Factors in project management influencing repeat business IASTED SE 2009, Innsbruck Jaap van Ekris, Senior Consultant [ema...
The current state of the industry <ul><li>Only 29% of all software development projects deliver what is promissed on time,...
Retaining customers is a hard job
Main focus of project leaders
The right product on time on budget isn’t enough <ul><li>Product is mediocre </li></ul><ul><li>Product is good (for fastfo...
What composes customer satisfaction Delivery Quality Product Quality Functionality
Delivery quality? <ul><li>Describes  how  the product was attained, instead of  what  was attained </li></ul><ul><li>Descr...
What is delivery quality? <ul><li>Doing what you get paid for is not enough   (Tracey and Wiersma) </li></ul><ul><li>A lot...
A more manageable definition... <ul><li>SERVQUAL, a model for delivery quality originating from the banking industry </li>...
Questions on using SERVQUAL in IT <ul><li>Is SERVQUAL sound when it is used in the software development industry? </li></u...
Case: A technically an exemplary project <ul><li>Replacement of a highly safety critical system </li></ul><ul><li>The proc...
Method of investigation <ul><li>All teammembers at the customer cooperated in the investigation </li></ul><ul><li>Investig...
The results <ul><li>NONE  of the respondents would automatically buy from the supplier again </li></ul><ul><li>Some respon...
Critical incidents identified <ul><li>Not being involved with the customer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not checking how the cont...
Important factors for satisfaction Area’s most contributing to respondents satisfaction Importance for satisfaction 1 st 2...
Strenghts and weakenesses <ul><li>SERVQUAL factors mentioned as a strong point of the supplier: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reli...
Critical incident attribution Mentioned in the CIT, but not attributed to any specific factor F Mentioned in the CIT, but ...
A new factor: Partnership <ul><li>Distributed attribution and no attribution indicates at least one factor is missing </li...
Conclusions <ul><li>Just a perfect product on time within budget does not help you retain your customers, it will only sav...
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2009-02-18 - IASTED Innsbruck 2009 - Factors in project management influencing repeat business

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Overview of the softer skills affecting customer retention with large software development projects.

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  • Capability Maturity Modeling 27 juni 2000 Masterclass ICT Met name de laatste was een verrassing: medewerkers associeerden de kwaliteit van de spelling (iets dat ze wel konden meten) met de inhoudelijke kwaliteit van het document!
  • 2009-02-18 - IASTED Innsbruck 2009 - Factors in project management influencing repeat business

