IT-Business Articles, Tutorials &
Free gateway to global
IT-business skills knowledge.
Subject: IT Performance
Tutorial: Introduction To IT Performance
Management And Measurement
IT Performance Management - What are some of the key
terms and concepts?
Before we proceed further to describe how non-technical
performance management works, some key terms and concepts
should be discussed. Some of the terms used throughout this
tutorial will be interpreted differently by different
readers; therefore, a glossary
of performance management terms is provided. These are meant
to be useful interpretations, not standard definitions.
Three of the concepts underlying performance management,
which often confuse novices, are an organizationís
"management system", performance measures, and
- A management system is an interconnected set of
processes, and a process is a set of activities that
produce products or services (results). For
performance management and measurement purposes,
products and services are treated alike. That is,
the output of a process might be a product (such as
a computer or a project deliverable) or a service
(such as PC support help desk assistance). Products
and services are tangible, measurable, and
susceptible to analysis; thus,
- Performance measures are indicators that can be
systematically tracked to assess progress made in
achieving predetermined objectives (e.g., the number
of NT workstations deployed to replace Unix
workstations) or service levels (e.g., help desk
call resolution time).
- Performance metrics are standards of measurement
(such as minimum acceptable elapsed time to resolve
help desk calls). A metric establishes a benchmark
target that is compared to actual performance - the
difference between the benchmark (the plan) and
actual performance provides insight into what is
working as planned and what is not.
Dealing with these concepts can become complicated and
are often a bit intimidating and confusing at first. What is
important is recognition that performance management is a
sophisticated management tool and that we are introducing
you to some of the basics.
Introduction To IT Performance
Management And Measurement, Lesson 4 of 13