Reporting in a complex SIAM ecosystem can easily start taking up too much of your time.  I’m working with a client currently, who has a proliferation of reporting that’s time-consuming for those producing it and adds no value to the business. Effectively, a cottage industry has grown, whereby people produce reports but don’t know why they’re producing them!

I’ve been working with them to try and tackle this problem. It goes deeper than just attempting to exert control over the reports, and the time spent producing them. It’s part of the DNA of the organisation, baked into the culture.

It reminded me of the quote from A.A Milne, the highly regarded writer, and accidental management consultant who said, “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.” If only my customer could “stop bumping” for long enough to remember why they were producing all of these reports.

I guess it’s easy to let reports get out of control, particularly in complex SIAM ecosystems, where each vendor has their standard set of reports that they are contractually obliged to produce, as well as the retained organisation attempting to collate and consolidate all of this into reports which mean something to the business.

I am proposing a short piece of work where we will conduct a short assessment of the current reporting to determine its business value, the time spent producing it, and ultimately, whether we will stop or continue its production. There might even be some gaps where we need to start producing some reports, but I’m hopeful this will be outweighed by those that we can stop.

I’ve started by developing a classification model which maps the effort and business value of each report.  It’s not perfect, but it will be a good start to enabling them to get a handle on the existing reporting, and to hopefully remove some inefficiency through the reduction in time spent producing reports that no-one reads! Once I’ve completed the initial classification, I’ll add the vital factor – Business Value! Then we should be able to start ceasing the production of these reports. It’s also worth emphasising that I won’t be doing this on EVERY report produced in IT. We’ll start with a subset, to prove the concept, and then expand gradually once we’ve got some positive results to demonstrate. Also, read our 11 Actions to make your SIAM programme successful.

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