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Showing posts from February, 2010

Usability or "User-Ability" Requirements

Too often, IT professionals jump from strategy right into implementation without doing the proper due diligence in collecting, analyzing and recording detailed customer requirements.
The ITIL Service Design book defines three levels of requirements: Functional, Management / Operational and Usability. It gives us in-depth descriptions of Functional requirements and Management/Operational requirements but leaves me a bit empty when it comes to Usability requirements. The definition is as follows,
“The primary purpose of usability requirements is to ensure that the service meets the expectations of its users with regard to its ease of use. To achieve this: Establish performance standards for usability evaluations Define test scenarios for usability test plans and usability testing. I like to define this as “User-ability”. Service Design (Section 5.1.1) describes this as the ‘look and feel’ needs of the user that facilitates its ease of use. Usability requirements are often seen as a part of M…

Making the Case for Self-Help

HDI (formerly Help Desk Institute) recently released its 2009 Practices and Salary survey and reports that an incident resolved via the telephone costs $22, while an incident resolved via self-help costs $12. Furthermore, 11 percent of the organizations surveyed report that self-help tools are prompting a decrease in the number of incidents reported to the Service Desk. Having said that, these organizations also report that only three percent of incidents are resolved via self-help.

With the Baby Boomers retiring and technically savvy Gen Y joining the workforce – and, oh yeah, the economy – the time has come to get serious about self-help as a support channel.

Many think the solution lies in finding and installing the right technology; however, new technology projects often fail from a lack of preparation and management. Here’s where the four Ps come in to play. Introduced in the ITIL Service Design publication, the four Ps – in the context of self-help – include:

People – How can you i…

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