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Martin Erb

Monday, July 23, 2012

Incident, Problem, and Change Management Metrics Benchmark - July 2012

The Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmark Service collects, analyzes and presents IT management metrics benchmarks. This Incident, Problem, and Change Management Metrics Benchmark update presents an analysis of voluntary survey responses by IT managers across the globe since early 2010. The surveys have thus far been limited to simpler metrics and the processes most broadly practiced.

The full whitepaper is available from the Pink Elephant White Papers site here.

Key points in this analysis:
Incident Management:
The number of Incidents is most influenced by (in order of influence)
1. The size of an IT organization (measured by quantity of IT Full Time Equivalent workers (FTEs) of all kinds (employees, contractors, and direct service providers’ workers))
2. The number of users, and
3. The number of years that formal Incident Management has been in practice
At least a quarter of all respondents have no documented basis for any Incident Resolution Interval.

Problem Management:
The number of new Problems recorded every month is just below the number of Active Problems already in progress (Problem WIP). This implies that the exit rate (rate at which Problems get resolved – or at least closed), must be pretty close to the number of new problems recorded every month.  The 4.4 month average problem average age at closure implies that some Problems are being closed very quickly – perhaps too quickly.
Change Management:
Among the several interesting metrics here is an average 90% Change Executed Right First Time (no rollback or cancelation, and as scheduled). This appears to indicate that 10% of all changes fail in at least 1 of the 3 ways - a quite disappointing benchmark.

This is an update on the Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmarks Service. Please submit your organization’s data! The more participants in our on-line metrics benchmark surveys, the better! The surveys are available at https://www.pinkelephant.com/MetricsSurvey/.

We welcome your feedback. Please comment on this blog or the whitepaper to let us know what you think, or write us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

(1) Comments
Posted by Martin Erb on 07/23/12 at 05:22 PM
ITSM FAQsMartin Erb Permalink

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Situation Constraints - Which To Fix First - The PQR Blog

Pink Question Reflection (PQR) Blog #3

Pink Elephant has been collecting Attitude, Behavior and Culture (ABC) exercise data in our classes and consulting engagements for almost a year now and have collected well over a thousand data points. The question for this blog is: “What Attitude, Behavior, and Culture situations did we expect our students and clients to select in their ABC exercises that are NOT being selected?

Background: Management of people and partners requires an understanding and careful management of Attitude, Culture, and Behavior (ABC). I assert that Behavior is largely the result of Attitude and Culture. The ABC exercises use a deck of 57 cards with words and pictures describing various IT and business situations classified in four principal areas: Attitude, Behavior, Culture, and Stakeholders; and five secondary areas: Partners, People, Performance, Process, and Product. The participants work in small groups to select one card with the description that best fits their organizations’ current situation. These are the Problem situations. We follow-up with a second exercise asking the participants use the cards again to select the situation that best represents the resistance they will encounter when attempting to improve the organization to eliminate or mitigate the Problem. These are the Resistance situations. We tally the selected situations to better understand the Problems and Resistance factors in individual IT organizations and among IT organizations as a whole.

Back to the question: Of the 57 situations available, many we expected to be selected have indeed appeared in the top 10 lists below. I had four culture situations on my sure-to-be-high-profile-issues list based on experience and cultural bias. The top four culture situations on my list have a strong and unfortunate association with management practices – particularly among the many managers firmly cemented in place at the peak of their Peter Principle arc. The basis for my cultural bias is centuries of observation expressed in literature and art in cultures around round the world presenting managers as ambitious fools. Current pop culture examples include Scott Adams’ Pointy Haired Boss (PHB) in the Dilbert comic strip and the managers in the US and UK The Office TV comedies. Surely the inappropriate cultures these managers establish are reflected in our ABC exercise data!

I was very wrong. The cultural situations I most expected to be represented are NOT reflected in the data! (But wait! If they cast no reflection in the data, can we stretch and mix the metaphor even further and infer that these inappropriate work place cultures are blood sucking vampires creating new generations of poor management that can live forever? Perhaps, but better not to go there.) Here are the actual results from more than a thousand exercise data points:

Hero culture” has never been selected as a Problem situation, and was selected only two times as a Resistance situation.
Blame culture” Hah! Tied for 10th place among Problems, but—- was never selected as a Resistance factor.
Punishment culture” selected only once as a Problem and never for Resistance  
Avoidance culture” selected only eight times as a Problem and four times for resistance.

