11.4 When Have You Reached Success?

11.4 When Have You Reached Success?

Early two-way communication between the user and the IT service provider is essential to ensure that success is continually pursued. Understanding the needs of the user from a business and technology standpoint will provide an awareness of needs in a more proactive mode. Going back to the first paragraph of this chapter, success is achieved only when the user says it has been achieved. So, the user or IT service consumer is the "Mom" in the analogy and no one should be happy until success has been declared.

We have discussed how to define success, how to ensure it is achieved, and how to measure it ”now we address how to determine that you have achieved it. "Happiness" is very challenging to define, as it varies depending on individual perception and is susceptible to frequent change.

11.4.1 Service Satisfaction Survey

The traditional method of determining customer satisfaction or happiness is through surveys. This is an approach that should not be ignored, but should not be the only method utilized either, as it may become mechanical and result in little useful information.

Satisfaction surveys should be developed by a professional skilled in survey design and construction. Poorly executed satisfaction surveys can cause more damage than good. The survey should contain the following elements and provide for comments for each element as well as a quantitative ranking:

  • Overall satisfaction with IT service

  • Value added to your operation by IT

  • Reliability of IT service

  • Responsiveness of IT service

  • List inhibitors to the use of IT service

  • Ease of using IT service

  • Frequency of recommending IT service to peers

Another approach or method to gauging customer satisfaction is a brief introspective quiz outlined in the book, Building the New Enterprise. [2]

[2] Harris Kern, Randy Johnson, Stuart Gulp, and Dennis Horan, Building the New Enterprise, SunSoft Press, 1998.

  • What's the size of your service request backlog? This can best be measured by volume of requests or in gross time outlooked to complete.

  • Are customers resisting serving on your review boards and committees ?

  • Do customers control their share of your IT budget or does IT dictate priorities and project funding?

  • Does the customer have a choice of service levels, and are there auditable metrics on the quality of service?

  • Are customers going around IT departments by setting up local mini-IT functions?

  • Are you having trouble getting support for your initiatives and budget requests?

  • When you implement a new system, does the complaining die away in days, weeks, months, or never?

  • How often do you have major system outages of multiple hours or even days in duration?

The surveys will provide documented evidence of success, as will reports of metric and SLA requirement accomplishment. Equally or perhaps more importantly is maintaining a positive relationship and frequent and open communications with key user personnel at all levels. The role of the account management function is invaluable in maintaining a "soft SLA" that will ensure that not only the documented service agreements are met, but that user expectations are satisfied on all levels.

11.4.2 Continuous Success

Achieving success should not be a one-time or periodic milestone to be checked off the proverbial to-do list, but a dynamic, ongoing effort.

In constructing ISD systems one must realize that the target is always moving, and adjustments must be made accordingly . Regular reviews of SLA, internal processes, staff skills, expertise, and leverageable technology will be required. But even more than these exercises, there must be attitudinal adjustments to keep service improvement continuous and users continuously happy.

Be proud of your successes. Take time out of the daily grind to celebrate them. Reward those that have been the primary contributors to this success and give them recognition in the presence of the user and their peers.



IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing
IT Services: Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing (paperback) (Enterprise Computing Series)
ISBN: 0132621959
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 93

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