Reader Question: Which metrics should I choose for Change Management?
Third Sky Expert Answer:
Kai Holthaus, Director of Consulting, Third Sky
That, of course, depends (favorite answer of ITIL Experts everywhere...).
Ask yourself what you want to achieve. When selecting a Critical Success Factor (CSF), Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and associated metrics, and starting to report on those metrics,you will experience two types of behavior in your organization. Most of your employees will want to be good team players, and they will work to meet the desirable metrics (and avoid undesirable ones). For example, if you start reporting on the number of changes implemented without proper authorization (could be discovered through Configuration Audits), and you start punishing people implementing changes without authorization, you will see the number of unauthorized changes go down (for most people). However, you will normally also find that some people will try to 'game the system'. In our current example, you may find people implementing changes without proper authorization, but then making it look like (in your tracking system) as if they had had the authorization.
Also keep in mind, that sometimes metrics can have unintended consequences. Sticking with the example of tracking (and trying to reduce) the number of unauthorized changes, you may be surprised to see your backlog of changes waiting to be approved grow, because your approval process was not yet ready to handle all the change that was going on in your environment. So, it's a good practice to be prepared to adjust your metrics accordingly. This also applies to metrics that have been in place for a while. If you have driven the number of authorized changes to zero, and have held it there for the last 12 months, you may want to consider to adjust your focus to other issues (but don't lose sight completely... unauthorized changes can quickly creep back in).
Finally, make sure that you can actually measure the things you need to measure to report on CSFs and KPIs. Setting a goal of no unauthorized changes is laudable, but will remain a goal until you have found a way to detect unauthorized changes.
Having said all of this, here are some examples of KPIs you may want to consider for your Change Management process:
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