by Michael Forster, Kepner-Tregoe Australia

Learn how to eliminate your root cause          

For every failed fix attempt, customer satisfaction can be expected to drop by 7 percent

Working in IT we all know the critical importance of availability and reliability of IT systems and services. Why then do we see research that tells us that 57% of organisations suffer from business-critical application performance and availability problems?

How often do we really see a truly new problem, something we have never dealt with before? I would hazard a guess that the answer to this is very seldom. There is a simple reason for this, we continue to remove the symptoms of the problem – the thing that is causing pain to our customers – but we neglect the cause.

Come hear us at Service Management 2016 in Brisbane

Shane Chagpar and I will be speaking about this topic at itSMF Australia’s Service Management 2016 Conference at the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane on August 17. We think that it is time to change these statistics.

Service desks are dragged down constantly by repeat incidents. These calls represent a huge cost to the business, but it does not have to be that way.

When we use critical thinking skills and the proven problem solving capabilities that Kepner-Tregoe offers, then you can effectively find and eliminate the root cause of repeat incidents, increasing the reliability and availability of your IT services, thereby reducing loss and increasing the revenue of the organization.

Inadequate incident documentation

Repeat incidents are a struggle for many organizations, and the reason for this become clear when you review incident documentation. In far too many cases this does not include:

  •  The (observed) symptoms
  •  The actual (true) root cause
  •  The (proven) solution

How often do you search for a similar incident to one you are working on and discover that the solution is “fixed”? When this happens there is minimal reuse of knowledge and it becomes very difficult to identify recurring issues, let alone eliminate them.

Ineffective problem management leads to an excess of what we like to call ‘dead time’. This is time that is spent:

  •  Trying to fix something before you actually understand what the problem is
  •  Jumping to conclusions
  •  Identifying causes before gathering data
Failed fixes impact customer satisfaction

If this wasted time feels frustrating to the people working on the problem, imagine how it feels for the customers who are waiting for an answer with no idea about what is going on behind the scenes. For every failed fix attempt, customer satisfaction can be expected to drop by 7 percent.

In this presentation Shane and I will take you through a case study from a global banking giant. This organization harnessed the power of critical thinking to embark on an aspirational and practical journey towards IT stability. We hope that the insights that can be gained from their success will help you guide your own organization on a similar journey.

Our presentation is at 2:40pm on day one of the Service Management 2016 conference in Brisbane, on Wednesday August 17. Come and join us to find out more about effective problem solving and critical thinking.