Monitoring Service Delivery
In SSiD we systematically collect data in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our service delivery.
Monitoring can help:
- Keep work on track and allows us to regularly review progress.
- Alert us when things are not going to plan by helping us identify problems and causes.
- Give us regular opportunities to make adjustments and changes that may not be presented otherwise.
- Force us to reflect on objectives/plans/strategy and seek insight.
Monitoring should be carried out regularly and acted upon regularly. To make sure this happens, we need to detail the steps that are need in some form of monitoring procedure.
Before starting to monitor any activity such as service delivery, we need to understand why we are monitoring and what we are trying to achieve. Are we trying to improve the efficiency of our operations? the effectiveness of our service delivery? improvements in the satisfaction levels of key stakeholders such as students or senior managers?
1. Review the indicators you are going to measure
Once decided what to monitor, we need to think about the various ways we can measure the activity that relates to that target. This could be led by the service measures we already have defined in documents such as Service Level Agreements or Annual Reports. At a minimum we should measure those things that are critical to the success of the service (Key Performance Indicators). In SSiD this includes our enquiry referral rates. It is also useful to measure other activity that you have identified can help improve the effectiveness of service delivery.
2. Collecting information
Each of these indicators can be measured either quantitatively or qualitatively.
Quantitative data is usually easier and cheaper to gather and measure. This is especially so when we have recording systems already in place such as Customer Relationship Management Systems, databases and spreadsheets. Collecting quantitative data arising from an individual activity of a service can be helpful when measuring and improving efficiency.
This ‘soft’ analysis of an issue can produce many insights because they are open to interpretation and consequently discussion and debate.
3. Share the information
Once you have set up the mechanism to collect the data, you need to tell your team everything you have learned. In SSiD a monthly monitoring report is shared with all staff on the first day of each month. We also share a range of quarterly reports that go into more detail about the operations of the walk-in centre / contact centre / online store as well as feedback from students and enquiry referrals.
This information is also shared with other stakeholders such as students and staff. Sharing this information with stakeholder may also help bring about required changes by creating understanding and buy-in. Letting student-customers know what you are measuring and improvements made also encourages their feedback about the performance of our service,
4. Review Discussion/Meeting
Even with quantitative data it is worth gathering together a group of people to discuss what the results really mean. As a manager I may have a particular perspective on what he data means but many times after discussion with staff who are involved with creating and processing the data we reach new or more nuanced conclusions. As a group you should reflect on the internal systems, processes and procedures that are supposed to produce the required results and discuss whether they do.
Our monthly review meetings usually conclude with an agreement of actions including changes to processes and how such changes will be evaluated and reported on after implementation.
5. Implement changes
Once action have been agreed the team we should make the changes in timely fashion and let stakeholders know. If your department or organisation requires a more consultative approach, ask for comments and suggestions to be sent before a tight deadline.
1 December 2007
latest update 16 March 2018