Does this mean that these situations can safely be ignored? I do not think so. However, of all the things that are not as favorable as they could be, these (except perhaps Blame) are noise - windmills tempting our quixotic spirit. More important, their relative absence tells us that the common complaints about <insert insulting adjective here> managers are relatively unimportant and that time, political capital and energy spent attempting to improve them is probably wasted. Best to focus on the greater constraints we have uncovered in our ABC exercises listed at the bottom of this blog.

We have been blogging and talking about our ABC data and published a Translating Knowledge Into Results white paper in May, 2011. Since then the data has yielded more insight - and sometimes surprising - observations and findings such as the above. The implications and application of the findings will be discussed in sessions in our 16th Annual International Conference, in Las Vegas in February, and at our 4th Annual Conference in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in July.

The most current tally of the most selected Problems and cultural Resistance areas are listed below in order from most selected to least selected.

The situations most selected in our ABC Problem and Resistance exercises by ABC area

Most selected Problem situations:

Total Problem Behavior situations (41% of all responses)
Problem Behavior situations in the top 10 (23% of all responses)

• Everything has the highest priority….according to the users
• Maybe we should have tested that change first
• The solution the customer sees isn’t the one that IT sees
• Never mind about following procedures….just do what we usually do
• Throwing solutions (ITIL) over the wall and HOPING people will use them

Total Problem Culture situations (25% of all responses)
Problem Culture situations in the top 10 (19% of all responses)

• Not my responsibility
• Plan, Do, stop….no real continual improvement culture
• Them and Us culture—opposing and competing forces
• Internally focused
• Blame culture

Total Problem Attitude situations (25% of all responses)
Problem Attitude situation in the top 10 (11% of all responses)

• (IT has) no understanding of business impact & priority

Most selected Resistance situations:

Total Resistance Behavior situations (51% of all responses)
Resistance Behavior situations in the top 10 (43% of all responses)

• Never mind about following procedures….just do what we usually do (12%!)
• No management commitment
• Everything has the highest priority….according to the users
• Throwing solutions (ITIL) over the wall and HOPING people will use them
• We don’t measure our value contribution to strategy
• The solution the customer sees isn’t the one that IT sees
• Saying “Yes” but meaning “No”

Total Resistance Attitude situations (25% of all responses)
Resistance Attitude situations in the top 10 (12% of all responses)

• ITIL never work here
• (IT has) no understanding of business impact & priority

Total Resistance Culture situations (16% of all responses)
Resistance Chosen situation in the top 10 (3% of all responses)

• Plan, Do, stop….no real continual improvement culture

(0) Comments
Posted by Martin Erb on 01/25/12 at 07:33 PM
ITSM FAQsMartin Erb Permalink

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmark Service Blog – Change Mgmt Update December, 2011

Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmark Service Blog – Change Management Update December, 2011

This is an update on the Change Management Benchmarks from the Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmarks Service. With more Change Management (CHG) Benchmark Survey responses in hand, we have new Benchmarks presented below. The more participants in all our metrics benchmark surveys, the better!

We welcome your feedback. Please comment on this blog post to let us know what you think.

Observations:
> The newer data includes data from a broad array of organizations. While the mean number of RFCs has dropped slightly, the median number of users supported has more than doubled and the mean has grown by 30%.
> The average RFC Life Expectancy (Interval from Submission to Closure) is 3 to 5 weeks (median and mean, respectively). At this time, we take this as an indication that organizations’ Change Control requires significant lead time to ensure adequate notice to prevent conflicts.
> The Emergency RFCs percentage has not changed and remains fairly low.
> Correlations:
- IT Staff FTEs and RFCs per month, .72 – This relationship strengthened by 10%. IT FTEs are indicative of the size of the IT environment. Certainly the larger the environment, the more changes would be going on.
- % RFCs Right First Time and % RFCs without processing issues, .69 – This reinforces the expectation that organizations with well managed changes enjoy high change success rates.
- % Emergency RFCs and IT Staff Size, .35 – The fact that this correlation is lower than the RFC correlation is a sign that larger IT environments have proportionately fewer Emergency Changes than smaller environments.
- % RFCs Right First Time and Years Change Management Deployed, .26 – This correlation dropped from .69 in the earlier data undermining the assertion that the longer an organization has been managing changes in a defined process, the better the change success rate.

