Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What gets measured gets improved

We recently started tracking "missed SLA's" in our IT service desk and, well we weren't that good at it. Many times we would go days or weeks with a case without contacting the users to let them know we were actually working on the case. Because of this the perception was, not surprisingly that we weren't taking the case seriously.

Now with a very few exceptions we were actively working the case but we just weren't communicating well. Our SLA required updates every 4 hours to every 2 weeks depending on the case. It was one of those things we knew we needed to improve on but it never seemed to make it high enough to get more than a passing comment in a meeting.

Last month we decided to fix it. We implemented a dashboard that tracked who had the most missed SLA's and a daily email went out to alert people that they needed to update their cases. 

We even went so far as requiring a 4-5 daily onsite meeting for anyone that had cases that were not meeting our stated SLA's. We are pretty "work life balanced" any many people would leave a bot early to avoid traffic and then work later in the night when their children were asleep. 

When people said that they could not make the meeting,  I replied with, "Well if your tickets are up to date you won't have to be there.". 

Someone went so far as to call the meetings "detention". They were not wrong. That was not an accident either.

We went from over 160 missed SLA's, down to 0 in less than a week. If you want to improve in an area measure it, and make it so that people want to meet it. Just be careful to measure and track what is important.

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