End User Experience – Perceptions Of Performance

If something has always worked, there is a notion that creeps in that says we don’t need to improve it, stick with the tried and true.  Unless we are concerned that it will fall out of favor or fail to provide us the benefits from when it was first acquired. When put into the context of technology we enter into tricky territory, trading off new functionality for stability, or stability for new functionality depending on what camp you call home, Development or Operations.

Consider the paradox when vying for limited IT resources from a highly scrutinized capital budget; too small to do it right but too big not to. Using the end-user-experience (EUE) as a yard stick to measure application performance helps provide the needed visibility to create tangible metrics for strategic decision making.principles_of_enterprise_monitoring

Communicating in terms of the End User Experience provides a focal point that allows IT to make a connection to the business and speak to them in a language they can appreciate.  It doesn’t matter if every system dashboard is green, if the end user has a perception that the application is slow, then it is slow.

We are only limited by our beliefs and the perceptions we have of what is real and what brings us value.  The end users of our critical business systems are no different, and with the convergence of technology finding its way to their own personal devices, meeting the expectations of a quality customer experience for everyone is much more difficult.

Consider using the Application Performance Management (APM) framework as a reference when working to improve the Customer Experience.  The framework puts the EUE at the heart of it all and creates the necessary focus point to help make that connection to the business. Understandably, the technology saga in how to extract the most meaningful end-user-experience metrics that the business can relate too, can leave even the savviest IT leader perplexed about what tools they should use and what processes they should follow.

Before you select a tool-set or roll out a new process, I recommend starting with a simple APM methodology focused on the End User Experience. On SlideShare:  Click here.

Larry Dragich (LinkedIn) Director of Customer Experience Management at a large insurance company. He is actively involvLarry_Dragiched with industry leaders sharing knowledge of Application Performance Management (APM) best practices, resource allocation, and approaches for implementation. He has been working in the APM space since 2006 where he built the Enterprise Systems Management team which is now the focal point for IT performance monitoring and capacity planning activities.  Larry is also a regular blogger on APMdigest, and a contributing editor on Wikipedia focused on defining the APM space and how it ties into the critical ITIL processes many companies are now using.

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  • Andrew

    There are many things that make a good Customer Experience beyond response times, where can APM help?

    • Andrew,

      Am sure Larry has his own take on this. I’ll provide my 2cents based on my experience working with clients around the world.

      – Use APM to understand entry and exit points for your applications
      – Use APM to understand poor performing transactions
      – Use APM to quantify the cost of failures and the need to invest in good processes and delivery capability
      – Use APM to learn from your mistakes, strengthen your Non Functional Requirements
      – Use APM to see firsthand what’s happening across your application stack and take proactive measures to avoid the End User Experience from Degrading
      – Use APM metrics and integrate them with the cloud API for your platform to scale horizontally/vertically (depending on how your app is built) as the workload on the boxes increase

      I could go on with many other ways one could use APM to enhance your overall End User Experience. The bottom line is to ask yourself, what does good End User Experience mean to me any my business. Once you have agreement on the answer work out an approach to get there. APM or no APM, you need to know what your targets are and then work out how to get there.


  • Vikram Chan

    Experience teaches us that performance is not the first thing. I always start with integrity. If design can assure integrity performance can be worked upon

    • Vikram,

      Yes, there’s no right and wrong answer to the issue you’ve raised. It’s generally horses for courses i.e. you have to work out what functional and non functional attributes are relevant to your application stack and then proceed accordingly from a design and build standpoint.

      As far as performance is concerned, Performance is one of the key non functional attributes that any architect or performance engineer would consider when building an application.

      It’s upto the architect to work out which functional and non functional attributes matter to the solution and proceed accordingly.