Ensuring clarity on Service Ownership and Manageability is a key to delivering good customer service
How’s that saying go? “Too many cooks in the kitchen …”
It means that too many people are overseeing a task or a project, and as a result, the product or deliverable suffers. As you build your IT Services, you want to avoid this type of confusion at all costs. It’s important to clearly identify who the Service Owner is at the beginning of your project. Else, you suffer the consequences of delivering bad services.
As you build for Service Ownership and Manageability, be sure to provide the customer with enough information to make a self-service determination. Include the following information:
- Name and description
- Fit for my use
- Who can request it
- Delivery time
- How to request it
- Service Owner
Notice that I bolded the word, Service Owner. Read on to learn why.
To deliver a quality Service, we know we need a Service Owner
When building your IT Service for Ownership & Manageability, be sure that service ownership is clear to the customer. This is a simple point that is worth repeating because it can cause a big change in IT and in how you deliver your customer service.
Figure 1: Establish clear service ownership in your service portal.
Using the example in figure 1 above, Don Goodliffe is the Service Owner – you see his name published within very close proximity to the customer quality rating. Consider the positioning of his name with words “Owned by” and the 5 stars right above it. Do you think Don will be thinking about end to end services and happy customers? You bet he will.
But, how do you find someone for the role in your IT organization? Who will volunteer for Don’s role of Service Owner? Bring together a group of IT professionals and tell them that you are seeking a volunteer for the role of Service Owner. What will you get? Chances are that they’ll scatter away, like pepper flakes racing to the sides of a petri dish when a soap drop touches the water. Before the soap, the pepper flakes were floating about without any worries. Afterward, they shoot for the edges trying to escape. In other words, the people in IT will likely step away, and fast, to avoid volunteering for the role of Service Owner.
I understand the difficulty in getting people to volunteer for such a role. It’s very specific accountability and requires getting people who don’t work for you to help you out. It’s new and different, and it feels like a lot of responsibility and visibility. Even more, what is the job and how do you do it? But it’s an important role – one that can make or break your service success.
Here’s a quick look at the Service Owner’s dashboard we have developed in our ServiceNow service portal and catalog solution (see figure 2). If I am the Service Owner, I can easily see who my customers are, and what they are asking for. I can also see my sub service providers and how they are performing for me. The idea behind it is to make it the one place where the Service Owner goes to reactively AND proactively manage their Service every day.
Figure 2: A good Service Owner dashboard includes information on customer satisfaction, quality, availability and delivery.
A well-planned Service Owner’s dashboard can make it a lot easier for people to understand and embrace the role of service owner. And when the role of the Service Owner is clear to everyone, then perhaps, you’ll find a volunteer in your IT group willing to take on this important role.
About the Author: Don Casson is CEO of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm helping medium to enterprise public and private sector organizations to dramatically transform their IT operations. Don is a frequent writer, blogger and presenter, and has delivered over 50 webinars on topics in Service Management, including IT and shared services.
Evergreen System's Service Portal & Catalog Solutions. Get Started!