You do services development today? You are new to this / looking to create or expand into service? You characterize Services as a “black hole” and are here to just try and figure it out!
Whether you have been developing services for some time or new to it, having a sound services strategy is definitely step 1. Why have a strategy? Need to understand what services you are developing and why. Doing this for free? Main course or side dish? At Dell we didn’t have a real services strategy for a long time. Started off with just support then deployment. Over time it has evolved into consulting and then culminated in the purchase of Perot Systems. Now we have a much broader objective of providing services that help customers grow and thrive. What is your services strategy? (Poll audience)Develop and sell services to enable customer success with product.Provide services that help small business customers manage their infrastructure.Etc.What do you risk without having a strategy?Leaving money on the table.Poor quality / service. Lost opportunities / low value effort.Etc.
Two types of services 1) custom 2) industrialized / productized. Make the intangible tangible. Since services can not be seen, touched or felt. Productization of Services or making your services more tangible will result in easier sales (less risk to the client), more repeat business, and more profitable engagements. Achieving Repeatability through Productization = more satisfied clients, easier to scale (think globally!) and better service quality. In a survey quoted by the late Howard Shenson in "The Contract & Fee-Setting Guide for Consultants & Professionals," consultants working exclusively on a fixed-price basis had 87% higher profits than those working on a daily or hourly basis.How do you productize a service?Fixed scope = Setting defined result – Statement of Work or SOWFixed PriceName your product!Create Messaging – describe product, features, function, benefitSimply treat it like a product! Use marking mix 4 Ps (product, price, promotion, place)Etc.
I have constantly seen examples where services where built by slapping something together and giving it a name. At Dell we had the issue early on of creating SOW and SKUs then frustrated why it was not selling or if it did sell there was mass confusion on what was supposed to happen.Since services are by nature malleable / intangible you run the risk of continuous churn without a defined service product development model. Having a model will help you have discipline during the product development process as you have clear deliverables, expectations and milestones as you develop the Service.What are some models/framework/processes being used? How is it working for you?What are the key things to include in the process?Product Definition, Biz Case, etc. = all the typical product management stuff – think pragmatic, zigzag, etc.Training!TestingGTM PlanEtc.
Services need engineering too. You need to design your service to deliver on what was promised in your messaging and statement of work. Designing and documenting how the service will work, what groups do what, swim lanes, process flows, etc. Having a design will:Allow you to test and pilot the service prior to launch.Help you quickly make corrective actions when things will break and they will!Help you train the right groups on the right process and procedure.Allow you to see the services architecture and ways to improve.How many of you use services design or architecture services?
Fire & forget is a recipe for disaster. You will never launch a perfect service so ongoing product management / care and feeding of your service will ensure you remain relevant. Not unlike any other products out there today, what is new today becomes table stakes not to long in the future. Changes to features, processes, to ensure you remain relevant and continue to exceed customer expectations.If you are not going to maintain your service then you should put and end to it. If you are not going to invest in it to keep it in good working form then it will become a clunker / junker.
Services Product Development: Five Things You Need to Know
Services Product Development:<br />Five Things you Need to Know<br />
Buck Avey Bio<br />Over a decade of IT Services Experience<br />Over Five years of Services Development<br />Consulting, Deployment and Support Services<br />Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)<br />Cloud Services<br />Currently Services Product Planning and Strategy Manager for Dell Cloud Infrastructure Solutions<br />