Customer Services and Information TechnologyFriends Not Foe Alisa Mann Customer Services Manager Las Vegas Valley Water District Metering America 2005
Top ten ways to make “IT” work • Based on 4 years of near continuous Information Technology renovations at LVVWD Customer Services • Interactive Voice Response – Avaya Conversant • Skills based ACD – Avaya CMS • Quality monitoring - Nice • Workforce Management – Blue Pumpkin • Screen pops – Avaya Interaction Center • Multi-media blending – Avaya IC and RightFax • CIS – PeopleSoft CIS coming 8/05 • Focus on CIS – most complex project of all
#10 – Senior business analysts • Have senior business analysts act as liaisons between your operations and IS, especially for larger projects like CIS where there are major business process re-design opportunities. BA
#9 – Use a forklift to upgrade CIS system and business processes • Don’t make the new system look like the old system and disguise this as “customization” to your business • Embrace new technologies • Study how others use it first before deciding to change or customize it.
#8 – Recognize that product knowledge = business knowledge • Don’t rely solely on product vendors to be consultants on your business – their business is generally their products. • Use trained utility business process specialists (internal or consultants) to help re-engineer your processes to take advantage of the new CIS system. Out of Box Product Your Business
#7 – Look at end-to-end processes • Don’t work in silos! • Re-design end to end processes across work areas for best return on your investment
#6 – Set your alarm clock on a typical timeframe and budget • Don’t underestimate $$$$$, resources or schedule – research similar implementations for benchmarks. • Focus on priorities • Gaining efficiencies • Mandatory requirements for go-live • Live in the house before re-modeling it … otherwise projects can take forever and spiral out of budget control
#5 – Monitor progress closely & recognize it • Implement strong management controls with simple measurement tactics • Scorecard of Monthly Progress • Track % Completion On Key Items • Management Flash Reports • Recognize milestones – CIS projects are long, so you need to have interim gratification to keep teams motivated
#4 – Be a bottleneck breaker • …not a Belly-acher • Set up escalation paths for decision making, especially across departments • New business rules • Better processes • Customizations • Reporting • As a manager you can become a bottleneck or be a bottleneck breaker DECISIONS
#3 Focus, don’t juggle • Don’t take on too many overlapping technology projects • Employees cannot be constantly in change mode, especially contact centers • CIS implementations are enormous – don’t expect to get much else done VS.
#2 – Simulate real use during testing • Focus Groups and Usability Testing with Customer Service Associates, Support Staff and Customers • Performance Testing to make sure there are no surprises in full scale operation • Parallel billing tests with old and new systems • Independent audit programs to balance converted data and billed dollars
#1 – MOST IMPORTANTRemember that CIS is not an “IT” project • CIS is a business project. • Dedicate business resources in each functional area and backfill their positions to get the best results
Questions ? Thank you for your time! Alisa Mann Las Vegas Valley Water District Customer Services Manager (702) 258-3180 firstname.lastname@example.org