Carville was trying to keep the Clinton campaign team focused on what he considered to be the obvious. For their campaign it was the economy and its effect on people. When it comes to monitoring, it’s all about the users.The numbers just help you understand their pain a bit better.
That’s not to say, that most of you who monitor application and web site performance don’t take your job seriously. I’m sure that most of you do, but it’s easy to get lost in numbers and forget the relationship between those numbers and the people who are using your systems and what they are trying to accomplish.
If you keep your focus on the users, you will begin to take the numbers a bit more seriously. If you keep in mind, for example, that low performance equals lost productivity for your users, which equals lost dollars for your company, it seems to matter a bit more than dots and bleeps on a computer screen.
What’s more, if look at the experience people had when they tried to buy HP TouchPads last weekend, you can begin to see the ripple effect that can occur when it goes badly, especially on a high profile web site like HP in the middle of big change and under the spotlight anyway.
Even if your site isn’t facing the same glare of publicity HP has been experiencing, you can still face an adverse impact when users are waiting too long for a site to load or are having trouble moving from page to page because of poor performance — whatever the reason.
When it comes to applications, user impact can flow across systems. Oftentimes, an enterprise application has multiple applications that must *all* be working in order for the application to be working. If any one of the pieces goes down, it doesn’t matter if the others are working perfectly because the entire application is hosed because of that one bad piece.
That’s the type of information you have to keep in mind as you monitor your site because the individuals whose jobs depend on using that application to do their jobs, don’t really care that the other pieces are working, broken is broken to them and they need to be up and running or risk falling further and further behind in their jobs.
And this is even truer in times like these where many companies have asked employees to do more because of reduced staffing. The more they are sitting around, the more their work piles up and the more frustrated they become.
That’s why it’s so important to remember the people behind the figures on your screen. Next time you see performance dip, think about the folks sitting there waiting to get their work done or the potential customer ridiculing your company on Facebook because he can’t get on the site to get the information he needs.
Your job is to try to keep that type of reaction to a minimum and to remember the people behind every problem you face every day.