If you can't see it, how can you assess it? If you can't assess it, how can you control it? Regardless of the business function, these two questions are top-of-mind in the hybrid workplace.
From the technology perspective, the mingling of public and private clouds or infrastructure generates access and control complexities beyond the scope of visible control. Waste is introduced in processes, creating inefficiency throughout all business functions. Morale suffers as the seesaw of personal and work-life balance tilts in favor of the business.
What is the answer? How do you assess the hybrid workplace? Metrics.
Metrics especially monitored metrics, capture value at a particular point in time. Metrics can be plotted, compared, analyzed, and argued for the organization's good. Consider the ideas below.
- Metrics communicate data in familiar business terms regardless of the level of expertise. For example, a 10% increase in client retention rate (CRR) demonstrates satisfaction with the organization, product, or service.
- Metrics convert data to a visual need. Think of value stream mapping. The difference between value-added time and cycle time is non-value-added time. The non-value-added time does not create change, nor is it adding to what a customer is prepared to pay for when the product or service is complete. Current state metrics drive efficiencies and are compared to future state metrics.
- Metrics improve decision-making. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of systems, business functions, or individuals motivate attention – both good and bad yet standardized for comparison and focus on company priorities. Ransomware, a known cybersecurity risk, doubled in frequency in 2021 and was part of 10% of all breaches. These numbers drove analysis of this threat and increased awareness of ransomware trends and good cyber hygiene practices.
Metrics have a seat in the workplace – but are especially relevant in the absence of physical or co-mingled office environments. Developing a shortlist of 3-5 metrics critical to the success of your hybrid workplace ensures universal enforcement and accountability. Pick your metrics, socialize the standard, then create cyclical reporting. Treat the metrics like the "parent" enforcing punishment and incentivizing success.
An example of this methodology includes a social engineering assessment. Company A understands humans are the weakest link in any security strategy. A social engineering assessment shows a phishing click rate of 33%. The organization sets a goal to decrease the click rate by 5% each month for the next 6-months. The metric is assessed monthly at the board meeting. When successfully achieved, each individual can clock out 10-minutes early on a day of choice. If the metric is not achieved, each individual must conduct remedial training. The embedded metrics communicate the goal in a standard language. The numbers are plotted visually and improve decision-making at the individual level.
Implementation is key. Pick a metric, socialize the number(s), then identify how and where it is reported. Reap the benefits of assessment and control in your workplace.