Going forward by keeping track of the present with performance analytics

Performance analytics for ServiceNow is a hot topic. Rapid digitization has enabled organizations to collect large amounts of (internal) data. This allows them to gain new insights into their business processes and, of course, overall performance. To fully harness the power of performance analytics it is essential to know where to look. After all, some processes are more important than others.

In a typical scenario, an organization starts using ServiceNow to modernize IT, become more efficient and improve its services to employees and customers. To be able to do this, the performance analytics module of ServiceNow is implemented as soon as the platform is taken into operation. About 90% of organizations start with performance analysis for the servicedesk, usually to optimize the return on investment for ServiceNow.

Of course, performance analytics can be used to keep track of far more company processes then the servicedesk alone. It is advisable however to start with ‘low hanging fruit’ such as the servicedesk to get acquainted with analytics and in the meantime get the necessary training and experience to fully utilize performance analytics for the entire organization.

How performance analytics can work for you
To show you how performance analytics can work for you, we will use an imaginary servicedesk as an example. This particular servicedesk uses ServiceNow for ITSM and services a large enterprise. One of the main responsibilities of the servicedesk is to quickly resolve tickets for incidents, service requests and problem management. These processes are tied to Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as the average time before a ticket is resolved.

Performance analytics provides a detailed overview of the performance of the servicedesk during a longer period of time. It visualizes processes (dashboarding) and enables the organization to improve them by making long term trends visible. For example, which incidents take the servicedesk longer then agreed upon in the SLA to resolve?

If it’s done right, performance analytics will give insight into historical trends and helps identify bottlenecks in processes. It allows process owners can quickly see where improvements need to be made. The real value of performance analytics however lies not in reactively responding to things that have already happened, but actively anticipating things that will happen or influencing things that are happening right now. In other words: next to lagging indicators (output oriented), you will want to know which leading indicators (input oriented) there are and how they can be corrected to produce the desired results.

At our imaginary servicedesk, some tickets that should be quickly resolved have long average resolution times. Apparently, something is holding a quick resolution of these tickets back. There can be numerous causes for this, such as incorrect assignment or wrong prioritization of tickets. Obviously, something in the process needs to be changed. With performance analytics, business rules can be set to help servicedesk employees to correctly assign and prioritize their work thereby reducing resolution times (and costs!).

Getting ready for the long run
In the longer run, keeping track of and correcting leading indicators with performance analytics can be used for every imaginable process that is facilitated by ServiceNow. One of the main benefits, next to identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, is that data is presented to all stakeholders in a uniform manner. In this way, a single source of truth ensures everyone is heading in the same direction towards the future, and the way is paved for even more advanced analytical applications.

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