Why Data and Metrics Matter More Than Ever

Why Data and Metrics Matter More Than Ever

Cropped shot of a businessman giving a presentation in a boardroom

Somewhere in your organization is the bean counter.


Bean counters always want to know who can get better, cheaper beans. And can’t they ship any faster? It’s the counters’ job to measure such things on behalf of the stakeholders.

You should want to be part of these counting conversations. This allows for more informed decisions, which always beats guessing.

For everyone in your organization, metrics should be more than dry facts or number crunching. The idea is to advance in understanding from data to information, then knowledge, and ultimately wisdom.

The path lies in finding meaning through patterns, then determining the best way to act upon that data to improve business and life in general.

There, don’t you feel better about metrics already? Let’s look at who else should care and why.

Who Cares About Metrics?

DevOps — As a practice, the DevOps team sets up the metrics by which it wants to be judged and to see how they’re performing.

IT Support/Operations/Maintenance —
Metrics illustrate your performance. They may also represent an agreement to the business that you support, if you have a business relationship management function.

IT Service Management —
The management office cares about metrics because they offer a means by which to establish service-level agreements, operation-level agreements, and judge the relative success of your services. Metrics also drive continual service improvement.

Management and Leadership —
At the end of the day, when you go to manage these teams, metrics should be there to provide the evidence you need to lead the organization.
Metrics can also help individual team members answer the question, “What exactly is it you do here?”

10 Good Reasons to Measure

  1. You are being measured—wouldn’t you like a say in how and why?
  2. Evidence-based decision-making beats guessing.
  3. Team members with challenges can be identified and helped.
  4. Top performers can be identified and share critical knowledge.
  5. If you can measure something, you can mange it.
  6. Measurements show what is really important and help prioritize work.
  7. Metrics can show management where team members need help.
  8. Data patterns can reveal problems before they blow up.
  9. Meaningful metrics tie team members to the vision and goals of the organization.
  10. Without metrics, you cannot describe or improve what you are doing!

A measurable process allows you to accurately describe your work. All measurable work adheres to repeatable processes, which help in the separation of duties between those doing, managing, and governing the work.

After dealing with any situation, the best way to defend your action to senior management is to say, “I had the following evidence, I made the following logical conclusions from the evidence, and therefore, I made this decision.”

The excuse that gets many of us in trouble is saying, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

For more, watch the webinar.

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