A recent report by AOTMP includes a section on using KPIs to measure the value of various IT and telecom functions as they relate to overall strategic business issues. This, of course, makes a lot of sense, as IT and telecom managers strive to play a more strategic role within their organizations and continue to work to break free from the nagging perception of being more of a "cost center" than a strategic asset.
Before you can begin to put meaningful KPIs together, however, more work is needed up front. And it isn't always easy. It starts with a shift in mindset within your IT and telecom departments from the traditional "fix it" mentality to a more forward-thinking approach. Without that shift occurring first, the process of assigning KPIs may lack necessary context and may, therefore, only serve to disconnect your team from your day to day reality. Of course, as with any culture change, it takes time. And, it has to start with small steps. One of those small steps is to start asking yourself and your team a new set of questions, more along these lines:
After you collect and organize your team's responses to these questions, you can start turning them into a set of short, mid and long-term objectives that can be walked upstairs to senior management for input and, if you do your job right, to get their buy-in. Once that's accomplished, you are ready to put together a set of KPIs which are aligned with objectives that your team understands and that have credibility with senior management. With time and a consistent effort, you will open the door to a new partnership between C-suite management and IT/Telcom. But it begins with getting your team to think in new ways that reflect corporate goals, not just how you're going to put out the next "fire" or respond to the next user complaint.
Of course, this level of transformation doesn't happen overnight. For one thing, you will need to find ways to increase efficiency within your department to free up the time to move in a more strategic direction. That's where we can help. At TTI we consider our telecommunications expense management and call accounting as essential tools that can be used to support your quest for a place "at the table" when discussion of future direction and strategy take place. We welcome you to contact us so that we can learn more about your organization and how we can help you get out of the cost center rut and well on your way towards becoming a valuable corporate asset.