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Subject: IT Performance Management

Tutorial: Introduction To IT Performance Management And Measurement


How does non-technical IT performance management work? (cont'd)

Performance management also employs ad hoc methods to assess and predict performance. These include techniques such as simulations, trend analysis, and in-depth performance reviews:

  • Simulation (e.g., "what if" analysis) can be used to project how changes in certain activities might affect others.
    E.g.: If the PC support group is deploying NT workstations to replace Unix workstations very much ahead of schedule, how this will affect the software development group that must convert Unix-based software for use on NT. Such simulation can effectively alert management to impending problems (e.g., the software development group canít keep up with the accelerated NT conversion schedule; as a result, business users would lose mission-critical functionality). This knowledge would enable management to implement corrective measures (e.g., either put NT deployment back on its original schedule or accelerate the software development process by increasing development staff).
  • Trend analysis can be used to reveal recurring difficulties that are not detected by ongoing performance monitoring.
    E.g.: Senior management has imposed a standard employee-to-consultant ratio for all functional areas; it is the same for accounts payable as it is for the IT organization. A trend analysis, possibly spanning several years, might reveal that the realities of the IT business consistently force the IT organization to either violate the standard or shut-down important activities because sufficient numbers of technical personnel canít be hired. The analysis would tell management that the problems of the past are likely to recur unless the standard for IT is changed.
  • Performance reviews (a.k.a., performance audits) can provide IT and senior management with objective, often comprehensive, assessments of the performance of a major function, activity, system, or process. Performance reviews (audits) are not financial audits, although they may include financial elements (e.g., a functional performance review might include evaluation of the adequacy of budget resources to accomplish business objectives).

These are some of the routine, and not so routine, tools and techniques used in the practice of performance management.

Introduction To IT Performance Management And Measurement, Lesson 6 of 13

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