Lots and lots and lots of people talk about revenue assurance KPIs. Talking about KPIs is a convenient way to express an expert opinion without needing to show any data in order to justify it ;) So I am grateful that the TM Forum’s Revenue Assurance team has issued a standardized workbook of revenue KPIs. Members of the TM Forum can download the review version of the workbook from here. Everyone else will have to wait until the review is over; the public release is expected in early 2008.
Thumbs up to the TMF’s RA team for developing standard KPIs that complement the TMF’s operations map, but only time will tell if the standard really does become a standard. That only happens when large numbers adopt the standard in practice. The early indicators are good, with several tier one companies expressing an interest in using the standard as a way to fast track improvement of their internal measurement regimes. I expect a number of those companies will go public on their adoption of the standard in the next few weeks. It also sounds like some will go one step further and use the KPIs to actively benchmark performance relative to each other. If that catches on, we will see for the first time a major improvement on the current game of basing comparisons upon ill-defined and speculative estimates.
One problem with KPIs, however, is what is considered to be key. What may be key for one business may be trivial for another. The same business will need different KPIs as it changes. It may be best to treat the TMF’s workbook as a menu from which RA departments can select what fits with their priorities. Hopefully the review phase will prompt some providers to highlight additional performance indicators that they consider to be key. Then we will see an evolution of a single set of industry KPIs which everyone can draw upon and contribute to, instead of just a lot of idiosyncratic opinions. So perhaps I should not be so keen on this standard: it threatens to put people like me out of business (or at least to shut us up for a while.) ;)