The main thing with metrics is to devote resources only to metrics you
actually use to manage your operations. It is too easy to fall into the
"wouldn't it be nice" trap and end up wasting time compiling pretty pictures
of no use.

Where I am now, we are in the middle of a massive exercise involving
centralising hardcopy file storage, which has for thousands of years (at
least culturally) been highly decentralised. So we are looking at metrics
for files returned to central storage, and files moved to and from central
storage (including offsite). We expect as the number of files moved into
central storage goes up, the traffic rate will rise, so I can figure out how
many staff we need in the new central facility. The first few months show no
such traffic rise, indicating that business units are returning to central
only those files which they don't use and could have returned years ago.
Some files are indeed going straight into the shredder rather than offsite.
We are focusing now on "persuading" business units to return to us their
more active files as well as the old stuff, as returning only old stuff
doesn't give us the cultural change we want.

Once we are fully operational in the new building, we may not need these
stats, at least not regularly, as the change rate flattens out and different
business drivers emerge. I know, for example, that in the future we want the
new files created numbers to go down as we work more electronically, but at
the moment the priority is on getting hardcopy under control. Also, absolute
numbers are not particularly relevant in many cases, it's the rate of change
I need to monitor.

 You also should look at which stats you can do on a sampling basis,
particularly where you can't get the stats without a lot of human
effort. I'm looking into stats to monitor quality on our service levels. We
are putting formal agreements in place saying, for example, if you want a
file we will have it (or its location information) on your desk in 24 hours.
I have to be able to monitor this, which I will do on a periodic sampling
basis, both within Records and at the customer end, to put any problems
and complaints into perspective. I'll monitor 100% of exceptions (problems,
complaints etc) but the overall QA will be done on a periodic sampling
basis. I can build occasional requests to specific business units to compile
stats on our services into an overall PR program, but to ask them to do it
all the time is unreasonable.



Glenn Sanders MRMA
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These views are mine alone. They may or may not be those of any
previous or present employers or clients. I don't know. If I'd asked
and they'd agreed, I would have signed it "Harry Peck and Co and
Glenn". Or whatever. But I haven't, so I didn't.

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