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The four knights of service excellence

The saga of service excellence continues!

In my last post, I had mentioned that there are four 'key ingredients' that act as the pillars for setting up the service excellence office that I refer to as SEO. The SEO is the "central owner" that drives sustained and predictable IT operations. A central owner may be a typical Service Manager or Process Manager, within the IT operational universe. The difference being an elevated set of responsibilities entrusted upon the SEO unlike other roles.
There are many examples of the roles that the SEO enacts. These are explained in detail in our paper titled "Creating a DNA of Service Excellence across IT".
Let me highlight here the key ingredients for a successful SEO setup - the four major cornerstones that drive sustained and predictable optimized IT operations in organizations:

 Our first ingredient is "A comprehensive Structure" - this structure needs to be established with certain responsibilities. Defining the SEO's role and responsibility by formalizing a structure where all  stakeholders are clearly identified, is a must. The SEO can be involved in any phase of service management i.e., from Service Strategy phase to Service Operations phase. For instance, the SEO can act as a "Solution Architect", whenever an innovative idea is to be generated, designed and implemented. This role lays a path for the technical gurus to think with a customer centric approach. SEO becomes the architect by differentiating between what clients "want" and what clients "need".  For instance, a client may want shorter 'Time to Resolve (TTR)' as a positive impact for end users. But the actual need is to improve the end user satisfaction. This need could be accomplished by addressing the pain points of its end users and a reduced TTR may be just one step in achieving this. The SEO is responsible for developing solutions that resolve client issues completely. So the SEO can wear any hat and can be accountable for either transformation, stabilization of operation or driving continual improvement. The important part is to freeze on which hat the SEO must wear.

The next ingredient is the use of "Innovative Toolsets" - In my earlier example of the SEO being a Solution Architect, I spoke about understanding the difference between client "wants" and "needs". To differentiate the two, we need to do the required due-diligence. It is through this due-diligence that we get to freeze on an innovative solution that would help address a specific problem.

The third ingredient involves "Meaningful Measurements" - A typical problem in IT operations occurs when IT is not able to link results with the relevant business metrics. The result is a complete miss in communications with the business and the value delivered by IT is undermined.


"Articulation of Value" is the fourth ingredient - As I explained above, we need to articulate to the stakeholder in a language they understand. The success or failure of an IT program is judged on the value it delivers to the business. Without a clear articulation, this value is unclear. The SEO ensures that the metrics are clearly defined and measured, thus leading to a precise articulation of the impact. By emphasizing on the value delivered, the SEO also helps set internal benchmarks and the roadmap for continuous improvement.

What do you think? Let me hear those thoughts! 

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