Metrics -- Fairly long

Subject: Metrics -- Fairly long
From: AMcAlister -at- SHIVA -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 12:00:36 -0500

Hi, I believe the writing team at ADP uses productivity metrics and
published a paper on the subject a couple of years ago -- check the IEEE
papers.

At Shiva we measure volume of output and content reuse. We track these two
items as a way to communicate the volume of work required and the team's
productivity. The Information Development and Engineering organization
here is very focused on reusing content. I do not believe that tracking
volume of output is equal to the value added to the end product. However
it is something upper management understands and is useful for resource
planning purposes.

We also review and track trends in Tech Support call data. We have shown
that by understanding the types of questions Support is receives from
customers and by focusing information resources on these areas that we can
reduce the number of calls a particular subject. Tracking this information
is critical.

We are not currently measuring quality (usefulness of the information,
access to the information, accuracy of the content) or interaction with the
customers. We solicit anecdotal information regularly, proactively
investigate information needs (or perceived needs), and respond to
complaints immediately. We also have strong customer relationships,
participate in Beta programs for the products, conduct usability studies on
the information products and the hardware, and review Support Call data for
trends.

I regard impact to the corporate bottom line as the most important
measurement. At this time I am working to identify "real" impact of
information and usability to the corporate bottom line at Shiva. I expect
to discover benefits on established products with a mature market. I
expect lesser benefits on innovative technology in emerging markets. We'll
see how it plays out.

I would like to get together with 5 or 6 people who are actively using or
developing metrics while I am at STC in Anaheim. Anybody want to get
together for breakfast to discuss and share ideas? Please respond to me
directly.

hmmm...

Angela McAlister
Director Information Development and Engineering
Shiva Corporation




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