Define Measure Acheive. Repeat

Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Maria Ritchie’

Keeping IT Real– risks of low maturity in incident, problem & change.

October 22nd, 2009

Risks for Organizations with Maturity less then Level 3

There are risks for organizations that operate in the Level 1-2 maturity range. If there is a plan to develop and mature the practice(s) to level 3 or higher the risks are somewhat mitigated. However, while at a level 0-2 some of the key risks to consider are:

Service Desk and Incident Management

  • Perception of IT as a whole is lowered and considered not customer focused
  • There is a danger of negatively impacting external customers and their perception of the business
  • There are costs (financial, reputational) when the business is interrupted while users and major services are down
  • There is an inefficient use of skilled IT technical resources
  • There is little incident reporting data because most of it is inaccurate and consequently little basis for improvement
  • Many of the same incidents are resolved repeatedly (re-inventing the wheel)
  • There will be a risk of high Staff burnout and high turnover of support staff

Change Management

  • The infrastructure is very unstable and has long term performance issues
  • There are frequent outages following unauthorized changes
  • Project implementations are delayed because changes cannot be coordinated
  • There are many failed changes that cause incidents
  • The requirement for changes outstrips the capacity to implement them
  • Support for third party applications expires due to inability to stay current

Problem Management

  • Common incidents are resolved repeatedly, lowering customer satisfaction and inflating support costs unnecessarily
  • Re-inventing the wheel when sporadic incidents occur over longer periods of time
  • Frequent interruptions or degradation of service
  • It is difficult to introduce new services when unknown errors may jeopardize the implementation.
  • The change practice gets bogged down due to higher rates of failed changes
  • Due to a lack of work around information the Service Desk regresses to a call dispatch function.
  • Share/Bookmark

Maria Ritchie Uncategorized , , , , , , ,

ITIL maturity - where do you want to be and why.

October 6th, 2009

As a rule, a practice is not considered mature unless it is at a level 3 or higher. This means that the single practice is mature enough to be working as designed and is being used by all relevant stakeholders. It also means that the data it is generating is mature and can be trusted for decision-making.

At Level 3 the practice has control points that provide management indication when and if intervention is required. The practice is end-to- end and collaboration across departments has been optimized. For many organizations reaching Level 3 seems to be the end of the journey.

However, the value proposition of an integrated ITSM practice approach is that when practices reach Level 4 they begin to interact with each other. This provides the ability to share common data and provide insight that is not available at Level 3.

By working cooperatively the practices become more efficient and effective and whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Level 4 is the desired target state for the practices in scope for most organizations.

A maturity of Level 5 is often seen in single departments but rarely across all departments. The effort required to get to this level of maturity is high and costly.

Many organizations do not have the ability or desire to reach Level 5. That is ok and not all organizations will have business need for this level of maturity.

  • Share/Bookmark

Maria Ritchie Uncategorized , , , , ,

Service Desk Measurement - Be careful what you wish for!

September 29th, 2009

Mini-series on measurements that can come back to bite you…..

The trouble with performance metrics is that they can actually encourage inefficiency, de-motivate resources and result in misinformed management decisions if not thoughtfully designed and carefully monitored!

Take for example an organization that has a published target for their Service Desk’s ability to resolve inquiries at the first point of contact (FPOC rate).

This measure is expected to positively impact two important facets of the service desk – customer satisfaction and cost.

Customer Satisfaction - The premise behind this measure is that customers’ satisfaction is positively impacted by quick resolutions.  After all, who doesn’t like to have their questions/issues resolved quickly and without being transferred or bounced around an organization?

Cost  - Generally organizations have tiered levels of support with resource costs increasing at each level. It makes sense that the more incidents/inquiries that can be resolved at FPOC, without handoffs to more expensive tiers of technical support, the more money that can be saved.

Also, organizations often use this measure to compare themselves to other service desk organizations and to communicate their service desk’s value proposition.