Change Management Metrics Benchmarks
RFCs per Month: Median: 525, Mean: 1,791, Min: <50, Max: >5,000
% of RFCs with No process Issues: Median: 93%, Mean: 86%, Min: <70%, Max: >97%
% of RFCs Completed Successfully the First Time as Scheduled: Median: 93%, Mean: 88%, Min: <80%, Max: >97%
% of RFCs that are Emergency RFCs: Median: 7%, Mean: 9%, Min: <1%, Max: >15%
RFC Submission to Closure Interval (days): Median: 22.5,  Mean: 37.6, Min: <3, Max: >120
RFCs per Month per Service User*: Median: .03, Mean: .23, Min: <.0001, Max: >3.18
RFCs per Month per IT FTE*: Median: 1.5,  Mean: 1.9, Min: <.33, Max: >6.67
*based on heuristics drawn from survey response data:

Attributes of Survey Participant Organizations
Years Change Management Process Has Been Deployed: Median: 3, Mean: 5.5, Min: <2, Max: >10
Service Users Supported: Median: 40,000, Mean 101,500, Min: <100, Max: >300,000
IT Full Time Equivalent Workers (IT FTE): Median: 125, Mean 439, Min: <10, Max: >1,500
Industries: Financial and Insurance (25%), Public Administration (20%), Manufacturing (12%), Other (43%) [Construction, Education, Health Care & Social Assistance, Information, Retail Trade, Transportation & Warehousing, Utilities, & na]
Locations: Europe, Latin America, North America
Data qualification/rationale:
The metrics and the organizational attributes in the CHG survey responses cover a wide spectrum. All survey response options have been selected by participants with no strong bias to any one response to any question. Medians and Means are approximate as they are based on range mid-points and estimated minima and maxima where required.

(0) Comments
Posted by Martin Erb on 01/12/12 at 11:39 AM
ITSM FAQsMartin Erb Permalink

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Changing People with Process Product & Partners to get Performance

I recently weighed in among other commenters on Stephen Mann’s blog on ABC of ICT blog over at Forrester. ABC stands for Attitude, Behavior, and Culture, and ICT for Information and Communication Technology. Stephen was ruminating on the relative importance of the 4 Ps (People, Process, Products, Partners) to get Performance, and pointing out that People (and sometimes Partners’ People, I might add) are the most difficult to modify and often most in need of modification to improve performance. The ABC exercises identify the symptoms - the peoples’ “worst practices”.

There was a common thread among the many experts and friends who commented on the blog - the order in which the Ps should be addressed. This is interesting, but jumps past the question; How do we change the people?

We often get this question from clients engaging in our ABC exercises at Pink Elephant. In the ABC exercise we are exposing and identifying the people problem symptoms so we can accept that we have a problem. Step 1 in the famous Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step method. We are not providing solutions to the problems we have identified.

A clear goal and a commitment by the people to achieve it - that is what makes things like LEAN, TOC, and ITSM work. Rob England (one of the commenters and the IT Skeptic) was correct in citing John Kotter as source of help. Kotter does give us the signposts. A key point he makes is that the change requires a Leader (defined here as the one chosen and accepted by the led - Konosuke Matsushita was the object of Kotter’s study) and a guiding coalition who can articulate the goal and pull people to commit themselves and make their way to the overarching organizational goal. Organizational optimization, not local optimization.

