SPOTlight On: Standards And Technology Alignment Review (STAR) Visits – Evolved Service Delivery From The Fulcrum Group
Important “WHOs and WHENs”
For our fully outsourced clients please be aware of a service improvement The Fulcrum Group has rolled out, beginning Q1 2018.
In January, we began compiling a list of network and security standards that we believe to be best practices. We will be visiting each outsourced client site in a regular rhythm to ensure not only do we setup things at onboarding, but we keep checking over time.
In February you may have already been contacted about a Standards & Technology Alignment Review (STAR) visit. With 10 under our belt already, we come out to your site and spend an entire day.
The Scoop on “WHAT WE DO”
Depending on your user seat count, we’ll schedule a STAR visit anywhere from once a month to once a quarter. During the visit, a dedicated resource will spend the day double-checking system settings versus our standards, to report back to you during your QSR (Quarterly Strategy Review).
Most technologies and applications work as intended from initial installation. But over time, things stop working, updates cause changes and failures happen. Rather than just respond to issues, we dedicated a process and a role to be able to see the big picture and invest time and effort to consistently reduce risk. These guidelines contain over 50 year’s experience from our senior engineers to help you get the outcomes you deserve.
HOW DID THIS START?
As part of our annual planning exercises, we conduct an anonymous survey of our team members using a start-stop-keep exercise. If you know anything about Verne Harnish and Scaling Up, the exercise simply asks three questions in an effort to dehassle our associates lives.
- What should we start doing?
- What should we stop doing?
- What should we keep doing?
Based on all the feedback we receive from our team, we prioritize into groups of ideas for viability and impact and power through as many as we can. This process highlighted the fact that even though we invested heavily in new tools to monitor and alert us to new issues and a documentation platform to track all assets, passwords and settings, that we hadn’t reduced the daily number of support tickets in our queue. The challenge we discovered was that if we reduce the number of incidents our clients experience, it is good for both of us.
WHY DID WE TAKE THIS APPROACH?
Many regular book readers make up our leadership, and several people referred to the DevOps book The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. Referring to the chart below, a core learning from the parable book explains why the Parts Unlimited organization struggles with so many IT issues.
While organizations desire to be in the upper left or top half of the grid, the books company wastes so much labor, money, time and focus responding to lower right issues, they almost fail.
We believe by driving standardization and business alignment more often we will reduce unplanned work. Then, we will both have more thought and resources to apply to business strategy and a more direct impact on reducing risk and improving profitable outcomes.
Feel free to reach out to our President Steve Meek firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.