If you want to do the job well, first sharpen the tools, or how we helped one IT manager build an effective quality management system for employees

    Management is the process of planning, organization, motivation and control,
    necessary in order to formulate and achieve the goals of the organization.

    In the field of providing IT services, one of the important tools for implementing management processes are Service Desk class systems. As a result of automating the accounting of incoming applications, as well as the work and processing parameters performed on them, it becomes possible to analyze, plan, monitor and evaluate the activities of the IT department and IT employees based on actual performance indicators and create an appropriate motivation scheme. In this article we want to discuss one of the problems that quite often arises when building such a motivation scheme in IT departments.

    The fact is that even the "boxed" versions of Service Desk systems can already generate information that can be easily and quickly used as indicators of the quality of work of IT employees. For example, the number of processed applications, the timeliness of their execution, etc. These data are taken in most cases by IT managers as the basis for building a system for assessing the quality of work of their specialists and the corresponding motivation system. However, the use of such indicators without additional processing and preparation as an assessment and motivation tool may not always be beneficial. Why? We show an example.

    So, the source data. There is an IT department consisting of several departments and providing IT services to users of their company. It runs an automated system for recording user requests from Service Desk, processes applications, and the results of this activity are monitored by the parameters of the number and deadlines.

    The motivation scheme for employees of the IT department is based on bonuses, which make up a significant part of the total remuneration. To calculate bonuses, the number of timely completed applications is multiplied by a complexity factor, the value of which, in turn, is a subjective assessment of the unit head.

    From the point of view of employees, such a motivation system is unfair, since the total bill includes applications that, in themselves, even within the framework of the IT service provided, require different labor costs. For example, the preparation of jobs for employees is associated with the processing of so-called “long” applications; when eliminating errors in the work of standard applications, applications can be either “long” or “short”, but the issues of providing access and advice on the operation of standard applications are almost always resolved quickly. In the current automation system, such applications are not typified by the type of work performed. The coefficient of their complexity can be calculated only by a rough estimate of the head of the unit, which, in addition to the shortcomings of “subjectivity”,

    Such a system is inconvenient for the head. In addition to the fact that every month you have to spend a lot of time analyzing data for all closed applications, there is also the basis for conflict situations both in relations with subordinates and between employees themselves - quick and not very. In addition, the higher management requires improving the performance indicators of the unit. And they (indicators) in such a situation are clearly reduced: someone, having grabbed a large number of applications, does not have time to process them in a timely manner, “long” applications often sag.


    The used indicators of work quality and the motivational scheme built on their basis do not suit either the head of the IT department or his employees.


    We consider one of the most successful solutions that we implemented in a project to develop a system for professional development of IT departments in a large energy company.

    Based on the analysis of the current activities of the IT department, we proposed to group employees in the IT departments according to the types of work they perform. For example, an administrator group, a user support group for IT services, a VIP user support group, a user workplace management group, etc. Each employee was part of only one functional group, although he could be a member of several support groups for IT services. For each such group, corresponding areas of responsibility were fixed, including the processing of types of applications, their own indicators were developed that characterize the quality of work of its participants and take into account the specifics of the work they perform.

    Next, we developed a methodology for calculating indicators, a methodology for using them in a motivational scheme, and a competency matrix that provides the necessary level of quality. Based on the principle of objectivity and measurability of all indicators, we tinkered a lot, coming up with how to ensure the possibility of obtaining them through the customer’s Service Desk system. Something could be taken from the current application accounting system. But to build a reliable picture, of course, the system needed refinement, including for additional categorization of processed applications.

    The motivation scheme was now based on objective indicators for each functional group. The bonuses were divided into two parts: one for the quality performance of work in their area of ​​responsibility, the other for additional activities in other areas and in the development projects of the unit. When calculating each of the parts, its own performance indicators were used. To ensure the flexibility of the motivation system, the influence coefficients of both parts of the bonus were also taken into account, allowing them to meet the target areas of development of the IT department in future periods.

    The competency matrix was based on performance indicators and included the necessary and sufficient set of knowledge and skills that group employees must have in order to provide IT services of the required level.


    The following tasks were solved:
    - the manager was provided with a thin (“ground”) tool for managing employee performance by:
    • building a motivational scheme that takes into account the specifics of different types of work;
    • the formation of knowledge about the competencies necessary to carry out these works with the required level of quality;
    - The process of distributing applications has been optimized: certain areas of responsibility are assigned to group employees, which should lead to an increase in the level of work of the IT department;
    - employees received a transparent system for assessing the quality of their work, an objective system for calculating bonuses, knowledge of the required set of their competencies and targets for further professional growth.


    As the saying goes, if you want to do the job well - first sharpen your tools.

    The described solution confirms once again: for effective management it is important to think over an approach to building control and motivation systems. Regarding the activities of IT departments, we can also say with confidence: with a competent approach, the capabilities of the Service Desk class system are enough for the effective organization of the quality management of employees.

    Dear readers, we are also interested to learn about your experience in solving such problems and discuss similar problems that your organization has yet to solve. Perhaps together we can find a way out of the situation. 

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