Every business has become a technology business. Let that one sink in for a moment. With the internet of things ever increasing it has become ever more imperative for us to make wise decisions about how to move forward on which IT services we should be delivering into the future (pipeline), how long we should continue to deliver our current (catalog) and when should we retire them (retire). We literally could be an app away from becoming irrelevant.
It is no longer enough to satisfy our customers, we must now delight and excite them. They have to be able to enjoy the experience of how they receive these services along with the knowledge and comfort that the service provider of choice can continue without interruption to deliver this level of performance and functionality and even deliver new capabilities swiftly and often.
By engaging in DevOps principles & practices (Scrum and Agile) at the strategic level we can begin to prioritize new and changing customer requirements more effectively. Normally projects will start with a given set of requirements. In an Agile project (yes, we are going to use an Agile project format to continue the theme of blending ITIL and DevOps) the product backlog will contain these requirements as user stories, but as we all know those stories/requirements/attributes can change very rapidly. One tool that could help us rank these attributes and ensuring the delight of customers is the Kano model.
A Kano model shows us there are three different factors in customer satisfaction. They are as follows:
- Basic factors are aspects of the service that have to be in place for the customer to receive the service. They may not offer any obvious value but if they fail or are not delivered, customers will become very dissatisfied. These factors are sometimes called ‘must-have utility’ or the very least the service provider can deliver for a particular service. Basic factors are not responsible for high levels of satisfaction unless they alone fulfil the customer’s requirements completely.
- Performance factors are factors that enable a customer to get more of something that they need or a higher level of service quality. These are the factors that customers are interested in and the price they are willing to pay is directly impacted. These factors result in customer satisfaction when delivered and customer dissatisfaction when unfulfilled.
- Excitement factors are attributes of a service that are generous and which customers do not expect. When they are offered (within reason) they cause higher levels of satisfaction. The service provider is seen to be ‘going the extra mile’. While excitement factors result in the quickest and highest levels of customer satisfaction, they are expensive to maintain since the service provider is offering more than necessary at the same price. These factors may be exciting but they are not essential to the service and are, therefore, also referred to as ‘nice-to-have utility’. Internal service providers should be careful of introducing excitement factors in the interest of ‘customer satisfaction’ without doing a proper business case to justify the additional costs.
For more information on Service Offerings and Agreements, DevOps and Agile please see http://www.itsmacademy.com/itil-soa/, http://www.itsmacademy.com/dofnd/ and http://www.itsmacademy.com/agile/