Sunday 17 October 2010

Churnalism - yet another evil in the field of benefits reporting

So @stevie_chambers decided to wind me up with this tweet yesterday morning :- 
Cisco Unified Computing System selected by Slumberland < saved $368k @ianhf :)
Now Steve is somebody that I regard as a friend and that I have immense respect for - despite us having differing views on the technology widget Steve's company sells I have more respect for Steve than the majority of his employers organisation put together.

So with that out of the way - I was simply staggered that he should choose to highlight such a terrible article & classic example of Churnalism to me - I can only put it down to 'new baby head', or perhaps a desire to see me off with ever increasing blood pressure? So let's just review the 'article' :) (note I'm not saying anything about the technology here at all - merely what & how 'benefits' are purported)

This is the kind of lazy, half arsed, factless, press release driven tripe that masquerading as 'reporting' that drives me (and I hope you) insane! So time for the usual list :-
  • How long did this take to achieve?
  • How exactly was it achieved, which how much effort & disruption?
  • Re "saved" - where did they start from re SLAs, technology, organisation & processes?
  • Compared to what & whom?
  • Where is the before & after comparison of TCO and TTM?
  • What was the investment required to achieve this?
  • What was the ROI & IRR?
  • What is the timeframe over which the benefit is calculated & reported?
  • How much more would be possible with other ways, priorities & measures?
  • What is the scale of the environment?
  • What is the scope of the environment?
I'm not arguing that Slumberland haven't benefited, and that they haven't improved things for themselves - but as with all case-studies, customer references or benefits reports it is absolutely imperative to have full & total contextual disclosure of the before & after situations, the objectives, the success metrics and priorities.

As I previously blogged about here it really is time for the IT industry to grow up and get some simple quality & disclosure standards about reporting and marketing... This current level of information just doesn't help anybody...

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