exMon Continuous Monitoring Best Practices (1/3)

How to prioritize and assess which checks to implement in exMon?

Created by: Kristinn Magnusson

In this article, you will read some best practices when implementing exMon Continuous Monitoring. Specifically, this article is about how to prioritize and assess which checks to implement in exMon.

ExMon can check for almost any discrepancy one might think of. However, this is not the scenario we want to see throughout our processes, systems and workflow. It is best practice to use a simple assessment process to choose which checks to implement. This is one chapter of four outlining some exMon Continuous Monitoring best practice implementation techniques.

Prioritize and assess implementation checks in exMon

  1. Use a checklist to assess the urgency, value and overall importance of every potential check, which includes the following:
    • Name of the check.
      • For example, Check on handling fee X
    • Description of the check
      • For example, Find bills where the handling fee has been omitted from bills with type XYZ
    • The goal of implementing the check
      • For example, Check that all bills include a handling fee
    • Assess the value of the check
      • For example, €4 per wrongly omitted handling fee in lost revenue, or ave. €250 per case of misuse of blocked SIM card
    • Anticipated solution of an uncovered discrepancy
      • For example, More frequent education for agents, or improved registration workflow
    • Identify and nominate the process owner
    • Assess urgency
      • For example, High, medium, or low priority
    • Identify data sources for the check
      • For example, System, system module/part, business contact, system contact, does the technical system contact have exMon access?
    • Frequency of checks
      • For example, "Working days at 08.00 and 14.00"
    • Carefully assess a time of check run that minimizes disturbance/latency in systems but maximizes the informational benefit.
      • For example, the Customer name, customer ID, bill number, amount, address, etc.
    • Remember the goal of minimizing the need to look out for exMon when handling the exception case/alert.
    • All types of information from databases that shall appear with exception alert
    • Should the check result in an email notification and, if so, who should receive this email?
    • Should we report all cases or only new cases?
    • Should it be possible to comment on each case through e-mail?
  2. Then prioritise using the philosophy of need to have vs. nice to have.
  3. Keep the checks specific.
  4. Keep exceptions that are only informational separated from actionable exceptions to minimize diversions.
    • For example, tracking unsolicited log-in into system X in the middle of the night might be an example of an exception want to know about and possibly see a development pattern over time. While an exception that uncovers an order with missing information can and should be fixed as soon as possible.
  5. Try to assess beforehand who will be responsible for solving the root cause of an exception returned from each check.
    • It is important to assess whether the exception should be sent to a small group of employees instead of sending it to a potential "single point of failure", i.e., a specific person.
  6. It is important to align the frequency of alarms and exception lists with the human resources available and the time required to analyse and fix the problems.
  7. The subsequent alarm and analysis cycle can easily turn into an unnecessary distraction instead of a benefit if the initial assessment of the check is not thoroughly completed.
  8. Be ruthless in removing checks that are no longer relevant and keep the overall set-up of always checks up to date.


Kristinn is the author of this solution article.