A colleague of mine was saying that in a recent manager meeting her team came to the conclusion that they needed to implement (or rework) a particular process to drive improved service delivery. Their homework assignment for the next meeting was to outline what they thought was a good way to not only ensure that they were implementing something that would add value from a process perspective but was going to be sustainable in the long term.
My suggestions always include the use of metrics. After all, you will need to be able to measure what you are implementing and if you want to continue to be able to improve you need to show what a baseline for ‘today’ looks like.
I mentioned to her that when we do our annual HR goals planning we are expected to have SMART goals, so why don’t we have that same level of expectation when we are looking at improving service delivery. Quite often we just don’t think about it in the same context when we really should.
From a roadmap perspective think about what your end state should look like and then start to work “backwards”. I asked her what the largest pain point was. She said it was the rate at which service requests were being handled. On average they were able to resolve requests within 43 business hours. The expectation was that these would be resolved within 24 business hours.
Knowing where you want to be you can help filter out what metrics really matter as it pertains to the challenges you face. To start with she looked at “Average duration of incident by priority”, which seems like a fairly obvious p[lace to start.
Without looking through a sea of metrics she was able to spend more time looking at what was going on from a resolution perspective by priority. Right away she was able to see that the teams were handling the top priority requests really quickly. In fact they were being handled quite quickly. This is the first win. We are doing this right so make sure your teams are aware of this success! After some checking she could see where the longer duration issues exist and was able to dial into them with more scrutiny. Look to identify what is causing constraints on the workflow. It could be the number of escalations of requests, or that there was a lack of specialized resources. Whatever the slowdown might be there is a root cause to consider in your investigation.
Much like working on a problem record investigating the root cause for your request metrics will take some adjustments. The first, and likely most obvious symptom which is eating up your resources might be (yes, I am going to say it – password resets) for example. Once you have a way to address them you will need to look once again at the potential constraints and make further improvements where needed. At each stage you need to review the improvements you have made and celebrate them.
While you might not get to the goal right away, communicating with your stakeholders on the progress will allow you to share in the team’s success in improving not only the service delivery but likely in streamlining the way you are providing service