Monday, 28 July 2014

How Does IT Impact Effective Service Delivery?


There are a variety of opinions and frankly literature on why we (IT) seem to hit the wall when it comes to taking service delivery to the next level. What is the barrier that IT faces? As the saying goes you can’t see the forest for the trees – for some reason IT just can’t seem to see past the technical fog to realize we are supporting services.
 
The biggest challenge - look in the mirror

In many cases IT does not fully understand the service in which they are attempting to support. That’s right, I said it, IT is getting in their own way to improving service delivery. This will remain a fact despite whatever technical wonders are available to them, so long as your IT organization continues to do things as they have in the past.

Think about this for a moment, what happens when you support teams do not know how to escalate support calls? There will inevitably be a delay in response because your requests or incidents are going to the wrong groups. How can this happen? It is because we don’t fully understand what is require for the service to be supported effectively..

Another common problem is that assumptions are made. A good example of this is when requests or incidents are marked as resolved. When we believe that an issue is corrected we may close the request or incident and move on to the next record in the queue. In some cases there may be an automated mechanism which prompts the customer to “click here” if not satisfied. While there is consideration for the customer feedback you need to start thinking to yourself “does this response get handled in a meaningful way?” IT may need to have an enhanced connection point with the customer base to ensure that the work completed was satisfactory. Not to say that we should call every requestor and see how they are doing, but have a method in place for dialog to occur. To start with a random check of these requests or incident is a good start. You may be doing this now to address technical completeness of records but reviewing them on customer satisfaction has its own merit. Knowing where we stand from a service delivery perspective, both from the challenges and successes will allow us to continue to streamline the way we work.

My favorite misstep, which I mention regularly, are the “fixed by magic” issues. We have all had these types of issues which seem to just “go away” however we need to ensure that these are also tracked and categorized in a way which we can take a closer look at them. While even the business may suggest that they are not a big issue they have a tendency of adding up and impacting the business at the worst possible time when we least expect it. Knowing the issue exists allows us to look at it closer and again speak with the business that we understand this pain point and work with them to address it. It may be something that we are not in a position to fix but working with your business to determine what is appropriate will take away the assumptions IT has been known to make in the past.

There are many more examples of IT being the limitation to their own improvement initiatives. Feel free to share yours with me here or connect with me on Twitter @ryanrogilvie

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