How to have healthy, meaningful disputes with your IT service provider by Andrew Lenti

10 CTQ (critical to quality) factors to help set expectations between you and your IT service provider and ensure that quality is kept at centre stage

This October marks our 5-year anniversary as a SaaS provider offering a wide array of continuous improvement and performance governance consulting services supported by our enterprise platform PRESTO Continuous Improvement.

One of the major areas of learning that has brought us through the ranks of the wonderful world of 'software as a service' has been our ongoing internal continuous improvement philosophy to keep our daily operations and product development activities as streamlined and efficient as possible.

We have been with several 3rd party service providers over the years outsourcing the majority of our product development program. In doing so, we have developed a few hacks to allow for our relationship with our talented designers and developers to be optimised. As a small company, we are specifically focused on keeping all costs under watch and keeping our clients satisfied. That said, it goes without saying that quality governance is a key success factor engrained in our daily operations.

With Covid-19 in full effect, even our developers are now working from home full time causing new challenges in connectivity and employee availability. To say the least however, our daily KPIs which we have been using for over 3 years are all still as valid as ever and assist us in maintaining daily discipline and adherence to quality while giving the team the flexibility needed so that everyone can work at their own pace without unnecessary distractions.

Speaking the language of Quality

Some time ago, I published an article on the daily KPIs that we use to track performance and quality levels. As a provider of KPI management solutions, I would be the first to highlight that no KPIs will ever be effective if they are not reviewed consistently and discussed among the key decision makers required to improve KPI results and communicated to key stake holders.

Although we track many daily KPIs both at the team and at the personal level, all of these are mere support information when creating our monthly performance report which we delivery and discuss consistently with our development partner.

This report is crucial to highlight chronic issues, identify areas of improvement, and of course, dispute a bill in the unfortunate event that you feel your service provider should offer service credits due to targets which were not met.

Without further explanation, the list below consists of our 10 CTQ (critical to quality) factors viewed through our classic T-O-P-P framework which we find priceless when engaging long-distant service providers to discuss challenges and improvement areas.

In the DOWNLOADABLE TEMPLATE are additional detailed explanations and sample graphs to make your discussions all the more meaningful.

Wishing you all the best in your outsourcing endeavours and feel free to contact us in the event you would like enhanced support in managing quality with your remote relationships.

Andrew Lenti, TOPP TI CEO

Technology

  • 01:Product uptime - number of hours where IT products were available to clients for use
  • 02:Connectivity - Represents the quality of communication and the effectiveness of the devices used (e.g. laptops, mobile devices, chat, etc.) to ensure that the assigned work is completed
  • 03:Legacy code reliability & performance - Represents the consistency of the product released in production & user experience and how much time is dedicated to unexpected rework on code already delivered, lost code, performance issues from poorly constructed queries, etc.

Organisation

  • 04:Availability of staff - Represents the number of hours dedicated to the work schedule agreed in the prior month
  • 05:Communication & collaboration among the team - Represents the quality in which the team members communicate among themselves to optimise the daily hand offs of work from colleague to colleague while minimising downtime & confusion
  • 06:Overall organisation and ability to plan future tasks - the overall organisation of the team to ensure that each product deliverable agreed, is managed effectively up until completion

Product (process)

  • 07:Quality of deliverables received - Represents the level of quality of work completed and delivered to client for testing and/or client delivery
  • 08:Quickness on delivery - Represents the overall quickness from the time a single task is identified and the time it is completed

People

  • 09:Responsiveness & concentration - How responsive and focused the staff is in the day-to-day management of phone calls, messages, etc.
  • 10:Knowledge of the product - How confident the developers are in making a commitment to a new work order based on their estimated required time for R&D activities

Download the complete monthly quality assessment dispute template here

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Andrew Lenti has been working with multinational organisations involved in business transformation initiatives since 1999.  In that time he has been based in 7 different countries. He has rich experiences working with business leaders at all levels of the organisational hierarchy and has spent vast amounts of time working with shared service centres of excellence on business restructuring implementation projects. He is one of the co-founders of TOPP Tactical Intelligence Ltd, a European operational excellence software provider and is one of the original architects of P.R.E.S.T.O., the cloud-based,  performance enhancement continuous improvement business management software currently being used by large and small organisations as a tool in performance management and assisting with operational restructuring. 

If you would like to learn more, please visit www.toppti.com