By Chally Kacelnik
A lot of organisations find it difficult to succinctly describe the services they provide – or aren’t clear on the suite of services they offer at all. It’s often surprisingly hard to identify or articulate what you’re surrounded by all the time, a bit like describing water if you were a fish.
Every part of your organisation should be doing something that contributes to your objectives and vision, whether directly or through providing support services. Don’t gloss over the need for nailing this because everything is going approximately okay. Truly understanding your service provision will make all the difference to getting your strategy right and continually improving your results.
Here are some factors you should think about in defining your services:
- What’s provided (and how it’s provided)
- Who the end users are, and the value they seek
- The financial detail
- The service levels – customer-focused or technical – and associated metrics
- The activities provided, and the connections with activities and services in other parts of the organisation
Services are about what is received and experienced – not your inputs or how you cost activities. They are measurable, and they’re able to have different service levels attached. Underlying all this must be a clear sense of the service scope and purpose – otherwise, you don’t know whether you’re providing services that are optimally contributing to what you want to achieve.
We help our clients to define their services and link them to the underpinning systems, training and capability requirements, role authorities and accountabilities, and risk assessments. Getting clear on all this is crucial for a well run organisation. After all, each individual service should be a cog that helps the whole machine to run. Savvy organisations make sure that that’s the case.