I recently completed reading The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness by Rose. And yesterday I read a related article called “What Are You Hiding?” which goes along the same lines. The book is outstanding and makes a great case for you can’t compare yourself against averages in many cases. The articles does the same in a shorter version.
We tend to compare our IT shops against an average in benchmarks yet both of these make the point that this is not always reasonable. None of us are average. None of our organizations are average. We are all unique in some aspects. We all have unique business requirements. We all have unique characteristics.
The standard benchmark in IT is IT spend as a % of revenue. We compare what our ‘organization’ spends on IT compared against the average for our ‘industry group.’ Really, are any of us average? Do these benchmarks mean anything? Should a group be ‘judged’ by these benchmarks?
They might only provide directional considerations, but we are all unique.