Creating effective IT Services always involves three constituencies - the customer, the provider and the manager.
All must be involved and have their needs met to create any truly viable service.
So what does the provider need?
The providers are just as critical to success as the customers, because if they don’t encourage the use of the new way of doing things it will fail. They will actually steer customers away from the new way.
Here are some principles you can apply that will help your providers build good services:
Apply an 80/20 discipline for process re-engineering & automation. This means good enough is good enough. Start simply and then enhance your Services as you get experience and synch more closely with your customer. This does not mean you don’t have to provide a high quality experience end to end – that is absolutely required. What we are fighting is IT’s natural tendency to over-engineer solutions – creating unnecessary complexity in striving for 100% - thereby actually undermining the potential for success. 80% and keeping it simple is good enough.
Create core services re-usable building blocks. Be premeditated and plan to build any given core function once (for everyone not just one silo area) and re-use it in a modular building block way. Without this approach, you will end up with hundreds of individual “rifle” shot services which confuse the customer, create a high degree of unnecessary duplication and eventually will cause the solution to fail as customers abandon it.
Standardize offers & pricing. Following the thinking of re-usable building blocks, you can also create high quality “solutions” or “happy meals” customers will be happy to use. Customers do not want to choose between hundreds of options. Customers want to be told what is best, given a small variety of offers or bundled offers, and then make it easy for them to buy. I stress this because IT often fights it. IT is so used to providing a “custom” solution to every request that it will somehow seem wrong, this is especially true when you look at creating bundled solutions and limiting pre-packaged choices to 2 or 3.
Do not make the customer do our work, or wait for us to do ours. As you steer the customer, based on who they are or the choices they make you can limit or change what they see if you think ahead. For example – can you leverage information about their platform (PC) to only show them things that are relevant to them? As another example, how many approvals do you have for software purchases today? There may be four to five just because you haven’t rationalized it recently – creating an unnecessary 2-week delay and making it more complex than it ought to be.
Want to learn more? Download the slides and webinar recording
"Service Catalog Balanced Design"
It covers this topic in greater depth.
About the Author
Don Casson is CEO and co-founder of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm leading
Fortune 500 companies to dramatically transform their IT operations. Feel free to contact Don at