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This month we depart from our usual format, and instead of discussing a single metric I will explore the cause-and-effect relationships between desktop support KPIs.  A companion article to this one, which explored the cause-and-effect relationship of service desk KPIs, was published in the November 2012 issue of Industry Insider.

Cause-and-Effect for Desktop Support KPIs

Many of us have heard the sage advice “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

This is particularly true for desktop support, where effective performance measurement is not just a necessity, but a prerequisite for effective decision-making.  Despite the widespread belief in this statement, few desktop support groups use KPIs to their full potential.  In fact the vast majority of desktop support groups use metrics to track and trend their performance – but nothing more!  Unfortunately, in this mode desktop support misses the real value of performance measurement by failing to exploit the diagnostic capabilities of KPIs.  But the true potential of KPIs can only be unlocked when they are used holistically, not just to measure performance, but also to diagnose and understand the underlying drivers of performance.

The key to using KPIs diagnostically is to understand their cause-and-effect relationships.  You can think of these relationships as a linkage where all of the KPIs are interconnected.  When one KPI moves up or down, other KPIs invariably move with it.  Understanding this linkage is enormously powerful because it provides insight into the levers you can pull to achieve desired outcomes.

The diagram in Figure 1 represents the desktop support KPI linkage, and will be central to our discussion today.  The metrics shown in red have been the subject of past Metric of the Month articles, which can be found in the archives of the Industry Insider.

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Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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