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Submitted by mmann on


Hello everyone!

I've recently assumed responsibility for the company's IT Infrastructure Architecture team.  If you're responsible for an IT architecture team, or know someone who is, or played an IT infrastructure architect on TV, what metrics do you use to measure performance?


STEVENM's picture

"or played an IT infrastructure architect on TV"

Piracy rate. :D

cstrasser's picture

 Michael:  The primary tool you would use is an SLA (Service Level Agreement).  Look up ITIL that will get you what you are looking for .... 






mmann's picture
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My Service Design book is from the v3 2007 release.  It speaks to ITIL as a blueprint and doesn't detail specific performance metrics for IT architecture.  Does the 2011 update get into that level of detail?


techmgr's picture
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What performance are you trying to measure? technology? process? service? Here's some guidance from ITIL Support Operations:

KPIs (key performance indicators) will help you manage an IT service, process, plan, project or another activity. So you set up your KPIs to manage and report on your IT processes/services/other activities. 

You can use KPIs to measure how far you've progressed towards the achievement of CSFs (critical success factors). CSFs are your goals - the things that must happen in order to succeed. So you would set up KPIs to measure whether you are achieving your critical success factors.

For example, a help desk might have a KPI called incidents resolved within target time, where the value is some percentage of the total, and the CSF (goal) has been set at, say, 90%.

In addition to the Service Design book I recommend checking out the other core ITIL books for this information, which is repeated fairly consistently throughout, just from a different perspective. But you aren't going to find anything too specific. ITIL is just a framework, it tells you that you need metrics to measure quality, compliance, value, and performance - but it's not going to tell you exactly what those metrics should be. Start with setting your goals first, and that will help you see what you need to start measuring.


tlhausmann's picture
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Dovetailing with techmgr's (Jeanne) remarks--I tend to think of critical success factors as qualitative (goals) matters for advancing the entire enterprise. This is not the ITIL definition yet when I think about the overall enterprise and how IT infrastructure supports it then one can list KPIs (e.g. web site uptime, internal customer satisfaction with network performance, % of tickets closed within agreed operational level agreement timelines, etc.) My experience is more broad than strictly infrastructure so CSFs (for me) usually extend beyond IT and I then have to identify KPIs supporting business processes throughout the enterprise.

Since this is Manager Tools (MT), as you know, there are casts for helping managers set M(easurable) and T(ime specific) goals/targets

for a quick list try: -- especially the set on "How to Set Annual Goals"

In order to build out staff development plans for the infrastructure teams consider building your own version of a RACI matrix:

If your department is small you may consider creating a table similar to a RACI matrix. Have the primary activities of the infrastructure team listed down the left hand side. Across the top list the people in your department. Place a "1"  in each row under the name of the person who is primarily responsible for carrying out the activity. Place a "2" in that row under the name who is the backup person in the event the primary is unavailable. When this staffing matrix is done you'll have identified a primary and secondary person for each activity AND if there are gaps then you have a list of development opportunities to build out your team.



mmann's picture
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Thank you both for some well-articulated responses.  Leveraging KPIs and modelling task assignments are important concepts.  As these tools are engaged within an organization it's essential to drop down to the next level of detail, That's where I'm looking for help. 

I have a slog of thinking to do on this subject and the high I in me was looking around for someone else to do it for me.  I think I can come up with a few things associated with criticality assessments, reference architectures and technology roadmaps.   Adding the reference architecture documents as a CI in the CMDB would give the linkage needed to measure the gap between the reference and reality.  That should keep the team busy for the coming year!

Maybe this isn't such a slog after all.


  Thanks again!

mmann's picture
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 That's the other piece... intercepting new demand and determining if it can be met with existing services and capabilities or if net new is required.