    1. 1. Factors in project management influencing repeat business IASTED SE 2009, Innsbruck Jaap van Ekris, Senior Consultant [email_address]
    2. 2. The current state of the industry <ul><li>Only 29% of all software development projects deliver what is promissed on time, within budget </li></ul><ul><li>Around 72% of all customers consider abandoning current IT suppliers due to dissatisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Customers are cutting costs, software development projects are easy targets </li></ul><ul><li>How to survive as a software company ? </li></ul><ul><li>How to retain customers ? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Retaining customers is a hard job
    4. 4. Main focus of project leaders
    5. 5. The right product on time on budget isn’t enough <ul><li>Product is mediocre </li></ul><ul><li>Product is good (for fastfood) </li></ul><ul><li>Employees listen and verify order </li></ul><ul><li>Employees hardly speak local language </li></ul><ul><li>Pay upon delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Pay in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Employees interact and are friendly to customers </li></ul><ul><li>Customers structurally ignored due to (highly optimized) production process </li></ul><ul><li>Production is a front-office process, in sight of customer </li></ul><ul><li>Production is a back-office process, completely obfuscated </li></ul>
    6. 6. What composes customer satisfaction Delivery Quality Product Quality Functionality
    7. 7. Delivery quality? <ul><li>Describes how the product was attained, instead of what was attained </li></ul><ul><li>Describes the “pain” or “investement” of running the product from the customers side </li></ul><ul><li>Contains a lot of “softer” factors, the human interactions during the project </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery Quality is an important factor for turning a </li></ul><ul><li>“ not dissatisfied” customer into a returning one </li></ul>
    8. 8. What is delivery quality? <ul><li>Doing what you get paid for is not enough (Tracey and Wiersma) </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of human factors (Paulk) </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated personnel (Heskett) </li></ul><ul><li>Surprising customers (Kotter) </li></ul><ul><li>Delighting customers (Berry) </li></ul><ul><li>Providing good service besides a perfect product (Kotler) </li></ul><ul><li>Exceeding in the supporting processes (Porter) </li></ul>
    9. 9. A more manageable definition... <ul><li>SERVQUAL, a model for delivery quality originating from the banking industry </li></ul><ul><li>SERVQUAL defines delivery quality as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability , The supplier keeps his promises; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empathy , The supplier understands the industry, actively thinks about the solution for the specific customer; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsiveness , The supplier responds quickly to questions and change requests; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledgeable acting , The supplier has a good reputation and shows its technical experience; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tangibles , documents and materials look good. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some published applications in the IT industry, but these were controversial </li></ul>
    10. 10. Questions on using SERVQUAL in IT <ul><li>Is SERVQUAL sound when it is used in the software development industry? </li></ul><ul><li>Is SERVQUAL complete when it is used in the software development industry? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Case: A technically an exemplary project <ul><li>Replacement of a highly safety critical system </li></ul><ul><li>The proces: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ISO9001 certified company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proven reliability of the total system of 10 -4 , realized by using IEC61508 at a SIL-4 level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prince2 ® , focused on frequent and open communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget: fixed price </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery date: 2 weeks early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionality: proven 100% complete </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product quality: 100% according expectations </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Method of investigation <ul><li>All teammembers at the customer cooperated in the investigation </li></ul><ul><li>Investigation consisted out of several steps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial structured interview covering functionality, product quality and delivery quality, focussing on need, expectations and percpetion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The most positive and most negative experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall grade of the suppliers effort </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. The results <ul><li>NONE of the respondents would automatically buy from the supplier again </li></ul><ul><li>Some respondents even indicated to explicitly select a competitor when given a choice! </li></ul><ul><li>Respondents scored the suppliers’ efforts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average of 7,5 (out of 10) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highest score 8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest is a 6 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These marks put the customer in the “zone of indifference”, as expected from the explicit statements about rebuy behavior </li></ul>
    14. 14. Critical incidents identified <ul><li>Not being involved with the customer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not checking how the context of the system really works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not much technical interaction between customer and supplier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No interest in seeing the old system really work (happens only twice a year) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abundance of typo’s in critical design documents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence attributes to the feeling of a less than perfect review process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not solving the typo’s when identified gave subjects the feeling they were not taken seriously </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resistance to design changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Approach to risk management was contrary to customers approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking technical decisions that are contrary to the “safety first” culture </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Important factors for satisfaction Area’s most contributing to respondents satisfaction Importance for satisfaction 1 st 2 nd 3 rd 4 th 5 th 6 th System functionality 4 1 1 Accuracy of system 1 2 1 Reliability of system 1 2 2 Reliability of supplier 1 1 Empathy of the supplier 1 1 Interoperability of the system 2 1 Responsiveness of the supplier 1 1 Security of the system 1 Tangibles 2 Response speed of the system 1
    16. 16. Strenghts and weakenesses <ul><li>SERVQUAL factors mentioned as a strong point of the supplier: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empathic behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tangibles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SERVQUAL factors mentioned as a weak point of the supplier: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empathic behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledgeable acting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion : SERVQUAL provides a sound decomposition of delivery quality for the software development industry </li></ul>
    17. 17. Critical incident attribution Mentioned in the CIT, but not attributed to any specific factor F Mentioned in the CIT, but not attributed to any specific factor E Attributed to Empathy D Attributed to Reliability C Mentioned in the interview, but not attributed to any specific factor B Mentioned in the CIT, but not attributed to any specific factor A Attribution Respondent Critical Incident : Resistance to design changes
    18. 18. A new factor: Partnership <ul><li>Distributed attribution and no attribution indicates at least one factor is missing </li></ul><ul><li>Several interviewed indicated they missed the trust in the decission making at the supplier: in the eyes of the customer, the supplier missed the “safety first philosophy” </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the interviews, we introduce Partnership: the supplier aims at constantly acting in the best interest of the customer, instead of merely fulfilling the short term contractual agreements. </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion : SERVQUAL is not complete when used in the software development sector, it needs at least one extra factor </li></ul>
    19. 19. Conclusions <ul><li>Just a perfect product on time within budget does not help you retain your customers, it will only save you time in court </li></ul><ul><li>To retain customers, you have to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver what the customer needs, on time within budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perform above expectations on more “softer” areas of project management: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability/meeting agreements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Empathic behavior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responsiveness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledgeable acting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Visual appearance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partnership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Question remains if SERVQUAL is complete now </li></ul>

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