• rm@rmbastien.com

Measures Impact Quality

Measures Impact Quality

Are the measures of performance in the table below impacting the quality of the work done by digital teams? They sure do! But beware that there is a gap, and a major one.

The Typical Performance Measures

(more details on this table here)

Quality Versus Performance

Failure to perform adequately in the KTLO (Keep The Light On) category, can rapidly lead to dismissal.  Underachievement in the OTOB (On-Time On-Budget) category may take more time to notice, but will eventually translate into career changes. I’ve charted this reality in a simple but eloquent figure.

The universal message behind that chart is quite obvious: the performance gauges that are critical for an individual’s career are always measured quantitatively.

There are additional conclusions specific to the IT function:

  • I confirm that in the IT trenches, the ones that are measured quantitatively are treated very seriously.
  • KTLO measures represent the most critical tasks for anyone in IT and as such are positioned at upper right corner.
  • OTOB measures are not as important as KTLO. It is not surprising that the quantitative measures are less precise and diverse. No coincidence neither that under-performers in that area keep their jobs much longer.
  • The other measures of performance are either qualitatively measured or not measured at all. As such, failure to achieve as much less impact people’s careers.

You should scale back your expectations concerning behaviors associated with anything else but KTLO or OTOB accountabilities.

The Neglected Quality Criteria

The burning question is now: “What falls under ‘The Rest’ at the bottom left?”  This category encompasses the mundane and less significant ones. It also include crucial ones that seriously impact the quality of corporate IT’s output.

There are five core quality criteria for the systems that your IT function provides. Summarized in one sentence, you need systems that (a) do the job, (b) are robust and do not fail, (c) do their thing within acceptable time frames, (d) are secure and (e) are maintained or adapted at a reasonable pace.    

The KTLO and OTOB measures cover sufficiently items (a) to (d), but the last one —maintainability— suffers. It means that the adaptability criterion of the systems created by your IT teams lacks performance measures.

No performance measure supports maintainability, adaptability or resilience in the digital solutions provided to your business.

It’s a Business Problem

This is not just a technical quality issue. It has become a business issue. If the platforms, applications or data that pervade today’s organizational fabric, from talent management to factory operations, from banking to health care, aren’t able to easily adapt to change then it jeopardizes the health of your enterprise, if not its survival.

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