OSS is awash with KPIs, many that are conflicting. What to do?

Anyone involved with OSS will know that it is a DBA (Death By Acronym) experience. We have so many acronyms to deal with, some known globally, others only with relevance to a specific organization. One of the most common acronyms is the KPI (Key Performance Indicators). What’s scary is that the KPI is a catch-all phrase for a set of metrics that invariably have their own acronyms – think ROI (Return on Investment), NPS (Net Promoter Score), etc. TM Forum has done a really good job of collating many of the most common metrics.

Because an OSS touches almost every part of a service provider’s organisation, it aggregates KPI from each of the different business units. This is a good thing – because our OSS can collect and analyse all of the metrics that the organisation measures itself against. It allows us to cross-link these metrics. However, it’s also a challenging situation because we can find that the metrics conflict.

An example would be a contact centre being funded to achieve Call Volume Reduction (CVR) (ie reduction in the number of customer calls that reach a call centre agent rather than the customer being able to self-serve). It’s quite feasible that CVR initiatives could circumvent customers who are intent on speaking with a real person and therefore impact customer experience (ie having a detrimental impact on the NPS metric). The investment in CVR initiatives potentially erodes the KPIs of the teams that are funded to improve NPS scores.

Since the OSS / BSS is the umbrella entity sitting across all KPIs and theoretically being agnostic to the KPIs of each business unit, they need a higher-order KPI to be able to prioritise initiatives or optimise KPIs. This higher-order KPI can be based on a weighted blend of all other KPIs used within the organisation.

Just one last point to ponder – you’ve seen my simplification mantra again and again here on PAOSS (see the simplification category of blogs here), but have you ever seen an organisation define a simplification metric as one of their highest-profile KPIs? More on that tomorrow!

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