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IT Measures That Matter

With the right focus, an IT measurement program can return critical information specific to your organization.
OUT OF BALANCE
IT measurement programs are often out of balance--their focus is heavy in certain areas and negligent in others. Often the information made available is simply what's easiest to produce. In the role of advisers to the senior IT leadership team, IT measurement program members must ensure that there's sufficient coverage of all critical areas.

Fortunately, most of the critical thinking here can be tapped via the balanced scorecard, which classifies information needs into four primary categories or perspectives: internal business processes; customers; learning and growth; and financial. Leveraging the balanced scorecard and its supporting philosophy will ensure sufficient breadth of the IT Measurement Program (for more, visit www.balancedscorecard.org).

Finally, avoid the pitfall of simply doing what others are doing. While some of the basic information needs of an effective IT measurement program will be the same for most companies (budget performance, infrastructure costs, etc.), these aren't differentiators for optimizing your performance. Information that differentiates must be linked to value-focused goals that are particular to your organization.

Rod Cleary is senior manager of process quality assurance at Sallie Mae, the nation's leading provider of student loans. Write to him at [email protected]

Photo Illustration by Jupiter Images

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