The End-user’s Perception is Your Reality

In order for processes and services to be managed and optimized, there must be a feedback loop that provides management information regarding the functioning of the processor service. This requires monitoring the process or service in appropriate ways to ensure that it is meeting the stated goal in the most effective and efficient manner. From an ITIL or quality perspective, the success of the process or service is measured at the point where the output of the process or service is consumed. Within the ITIL framework, this means that services are measured from the end-user and customer perspective or on an end-to-end basis. Processes should be measured at the point at which their output is consumed and on their contribution to the end-user and customer experience.

This requires creating the ability to monitor services on a significant number of workstations, both when the end-user is utilizing the service and also when they are not. Why would we want to monitor the service, when the end-user isn’t using it?

We learned that the Service Desk is directly responsible for end-user perception of IT, and indirectly responsible for customer perception. Now, we learn that Service Level Management is directly responsible for customer perception of IT, which is influenced by end-user perceptions, and will be very interested in monitoring Service Desk performance.

Service level management should make every effort to develop a baseline of understanding for the initial perception of the services. This will enable them to paint a before and after picture, once SLM is firmly established. Part of the picture should include the lack of adequate capability to measure perception prior to implementation. It should also include a description of new capabilities to measure and to report customer perception after implementation.

Plans need to be made for evaluating and implementing or improving UCs and OLAs in support of new SLA targets. Service level agreements do not stand alone. Often, multiple IT groups work together to provide services to end-users. Operational level agreements document this capability and establish clear expectations in support of SLA targets.

Often, services are dependent on outside vendors for parts of their functionality. For an SLA to be enforceable, the underpinning contracts with those vendors must support the SLA targets.