I’ve spoken with leaders from dozens of technology support organizations. The large majority of these leaders use very similar metrics to measure the effectiveness of their support function. In fact, many of them take great pride in revealing how their Average Hold Time or Mean Time to Resolution measures have improved over the prior month. Unfortunately, not many of them can articulate how these improvements contribute to the strategic goals of their company.
As Mark Twain famously said, “There are liars, damned liars and statisticians.” His point? Any measure taken at a single point in time can be used to support practically any argument. Likewise, any metric tracked over a period time can erroneously lead one to believe that performance is improving. For example, is your company faring any better just because your Average Hold Time has decreased month over month?
For metrics to matter, they must be aligned with the strategic goals of your company. A likely strategic goal of an established software company, for instance, may be to increase the percentage of customers renewing their annual maintenance and support contracts. One could argue that Average Hold Times are in some fashion loosely correlated to annual renewals. But a more comprehensive approach that includes other metrics ─ such as Customer Satisfaction and First Call Resolution ─ has a much stronger correlation to annual renewals, and is therefore much more closely aligned with a company’s objectives.
The point? Successful leaders are willing to invest the up-front time required to identify meaningful metrics that, taken as a whole, can be measured and correlated into business benefits that align with their company’s strategic goals. How does your organization measure its contributions towards the strategic goals of your company?