There are many change methodologies that cover both organizational and individual change. One of the older methods used by businesses is ADKAR. This method covers the change/grief cycle at both the organizational and individual level helping managers and supervisors transform themselves and all the people in the organization with Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. This method focuses on changing individuals AND the organization as a result. As you might expect, it takes a lot of personal relationship building, communication and team work - not terribly strong suits in IT people promoted into management on the basis of their technical performance. For IT organizations the ABC solution opportunities rely on building this skill set - whether there is a transformation program afoot - or not.

(3) Comments
Posted by Martin Erb on 11/03/11 at 01:48 PM
ITSM FAQsMartin Erb Permalink

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmark Service Blog #2

New Change Management and Updated Incident Management Benchmarks

We now have preliminary Change Management (CHG) Benchmarks and updated Incident Management (IM) Benchmarks based on the initial responses to the Change Management Metrics Survey and additional participation in the Incident Management Metrics Survey. The more participants in all our metrics benchmark surveys, the better! Thank you to the many that have participated.

We welcome your feedback. Please comment on this blog post to let us know what you think.

Change Management Metrics Benchmarks

The Change Management survey responses have been less diverse than the Incident Management responses. There are a few surprises in the early data. It remains to be seen if the values hold as the responses become more diverse.

Interesting Change Management metric and attribute correlation coefficients include:
> IT Staff FTEs and RFCs per month, .66 – This is similar to the correlation of IT FTEs and Incidents per month. This relationship is surprising in that it is only .66. IT FTEs are indicative of the size of the IT environment. Certainly the larger the environment, the more changes would be going on.
> % RFCs Right First Time and % RFCs without processing issues, .56 – This implies that organizations that have well managed changes also enjoy high change success rates.
> % RFCs Right First Time and Years Change Management Deployed, .69 – This remarkably strong correlation suggests that the longer an organization has been managing changes in a defined process, the better the change success rate.
> % Emergency RFCs and IT Staff Size, .55 – This correlation is similar to the RFC and Incident correlations with IT Staff Size. The fact that this correlation is lower than the RFC correlation is a sign that larger IT environments have proportionately fewer Emergency Changes than smaller environments.

Incident Management Benchmark Update

The only significant Incident Management correlation coefficient is the number of IT FTEs and Incidents per month at .66. This is not terribly surprizing, as IT FTEs is an indication of the size of the IT environment, and a larger environment would be expected to have more incidents than a smaller IT environment.

It is still surprising to see that despite the increased number of respondents, the proportion of the participating organizations with no documented Incident Resolution Interval Expectation us remaining high at 20%.

Data qualification/rationale:

The metrics and the organizational attributes in the ITSM Benchmark survey responses cover a wide spectrum. All survey response options have been selected by participants with no strong bias to any one response to any question. Medians and Means are approximate as they are based on range mid-points and estimated minimums and maximums where required. Since the survey uses non-linear ranges to ease data gathering and response by survey participants and except where the response options are narrow, there is a fairly large difference between the Median (center point of all responses ordered by value) and the Mean (normal average: total of all responses divided by the number of responses) drawn from the survey responses.

 

(0) Comments
Posted by Martin Erb on 08/31/11 at 08:50 PM
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmark Service Blog – Incident Management

Earlier this year, we launched the Pink Elephant IT Management Metrics Benchmarks Service. We now have Preliminary Incident Management (IM) Benchmarks based on the initial responses to the Incident Management Metrics Survey. The more participants in all our metrics benchmark surveys, the better!

We welcome your feedback. Please comment on this blog post to let us know what you think.

One surprising item is the Basis for Incident Resolution Interval Expectation with almost a quarter having none documented. The rest rely on Standards and/or SLAs.

Data qualification/rationale:

The metrics and the organizational attributes in the IM survey responses cover a wide spectrum. All survey response options have been selected by participants with no strong bias to any one response to any question. Medians and Means are approximate as they are based on range mid-points and estimated minimums and maximums where required. Since the survey uses non-linear ranges to ease data gathering and response by survey participants and except where the response options are narrow, there is a fairly large difference between the Median (center point of all responses ordered by value) and the Mean (normal average: total of all responses divided by the number of responses) drawn from the survey responses.

(2) Comments
Posted by Martin Erb on 07/29/11 at 12:40 PM
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