A key element of the benchmarking process is the questionnaire. Properly constructed , it will provide a guide to efficiently capturing the data necessary to validate the service delivery direction and leverage off of existing knowledge and expertise.
Asking questions about services that you are not permitted to offer or that can be answered with a yes or no response will yield very marginal results. In addition to specific service-focused questions, open -ended questions such as, "If you could change any part of your service delivery arena, what would it be and why?" should be sprinkled throughout the site visit.
A team approach to site visits is an excellent method to reduce the strain on one person having to ask questions, document, and observe simultaneously . Ideally, team members with complementary knowledge and expertise is useful.
The following is a preamble to a questionnaire used in a benchmarking effort focused on creating an ISD environment. The actual questionnaire is included below the preamble.
A customer is in the process of developing and evaluating alternative approaches to providing an efficiently run infrastructure to support new client server applications being developed within the enterprise. The target environment will consist of UNIX database servers, NT Citrix servers, Oracle manufacturing and financial applications, and PC desktops.
In order to ensure that comparable data is captured and everyone's time is efficiently utilized, we would appreciate your reviewing the following questions prior to our visit.
What are the major or key applications running in your data center?
How many data centers are there?
What is the total number of users supported by the data center(s)?
Are service level agreements in place?
What type of service level metrics are utilized?
What is the level of process documentation?
What is the level of TQM/Process Improvement programs operating?
What is the level of outsourcing/insourcing?
How are the production, development, and testing environments different?
Is the data center a 7 — 24 — 365 operation?
What is the total IT budget?
What is the data center budget?
Is there a chargeback system?
What is the basis of the cost chargeback distribution?
What is the average cost per user , IT seat?
How are technology assets accounted for?
What tools are used to account for assets?
What cost reduction efforts or consolidations have taken place or been planned?
How are major infrastructure projects funded ?
What are the functional units that comprise IT?
What are the functional unit's basic responsibilities?
What is the number of IT staffing per functional unit?
How many levels of organizations from CIO to lowest level IT staff?
What is the cost of developing/maintaining staff skills?
How are skill sets and tasks balanced in small sites or in off shifts?
What does the organization chart look like? Copy?
What is the level of turnover ?
What is the primary cause of turnover?
How is training administered?
What is the cost of training per employee?
Where is it organizationally?
What are its functions?
What is its scope of responsibilities ”desktop, applications, network?
Is it 7 — 24?
How is it staffed ”allocation of resources over shifts, etc.?
What is the ratio of help desk to users supported?
What is the volume of help desk calls?
What percentage of calls are successfully closed by the help desk?
Where are the remainders of calls passed?
Who performs second- and third-level support?
Who tracks calls to closure?
What is the ratio of SAs to users supported?
How is call escalation handled?
What tools are used in the call center?
What is the size (sq ft) of the data center(s)?
What network management tools are being used?
What system management tools are being used?
How much processing power (MIPS), is in the data center?
How many GB of storage are in the data center?
How many printers are driven by the data center?
How many network connections are supported?
What is the level of power consumed by the data center?
How is capacity planned/managed?
What kinds of system management tools are used?
What kinds of network management tools are used?
What types of contingency plans are in place?
How are disaster recovery plans tested ?
What is the frequency of the tests?
How are environmental resources monitored ?
What environmental monitoring tools are used?
How is physical, network, and software security administered?
What kinds of security monitoring tools are used?
How are new software releases moved into production?
How is version control managed?
How is data managed?