Category: Performance

Incident Management Demystified

INCIDENTALLY SPEAKING

Due to the easy recognition that a service offers a modular approach to assembling supporting facilities for operations at any scale, the concept of “services” is a hot topic at many levels of organizational production. In turn, that makes the experience o using services a top priority in the consideration of operational and production performance.

This leads to a quick appreciation of why difficulties in service utilization become so prominent in an organization: services in effect become the “API” that is provided to the workforce for exploiting industrial-grade support of their efforts — in particular, the support provided by any enabling automation technology.

Since worker operations power the progress of maintenance, change and exploration, any expectation of competitively advancing rests on how well workers can leverage their resource. Thus, Performance is inhibited by interruptions of that leverage, which means that performance is also constrained by the capability to manage incidents.

Inspired by that prominence, the topic of incident management stays in the foreground alongside most other considerations of competitive advantage. However, even though the above understanding is commonplace, somehow the matter of how to define, track and handle incidents falls into debate.

We think this ambiguity starts at the level on which organizations demand accountability, which in turn subjects the issue to any preferences or habits of sub-organizations given responsibility along with the accountability. Many of these preferences and habits are institutionalized in local terminology, which brings up the need for a frame of reference that allows different specializations to identify when one of them is actually talking about the same thing or working on the same thing as is another one.

A SINGULAR CLARIFICATION

One hugely important observation is that an incident is largely psycho-logical. Unlike an mere unspecified difficulty which could simply be tolerated, it has to be noticed in order to be managed (accounted for), and it has to be defined in order to be noticed.

In general, an “incident” is:

  • a detected significant departure from …
  • a condition of an activity, …
  • where that condition was defined by the expectations of a known intent.

Yet, while detection is, by definition, always involved, reporting the detection is not. There can be a very significant difference between the presence of incidents and awareness of the incidents by any parties other than the immediate directly affected party.

In general, the management distinction of “an incident” has value in terms of the prevention of an incident and/or the response to the incident.

Prevention demands a clear view of the environmental dynamics that allow or cultivate activity without incidents. Options are mainly in the design, distribution, and prerequisites of the contact between workers and their various resources.

Response requires understanding, weighing and prioritizing relevant options to regain (resolve) a systemic stability in the interactions that accompany normal uninterrupted effectiveness.  Options are:

  • Circumstantial – a recovery of superficial user progress for the moment
  • Relational – a restoration of prescribed reliability on an underlying dependency
  • Fundamental — a re-engineering of the intended permanent infrastructure

Different parties should be able to map their existing roles and scope of authority to the design/distribution/prerequisites of prevention, or likewise to the recovery/restoration/re-engineering of response.

A COMMON-SENSE STANDARDIZATION

To assure that there is a commonality of perspective across those multiple points of view, we go to the fact that the operational environment discovered and exploited by workers is to some degree found ad hoc (which creates opportunities), and to some degree commissioned by design (which creates expectations). We also recognize that the environment at hand is typically far more extensive than any worker’s practical familiarity with it. Consequently, there is a degree of uncertainty about what will occur, while there is a degree of prescription about what should occur. This is the normal condition in which incidents are found.

The following lays out a common-sense understanding of how to recognize incidents and approach them from both the proactive and responsive standpoints, simultaneously. That kind of recognition allows the organization to be working on the environment continually with the ability to systematically compare intents to actuals in a closed loop of service production, deployment and service feedback. In this view, any whole or part of a service is a logical item to be addressed, since a service may itself be composed of other services, and the exposure of any service may be specifically significant at the whole or component level.

This version of the framework predicts the possibility of 49 generic types of incidents, completely without any binding reference to a particular organizational entity or infrastructure. Example: From one moment to the next, the likelihood of an “access error” may be greater or lesser than an “output omission”, but standard guidance predicts that both can occur depending on prevention and response.

Incident Definitions Framework

 


Presence On Demand – The New Productivity

A demand-based orientation redefines the way productivity is is defined and recognized — replacing the concerns of the supply mindset used by providers with the demand mindset used by consumers to evaluate their engagement with the influence of a company. The following figure illustrates the drill-down of concerns from Return on Investment in what the company does to the value attributes of its encountered activity and behavior. The concerns are highly summarized and contrasted between the supply orientation and the demand orientation.

Productivity On Demand_ROI and Value Matrix


The Experience Of The User

Engaging and Supporting the Personalization of Productivity

Individuals in action are simultaneously thinking and feeling; giving and receiving. Understanding the actual meaning of “experience” therefore requires crosses several boundaries and concerns.

It is tempting to catalog issues according to what giving and receiving means regarding thinking; then, likewise, what giving and receiving means regarding feeling. To some extent this cataloging might generate a set of items that are useful in profiling the individual compared to other individuals. But that profiling would still leave the matter of how it makes sense to purposefully interact with the individual. “Making sense” is likely our way of saying, what do we think the chances are that the effects we want would be obtained from the interaction we expect?

Profiling is certainly not obsolete. But meanwhile, with the dramatic rise of powerfully enabled individual actors, two new issues come up.

One is that an individual is more likely to have multiple profiles, variously active at different times and places. Another is that the individual has far more control over when or why they will be profiled, yet the tendency now is for far more voluntary self-exposure. As individuals observe other individuals, they are unpredictably attracted to the chance to pursue similarity or pursue difference.

In the science of relationships, we are generally now needing to observe very closely and react very quickly as a mode of gaining desired interaction with a desired profile. The alternative, however, still exists and is also itself more powerful than before. The alternative is cultivation, which requires strategy, logic, and being thorough. It begins with seeing how individuals generally behave as they try to obtain or cause what they themselves want.

Here we have derived the general model of the behavior that makes up an individual’s sense of personal productivity:

Personalized Productivity1

 

The model gives a clear view of the significant touch-points in the dynamics of the individual’s experience, along with the reasons to interact at those touch-points. What comes next is the identification of how the individual’s exposure and awareness is co-managed by the person and another purposefully affecting party. The framework for that describes the person’s exposure to support and engagement along with the affecting party’s means of impact in an interaction. The affecting party maps the items in the framework to the behavior cycle of the subject individual person.

Not only does this reveal the commonality of concerns across marketers, managers and teachers; but it illustrates points where peer interaction is able to intervene in a prevailing tendency and alter it. The net observation is that an affecting party supplies the impacts continually as features or properties of an environment in which it want the individual person to appear. That cultivation does not rigidly fix opportunities, nor outcomes; but it does generate histories that can be analyzed for patterns and statistical prediction both of value to future interaction logic and interaction strategy.

 

Personalized Productivity2

 

Along with the ability to invoke desirable interactions, cultivation is fundamental to change management and compliance, as they both call for a successfully negotiated agreement on the part of the individual personal actor.