While attempting to check-in to my hotel for the itSMF Australian Conference I had one of the worst experiences of my life with a check-in process - my expectations were not met. Waiting in a line of 2 people for 30 minutes while a single person attempted to deal with the complaints of the guest at the counter - haven't they ever heard about calling for help? As I waited, the line grew and grew and as it headed for the door I was finally served and told that my room was not ready? But wait, it was after the check-in time, clearly a real SLA broken. Offered a trip to the Executive Lounge as compensation (I would have preferred my room and a shower) I reluctantly agreed. After reaching the lounge I had to wait another 10 minutes while the employee at the desk was busy complaining to her peers about the performance of another staff member and she assured me that I would be advised as soon as my room was available, in the next 30 minutes. Upon waiting for an hour, I approached the Executive Lounge employee who advised that the room was ready and she simply forgot to tell me! Into my room to my surprise a bowl of fruit arrived within minutes, nice recovery, all was forgiven and well with the world.
I am sure each of us has a story like this, one where you would wish that "service" was delivered without any requirement to request it, engage or even interact.
At a second hotel just yesterday in Canberra I experienced another example of service done well under adversity. A large group of colleagues and I all arrived at the same time to check into the hotel. As we approached the counter I ended up with a trainee who was clearly in her first week, if not first day. She worked through the process with a smile and guided by both a knowledge document and an attentive colleague who reinforced her correct actions and gently corrected those which were not. The experience, delivered with a smile and grace was a highlight of my day and I didn't even notice that I got the wrong room. I totally understood the situation which was resolved within a few moments.
Now we live in an era where metrics are critical whether written or not and it is critical that we in IT surround ourselves with metrics that make business sense.
To get started, it is important to understand the business you are in, the critical business services that are delivered, and what the relevant business measures are. For example an internet bill payment service - availability of the service is an important metric, but more important are the metrics used to report on the success of each transaction that is scheduled, along with the value through the system, fees charged and the total cost of the service (7 x 24 x 365 is great but of little value if you don't pay the correct payee). This data allows business management to determine whether the appropriate value is being offered, at the same time understanding the contribution made by information technology.
The guide I use for effective measures is the term "B-SMART"! Measures must be Business Based, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. B-SMART metrics are business derived and driven, and by implication should be agreed to with the business.Your metrics need to be reviewed on a regular basis: outcomes and performance should be reviewed monthly with business management and if a metric is found irrelevant, dump it or change it!
So B-SMART and get started with metrics that drive business value!