The activity whereby we can check that a new deployment, upgrade or reconfiguration is going to perform suitably. Often this can be achieved with a simple agent install on an available computer and then running a 'standard' suite of tests to check performance during different times of day. Sometimes a small plug computer may be sent to site when a computer is not readily available.
Similar to a pre-qualification, benchmarking allows us to periodically check our tech-experiences using a 'standard' suite of tests. We can compare this to our acceptable performance indicators and also see if we are trending up or down over time.
Using active testing, passive monitoring, people-surveys and big-data/machine-data we can watch for drops in real-user and synthetic-user experiences. We can ask the people and the infrastructure how things are performing and we can watch all manner of log, alert and event information for indicators of tech-experience issues.
Using pre-configured active testing and split-half-search methodologies we can quickly establish who is at fault and who owns the resolution. We can use these same tests to perform "proof-of-fix" testing to ensure a real resolution has been found.
Ad-hoc active testing allows us to quickly isolate symptoms and causes - with a wide and deep test suite at our finger tips being remote is not an issue - quickly identifying the problem and then verifying the solution using the same "proof-of-fix" testing methodology seen in demarcation.
Report & Trend
Reporting and trending allow us to measure and publicise our performance against the important and agreed indicators for the business and the users. Trending is a window into the future rather than the more common snapshot of today. It is as close to time-travel as IT nerds are likely to achieve!