While on the surface this seems simple, practical and a no-brainer there are potential “gotchas”. Consider the following simple scenario.

An organization’s service desk proudly promotes an FPOC rate of 80% or better consistently month-over- month.  Remarkably the Desk has been able to maintain this for 6 straight months! Agent’s performance reports show that individually they are meeting or exceeding their assigned FPOC targets.  Comparisons to other service desks FPOC are favourable and management assumes this is a very positive measure – right?

Maybe not, a High FPOC rate may actually be signalling a lot of repetitive incidents.  Agents at the desk can get very skilled and efficient at resolving the same issues over and over again and the hidden cost can be easily overlooked.

Points to Ponder

While initially customers will be pleased with a timely restoration of the service, their satisfaction will drop quickly if they keep having the same problems over and over again.

Resolving the incident quickly with lower cost resources is, on the surface, efficient; however, if that incident is happening repeatedly what is the total cost of the repetitive incident?

From a value perspective, which desk would you choose?  One that has an 80% FPOC but is continuously resolving the same type of incidents or one that has a 50% FPOC but continuously reviews incidents trends and permanently removes repetitive incidents from their environment?

Simple Tips

1. Don’t look at your FPOC in isolation.  Always look for correlation to satisfaction trends and hidden costs.  

2. Seek out and destroy repetitive incidents. Analyze the types of incidents that are being resolved FPOC and identify repetitive incidents for permanent resolution.

3. Use your incident data to “expose the cost” of repetitive incidents and be sure to report the cost savings/avoidance achieved by removing the incidents right along beside your new, possibly lower FPOC number.

4. Your service desk agents are a great source of information on your top repetitive incidents – tap into their knowledge & experience.  Reward them for identifying repetitive incidents and other improvement opportunities.

One Final Thought with a Bit of a New Twist on an Old Measure

Many desks set high FPOC rates but then do not give the agents the tools or permissions they need to achieve it!

If you have a lower than desired FPOC resolution rate, you may want to consider measuring “designed for FPOC”.  You may be surprised to find that your service desk is actually not able to achieve an acceptable FPOC because of the way your support delivery is designed!

Too often the service desk is not provided with the necessary information (troubleshooting scripts, configuration information, etc) or the necessary permissions to actually resolve incidents at FPOC.

This very simple measure, “FPOC by Design”, reflects an organization that has designed support specifically for each product/service, and is monitoring how well its service desk is performing against achievable targets.

Low FPOC on a product that has been designed for FPOC provides an important area to analyze agent performance and training opportunities.  Conversely, high incident areas with low FPOC for products/services NOT designed for FPOC make be a great place to review the support model and look for opportunities to empower your service desk further.

Measurement is definitely an important part of continuously improving your Service Desk and driving up value and customer satisfaction.  Relentless review of relevant, insightful metrics will keep you at the forefront. Next time let’s look at Mean Time to Restore Service (MTRS)………

Question
Have you come across any measures that have done you more harm than good?  Do you have any really GOOD or really BAD measurement stories to share? I’d love to hear them……

  • Share/Bookmark

Maria Ritchie Uncategorized , , , , , ,

Malcolm Fry Presents ThinkITSM/HDI Makeover Contest Prize

August 6th, 2009

ThinkITSM/HDI Award Winner

Maria Ritchie - Eva Viviano - Malcolm Fry Mississauga, Ontario

ThinkITSM is excited to announce that Eva Viviano from Resolve Corporation won the HDI promotion where ThinkITSM offered a full 12 months of ThinkITSM Coach, a service that helps improve help desk performance and quality. As an added bonus, Malcolm Fry, the HDI lifetime achievement award winner, was on hand to present the prize with Maria Ritchie. Eva was looking forward to taking advantage of the benefits of a ThinkITSM subscription including the mapping of their help desk data into ThinkITSM’s Performance and Quality Reporting engine. Read more…

  • Share/Bookmark

Charles Cyna Uncategorized , , , , ,