Monday, 15 July 2013

IT and Business Alignment – Request Fulfillment – Your Window Into IT


In an effort to ensure that we are providing the customer with an exceptional service experience we strive to improve within IT. We might review the problem process to ensure the reduction of recurring incidents; in turn we may review the metrics of the incident process to ensure that we resolve critical incidents in a timely fashion. We may also review change management to make sure that we are reducing changes which are impacting services negatively.

However how consistent are we at reviewing the one process which faces the customer – request fulfillment. There are two perspectives for this review. From the customer and from internal support resources

From the Customer perspective

Typically the Customer sees the interface of the Service Desk as the single point of contact for IT. Requests go in and services in some capacity are provisioned. The review of the effectiveness should look at the effectiveness of this interface.

·         Is there a single place to satisfy the customer needs
·         Is there any type of self service capability to get information, answer questions or make simple requests
·         Is there a catalog to choose still other more complex services which may require approvals due to cost or security
·         Is there a way to interact with the people in the IT department in some capacity

Even in the simplest state there are always ways either directly or indirectly of navigating the system. Whether it be through automation or knowing someone who can “hook you up”.

Scenario

The CEO and an HR person are in the elevator one morning when the HR person sighs, “my New Hire report hasn’t been provisioned to my phone, I guess I will have to call the Service Desk yet again…”
The CEO sees the dismay on the HR person and replies “Not too worry, the Service Desk always gets things done right away!”
As the Elevator arrives at the HR person’s floor they say as they exit “...if you’re a CEO it probably does”

What is illustrated here is that in some cases there may be a flag for urgency to have a certain person(s) as a VIP. While there may be reason for doing this there may also be significant draw backs

From the IT Support perspective

The function of request fulfillment is to manage the lifecycle of the service request. This process can have huge volumes of work associated with it if it is not automated. It is important to review the process regularly to see where some streamlining activities can be undertaken to further improve not only the customer experience but to identify where IT work can be automated to free up valuable IT resources

·         Leverage your metrics – what are they telling us about the speed of service

·         Review the requests at close, are there inefficiencies from escalations to multiple teams
·         Vehicles for engagement – how is this done? Email, phone, IM, Social Media – what makes sense for our customers
·         Communicate within IT – what is working well for us as a business unit and what is not. Where can we improve as a whole for service delivery

Scenario

While there is no budget at the current time for a new Service Management tool, the IT Operations Director had decided to leverage the metrics from his teams to identify the cost associated with delivering certain requests. Her plan was to illustrate that the cost of the tool in next years budget would be outweighed not only by the cost of the manual work being completed (quantified by hours spent) but also being able to cut the average completion of those requests in half (customer satisfaction – dollars not as quantifiable)

At the end of the day taking stock of how we fulfill requests for our customers is a good start. Leveraging the tools we have in place to measure how we do this will allow us to make judgment on how we can improve the service we provide our customers

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