Before my life as an ITSM professor, I was responsible for delivering the monthly reports on IT at a large specialty retailer organization with multiple remote locations in several states across America. I delivered many of the standard reports for Service Desk, Change Management and System Availability. System availability was a standard report that reviewed from a system / hardware perspective just how available the systems and their supporting components were throughout the month. This was delivered in percentages and the goal was to maintain 100% infrastructure availability.
Even though many of the individual systems and components were meeting their required SLAs, our customers were still not satisfied with the availability and performance of critical services. We needed to re-address what should we be measuring and how should we be reporting achievements back to the business and customers. We decided to report on the end to end delivery of our services and the actual customer experience from their perspective.
Three basic measurements were utilized
- Availability of the service
- Reliability of the service
- Performance of the service
It was still valuable for us to also continue measuring these aspects for the underlying components. The individual metrics would be used as input into our new Service Availability Report. The key here was developing a service measurement framework that would from a statistical analysis model, coincide with what the customers were experiencing. Of course, this took some trial and error. As with any activity, we took a continual service improvement approach to refining what measurements and metrics we used to show all aspects of availability and unavailability of our services.
By re-evaluating our measurements with all stakeholders, we were able to establish an agreed definition of what success should look like. By choosing the correct measures, defining the critical elements, creating clear and relevant objectives and having define roles and responsibilities, we were able to successfully and accurately report the true customer experience and deliver a more sustainable and relevant level of service to our customers.