Instead, select metrics that are easy to track, and easy to understand. Complicated or overloaded metrics often require excessive work, usually confuse people, and do not get used. Use a tool like the Goal Question Metric (GQM) model to clarify your metrics.
- Use metrics as indicators. Key Performance Indicators are metrics! A KPI does not troubleshoot anything, but rather the KPI indicates something is amiss. A KPI normally does not track or show work done. Satisfying several KPI normally means satisfying the related CSF. The KPI is an indicator, a metric designed to alert you that CSF attainment might be in jeopardy, that is all. A good metric (KPI) is just an excellent indicator of the likelihood of attaining a CSF.
- A few good metrics. Too many metrics, even if they are effective, can overwhelm a team. For any processes 3 to 6 CSFs are usually all that is required. Each CSF might have 1 to 3 KPI. This means most teams and individuals might have just 2-5 metrics related to their activities or process. Any more and either the metrics won’t get reported, or the data gets faked. Too many metrics transforms an organization into a reporting factory — focusing on the wrong things for the wrong reasons. In either case, the usefulness of the metric is compromised.
- Beware the trap of metrics. Failure to follow these guidelines invariably results in process problems. Look around your current organization.