Quality Progress - June 2014 - (Page 8)
Driving service quality
the tone of the conversation changed.
Q: How do you drive quality for an IT depart-
When the retail bank saw how small the
Quality maturity models are broken
ment in the service sector, such as at a bank?
actual downtime per branch was, the IT
down into levels, with each level being
department was able to become proactive
characterized by traits of your current and
and begin efforts to reduce the downtime
future states of quality. The first levels have
even further. It would have been difficult
few characteristics associated with them.
A: Many will say to drive quality in IT, you
to change the relationship with that client
As you move up, you will find that the
must focus on using methods such as the
without that metric.
information under each level increases. You
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
capability maturity model integrated (CMMI),
It's important to ensure that metrics are
should be able to help leverage this tool.
also will notice increased granularity as you
lean Six Sigma or the project management
linked to problem areas. In the past, opera-
body of knowledge. While many organiza-
tional leaders would approach a continuous
tions struggle with which improvement
improvement team and say, "We need your
element of the maturity model. You may find
method to use, their operational area's ser-
help." That's honorable, but knowing which
metrics at level one are ad hoc or nonexis-
vice delivery to internal and external clients
critical problems to focus on is important.
tent. Level two may have metrics as present,
is feeling the impact of poor quality.
If you are interested in driving quality
In that vein, if you happen to be on the
move up the levels.
As an example, metrics should be an
but purely reactive in nature. Level three
receiving end of IT service (Who isn't these
may have metrics as present and used as
within an IT department in a bank, there are
days?), ask yourself, "What is keeping me up
needed. Level four may say that they are
three avenues to focus on:
at night?" or "What is my No. 1 problem?"
integrated into each area and supported
1. The problems.
Then, ask yourself, "Do I have metrics or
by measurement system analysis. Level
2. Moving from problem containment to
goals relevant to those problems?" Chances
five may represent proactive use of data,
are, the answer will be no. If the answer is
generated by both internal (client needs) and
no, don't be discouraged. This is a common
external (benchmarking) perspectives.
problem and a great way to find out where
Using these tips, pull a small team
true root cause.
3. Leveraging a maturity model.
First, focus on the problems, not the
method. Using a hybrid, pragmatic approach
to method selection is a good way to pro-
to focus quality or improvement efforts.
Second, moving from problem contain-
ceed. In addition, you may want to leverage
quickly be noticed and appreciated.
ment to true root cause is another great
metrics to help you identify where to focus.
together and get started. Your efforts will
place to focus. Many IT shops stop at contain-
Many IT service areas have metrics, but
AVP Partner Solutions
ment and fail to move to true root cause.
few of those metrics are linked to known
problem areas for clients. Sometimes, IT
that stops the bleeding and restores service,
departments don't measure what matters
but that doesn't address the root cause.
Lincoln Financial Group
Containment is generally defined as the effort
for their clients. In a previous career at a
Improvement only starts when you sys-
1. Keith Wagoner, "8D Solutions," Quality Progress, November
2009, pp. 8-9.
major bank, my department was getting
tematically start looking for true root cause.
feedback from the retail area that network
Team-oriented problem solving is useful
operations were causing major downtime.
for this as it forces the distinction between
Q: How do you evaluate capability of equip-
Staffing issues resulted from the systems
containment and true root cause.
ment such as pumps, heat exchangers and
going down, and the staff members had to
refer to hard-copy ledgers.
There was an effort to normalize the
Third, using a maturity model can be
helpful for getting started on implementing
Rajendra Prasad Yalamanchily
quality in any area. The notion of a maturity
actual downtime data across all of the retail
grips with where they are on their journey.
A: Capability evaluation of equipment deals
and turned out to be extremely beneficial.
If you have a resource on your team with
with studying the process and output of the
After that metric was produced and shared,
model is that it forces users to come to
branches. This had not been done before
an in-depth quality background, he or she
equipment with respect to its ability to fulfill
QP * www.qualityprogress.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - June 2014
Mr. Pareto Head
No Weak Links
Need for Speed
3.4 per Million
Quality in the First Person
2014 Software Showcase and Directory
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - June 2014