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Performance Baselines

An important beginning point for highlighting improvement is to establish baselines as markers or starting points for later comparison. Baselines are also used to establish an initial data point to determine if a service or process needs to be improved. As a result, it is important that baselines are documented, recognized and accepted throughout the organization.

Baselines must be established at each level:

Strategic goals and objectives, tactical process maturity, operational metrics and KPIs. If a baseline is not initially established the first measurement efforts will become the baseline. That is why it is essential to collect data at the outset, even if the integrity of the data is in question. It is better to have data to question than to have no data at all.

Baseline provides us a starting point, it will help us in doing comparison, decision making and loose a provide with fill back option if something goes wrong.

Before implementing continual service improvement (CSI) it is important to have identified and filled the critical roles such as CSI manager, service owner and reporting analyst. A service level manager facilitates the liaison between the customer and IT. Monitoring and reporting on technology metrics, process metrics and service metrics needs to be in place.

Internal service review meetings need to be scheduled in order to review from an internal IT perspective to see the monthly results achieved. These internal review meetings should take place before any external review meeting with the business. For effective CSI it is important for organizations to view their tool requirements from an enterprise perspective.

An integrated toolset is required to undepend all the ITIL processes and provide a diverse range of data required for effective and efficient CSI. Tools for CSI should support the key operational activities of the seven-step improvement process:

  • Data gathering

  • Data processing

  • Data analysis and

  • Data presentation.

Tools must provide for monitoring of each level of the service hierarchy:

Services, systems and components, as well as support the reporting activities for SLAs, OLAs and UCs.