Personally, the end of the holiday seasons brings with it a realization that I ate too much, drank too much eggnog and stopped exercising. Like most people, as evident by the number of people I see at the gym in January, I resolve to exercise more, eat healthier and finally get that checkup at the doctor.
In a similar vein, I look at what can I do to improve my field services organization’s health. While perhaps not as sexy as 50 push-ups or a kale salad, I have found that in my career too many people, myself included, wait until there’s a large critical issue or last-minute change before acting. I know from first-hand experience the stress, cost, negative impact on both employees and customers results from this kind of procrastination. Being proactive and ensuring that your system (people, process and technology) is healthy and ready for change, can help to minimize any negative experiences.
While I can never eliminate the common cold, I can ensure that when I did get a cold my ‘system’ is as healthy as possible, to minimize the time I spent in bed.
Many self-help articles say to keep your resolutions to less than 5 and utilize SMART (specific, measurable, achievable/assignable, relevant/realistic, time-bound). I simply had too many thoughts and too little space, so forgive me if I’ve colored outside the lines.
In no particular order, here are my top 9 Field Service Management health resolutions for 2018:
I promise to…
- Spend at least one day a month shadowing and listening with my dispatchers and field technicians
- Not only does this help with gathering real concerns, it creates a team environment that supports system (people, process and technology) enhancement requests as well as improves change engagement.
- Create a standing item on my weekly management calls to talk about potential improvements and areas of concerns with process and technology
- Agendas packed with KPIs, financial updates and performance Issues are not the most engaging topics. Setting up a standing agenda item that solicits open input from attendees and provides a forum to share unique improvements will help me see the bigger picture and maybe even find that golden nugget.
- Review my business requirements to ensure that they still align with the current technology and processes
- We spent so much time and money to get the best system in place. Do all the requirements we spent so much time documenting still make sense? We change so much every year and I don’t know if my standard system and process still support everything. I would hate to find out that people have gone back to paper, Excel sheets or hired people to support incremental changes.
- Set up a process where we will review our task durations every 6-12 months
- With new products and services, higher customer expectations along with all the advances in field tool technology, new training and better materials, do my teams need more, or less, time allocated to a job? What about weather or seasonal impacts?
- Look at my Field Service organization as an entire system (people, process and technology) not just the parts
- I promise to not jump to a conclusion that an issue is solely due to a unique work stream. While an issue may only have one unique solution, I will have a process where myself and my team will assess every issue across the people, process and technology streams of work.
- Work closer with my product development, marketing and call centre leaders so I can ensure my organization is prepared for any future changes in advance
- I will not be caught off-guard by a new service, product or upstream/downstream process change. I will ensure that I am aware of real and potential changes scheduled in the future so that my Field Service organization is as ready as possible.
- Set up action-oriented metrics that guide the end-user towards a specific set of recommended actions
- I will eliminate any metrics that don’t guide my teams towards operational improvements. I will not overload my organization with so many numbers that no one knows what to focus on.
- Ensure myself and my team improve our understanding the technical features of my current and future system so I can make better tactical and strategic decisions
- Never stop looking at areas for improvement
- I will start creating my list of improvements with my teams and continually review, enhance, prioritize and implement these improvements in a very targeted tactical manner.
9.5. Make smart Field Service partner choices
- Look for a partner that understands my whole system, not just one of the parts, and also actively listens to my unique needs and concerns regarding my system’s health.
If you’re looking for some help with setting and reaching some meaningful goals for your Field Service organization, contact us today to see how we can help you achieve Field Service excellence.