There are two main categories of IT work:
- Routine – following predefined process, workflow, stream – I.e. onboarding, user support, request fulfilment. For this work type quantitative metrics are suitable
- Knowledge work – explorative, knowledge extensive, ever changing, creative – I.e. innovation effort, business process improvement, value stream mapping, learning, adoption of a new management method. For this category Qualitative metrics are applicable and better than quantitative metrics.
Key differences between quantitative and qualitative metrics are displayed in the next table.
As more and more work in IT is knowledge type, IT management is transitioning from quantitative to qualitative metrics.
For example Knowledge Worker Quality Index is the representing overall quality of an individual IT worker, which can eliminate mundane quantitative measurement, not capable to capture multidimensional property of knowledge worker quality. Practical guidance to qualitative people management is the core part of recently introduced Managing Knowledge Worker Quality training, extending the whole family of qualitative metrics and qualitative management in IT.