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In this video, we’re going to discuss the definition of World-Class Performance in IT Service and Support.

You’ve undoubtedly heard this term before.  In fact, it is so over-used that it’s become a cliché of sorts.  But it does have real meaning, and correspondingly, it has a real definition.

There are four tangible, measurable criteria that define a world-class IT service and support organization.  These four criteria address quality, cost, industry best practices, and ROI – return on investment.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria.

When it comes to quality, the metric we look at is customer satisfaction.  And specifically, a world-class support organization will fall into the top quartile – the top one fourth – of all support organizations for customer satisfaction.

Secondly, cost matters, so the metric we look at here is cost per ticket.  For this criteria, a world-class support organization will be in the bottom quartile – meaning the lowest cost quartile – of all support organizations.

Third is process maturity.  This is important because process is what drives performance.  In fact, it’s virtually impossible to achieve low cost and high quality in service and support unless you have mature processes driving that performance.

Now, I want to be clear here.  I’m not talking about maturing your ITIL practices.  In fact, MetricNet has an entire video series on ITIL hacks.  What I AM talking about is maturing specific processes and operating procedures that have been shown to have a direct and measurable impact on your customer satisfaction and cost per ticket.  These are practices like shift left, and implementing balanced scorecards, both of which have the effect of reducing your total cost of ownership AND improving customer satisfaction.

The fourth and final criteria is that world-class support organizations have an ROI that is greater than 100%.  What this means is that they produce economic value greater than their annual operating expense.  They do this through channel mix, by deflecting contacts into lower cost channels, such as self-help.  They do this through shift left, which reduces total cost of ownership.  And finally, they do this by returning productive hours to end users.  Each of these sources of economic value can be quantified, monetized, and used to calculate the ROI of service and support.

So, what lessons can we take away from this?  Well, there’s a few.

  • First, the term World-class performance is not just a buzzword or a cliché.  It has real meaning, and a real definition. 

  • Secondly, the four criteria of a world-class support organization include top quartile customer satisfaction; bottom quartile cost per ticket, meaning low cost; then we have mature, industry best practices being followed; and finally, an ROI that is greater than 100%.

  • Third, we know that process drives performance.  That’s why process maturity, and specifically following the industry’s best demonstrated practices, is an important element of our world-class definition for IT service and support.

  • And finally, it is possible to achieve an ROI of greater than 100%.  For enterprise support organizations that reach this level of return, you qualify as an internal profit center.

Thanks for joining me today.  I hope you found my Vlog on defining World-class performance to be informative and insightful.

Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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