Monday, August 27, 2007

Clear Eye for the KPI Guy

I'm attending a Microsoft Operations Framework class this week[1] and the instructor[2] had a great quote today:
If your KPIs are always green, or if your KPIs are always red, then you're measuring the wrong thing.

Now he didn't actually say KPI - we were talking about the metrics you might use when defining and auditing service level agreements, and not about BI, but the concepts are still the same. In order for a KPI to have the most value there needs to be circumstances when it is not green, and if a KPI is always red, then either you've set the goal unrealistically hard, or else you're not willing or able to use the KPI the way it was intended.

[1] This is one way I'm trying to practice what I preach - MOF and ITIL are essentially the "business side" of the BI project I'm working on, so the more I understand its nuances, the better I'll be able to help bring business value to my users.
[2] Monte Whitbeck from Microsoft - he's doing a killer job. I wish I got to attend more training from people like Monte who really understand the material they present and have worked with it extensively in the real world.

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