Reporting Life Cycle

Where are you at with your ITSSM (IT Service Support Management) tool? Did you purchase a tool in hopes that it would solve at least 90% of your existing issues? Did you use Remedy, ServiceNow, HP, Samanage, Cherwell? In the mix of all the existing ticketing infrastructure, many organizations are still using majority of excel locally saved. Am I right?

There are several data points that Gartner or Forrester can show you, but what fits your ideal situation? What are the challenges your facing today?

One of the main challenges to do are those unusable “canned reports”. How many times have you been to a pitch where you get “industry accepted” canned reports only to find you need to purchase custom reports. After all the existing data from the previous tool, we purchased a new tool, only to find we still cant get to the correct reporting we needed.

Reporting Life Cycle

Did we go into detail of what specific data points we needed out of the reports? I hate to say ” value proposition” but apparently thats what the customer wants to hear. Let’s look at what these reports bring to the table. Do they only revive the existing management reports that we’ve been glancing over for the the last 10 years? or are we asking ourselves what are the existing valuable data points that will help us report production.

Another reporting “group think” exercise that I’ve seen is that somehow every data point still ends up on a word document, which many analysts have to manually replicate on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Talk about redundancy. We want automation…….but we want it on a word document (sarcasm).

Data is constantly moving. It’s always moving and the demand for new data points will shift. Even if we know the data or report already exists, we will still need a new report. In today’s world we need to involvement and the expertise of the data gurus of the world to breakdown the management of how we extract data in the future rather than a set report. If we approach it with constant change, the value of data scientists will be realized in the organization. We often are looking for data in the obvious corners, but try looking for data in various angles and make this a practice to the organization and its reporting life cycle.

Claiming ownership of transactions

Another common theme I’ve seen, is the ability to prove production or that we have been doing “work” by somehow translating that there were 1,000 transactions this month, which was ultimately automated, by a script. So this ends up to 12,000 transactions we do annually. I just think its interesting to provide this data as quantitative rather than an analytic. So what if we did this many transactions, what are we doing with it? What do we know what happened within these transactions. It should be a start of a conversation to what happens next, or what new data point we should extract to make it valuable to our findings.


Tying back to ROI

Lastly, in many ITSSM reporting, there has not been a report that brings it all together, the value that we are getting our money back in this investment. The reality is that these are investments, and that its difficult to translate these transactions into dollars. If we spend more money on this investment, shouldn’t we get “less transactions” in our incidents or problems. Or do we end up trying to prove that it was valuable investment because of the fact that its a better tool for our team. Going back to basics, drawing a line from existing goals is an important part of tying it back to ROI. Does our service desk platform help our team resolve issues at the Front line level before it gets to Tier 2? There is a huge metric track in dollars in comparing the old vs new tool.

Another example, is anyone going back an looking at last year’s reporting? Are we digging deep enough each month and year to tell the story? Did we provide enough reporting and communication from last year or previous years? Can we compare our success in improvement as an organization and not just because we purchased a new tool? Or is it because we purchased a new module that we were successful? These are stories worth finding for the success of the organization.

What are your thoughts?