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The Four Fallacies of IT Metrics 223

snydeq writes "Advice Line's Bob Lewis discusses an all-too-familiar IT mistake: the use of incidents resolved per analyst per week as a metric for assessing help-desk performance. 'If you managed the help desk in question or worked on it as an analyst, would you resist the temptation to ask every friend you had in the business to call in on a regular basis with easy-to-fix problems? Maybe you would. I'm guessing that if you resisted the temptation, not only would you be the exception, but you'd be the exception most likely to be included in the next round of layoffs,' Lewis writes. 'The fact of the matter is it's a lot easier to get metrics wrong than right, and the damage done from getting them wrong usually exceeds the potential benefit from getting them right.' In other words, when it comes to IT metrics, you get what you measure — that's the risk you take."

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Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay