Benchmarking IT is fraught with (usually unexpected) problems: especially the benchmarking of Application Development and Maintenance (ADM). It is a field where there is no substitute for experience: it is full of pitfalls that can destroy a programme’s credibility, or even worse, produce a credible but wrong result. (For example, in the use of deciles: Advice on Deciles in IT Benchmarks). The consequences are often very serious, especially where an outsource contract is involved.
Managing a benchmark deserves the undivided attention of an expert, but usually the responsible manager does not have the necessary expertise available.
Hiring one of the big-name benchmarking companies does not solve the problem: to avoid unpleasant surprises you need a specialist to manage the benchmark. For all kinds of reasons, about half of the ADM benchmark processes or results that I have looked at have had major errors or given rise to disputes. Usually I have been able to help when called in after the event: but none of the problems would have arisen if I had been there in the first place.
I am a benchmarking consultant working for EDS. I manage benchmarks, and carry out QA/audit and correction of IT benchmarks, specializing in ADM. I work in the UK and Asia-Pacific. My clients have included some of the largest financial and outsourcer companies in the world.
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(David G Rogers Ltd, London, England)
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