2.How to measure business outcomes?

The first step is to shift the focus from individual tools/applications to the end business objective. The actual steps involved in doing this can vary depending on the business domains and organizations involved but below is a framework of questions which would help you to determine what exactly you should do.

  • Who is your end customer?
  • Which department is using your systems?
  • What is the business objective of this department?
  • What are the business KPIs for this department? Are they working towards any SLAs to external departments?
    • Knowing this is a key step in the process , because this says how business would measure their performance. Being able to look at a business reporting dashboard can really help to understand their priorities
  • What are the key business events? Do you have access to the business events calendar?
    • This is another key input which helps to understand business priorities especially for certain business areas where there is no predefined business deliverables for each day. The usage of certain IT systems are triggered by  specific business events. Even if the system is available for all the remaining period it does not really help if it is not available/or not working when it is really required
  • Is there a business portfolio planning tool which explains the plans for future?
    • This is a vital input because being able to access a portfolio planning tool would avoid the need for asking business every time on their priorities.
  • Are there any external service providers using the IT systems and delivering business services to your end customers? If so we need to know how does their SLA looks like? 
    • This SLA need not be the same as the final business SLAs rather could be a tighter one including some contingency. 
Once the above questions has been answered you should have a very good understanding of the business priorities and what are they working towards.

Next >> Translating business KPIs to IT expectations

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