Are you a Service Manager thinking on driving Continual Service Improvement (CSI) but don’t know where to start? This blog will provide ideas to help you get started in the identification of Continual Improvement areas.
Schedule a bi-weekly/monthly meeting with the relevant stakeholders (Operations team, Change team, Process team etc.) for Continual Improvement and review the following areas:
The primary objectives of problem management are to prevent problems and resulting incidents from happening, to eliminate recurring incidents, and to minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented. Review the following areas:
- Closed Tickets Report
Focus on the following:
High priority tickets – High priority tickets have the most impact on the business. Ask the question – What can we do to alleviate such issues in the future?
Recurring tickets: Compare the ticket report to the past few months to establish a trend. Also, review the categorization of the tickets to identify the most frequently occurring tickets. Ask the same question as above - What can we do to alleviate such issues/items in the future?
- Change management Improvement
Although there is a debate on the exact % of incidents occurring due to changes to the system, it is known that a high number of incidents are caused by changes. Tie back the incidents that are caused by changes (due to impact not fully analyzed, change not fully tested, gap in understanding the requirements etc.) and document any Change Management Improvement areas
SERVICE-LEVEL AGREEMENT (SLA) REPORTS
Review SLAs, especially missed Response and Resolution SLAs (as applicable) and identify strategies to avoid the SLA breaches in the future.
DAILY/WEEKLY HEALTH CHECK REPORTS
The daily/weekly Health Check reports provide valuable insights into the system health and performance. Review and compare the reports over a period of time to find recurring patterns of issues.
FEEDBACK FROM CUSTOMER/ACCOUNT TEAM
During the weekly meetings, pause and check with the customer if there is any feedback for improvement or anything positive they would like to share from the past week. Ensure the positive feedback is passed on to the team. Discuss and brainstorm areas of improvement highlighted by the customer.
UPDATES TO OPERATIONS MANUAL OR ANY DOCUMENTATION
The Operations Manual is a living document which is key to ensure the day-to-day activities are well-documented and processes are kept up-to-date. Discuss opportunities for updates based on recurring tickets, and other scenarios based on ticket analysis. Discuss any updates required to any customer-specific documentation.
As a Service Manager driving Continual Service Improvement, I appreciate the following best practices:
- Chose small, manageable improvements – try not to boil the ocean
- Keep a record of all the ideas/items discussed (preferably in a running document or better yet, a tool)
- Communicate take-aways to stakeholders (internal and customer) in actionable ways so that they don’t get lost amid the “noise” of day-to-day activities
- Include a “Continual Improvement” section in the monthly report. Review this section (and other highlights from the monthly report) in the weekly meeting with the customer
- Dedicate a slide (or two) in the Quarterly review presentation on “Continual Improvement”
Last but certainly not the least, I have found that participation and collaboration is the heart of Continual Improvement process. Encourage participation from all stakeholders and let the creative juices flow!
Which of these (or other) Continual Improvement identification techniques speak to you? Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog or contact me directly via email