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Service improvement

Hague applies service improvement and business process improvement approaches for clients by helping design and improve business processes, by highlighting opportunities to better support people and processes, by helping rationalise service offerings and by identifying capability improvement opportunities.  We apply experience from past engagements but we also draw on the rich literature and theoretical models underlying service improvement.  We specialise in examining the services you offer in terms of the capability behind each service so we can help you focus on those services for which you have a true competitive advantage and addressing any capability gaps.

There are many models for service improvement but most of them are  variations or elaborations on the Deming Cycle, named after W. Edwards Deming.


Figure 1: The Deming Cycle

The cycle can be used when starting any new project, in product or service development, in the definition of a business process, in root cause analysis and problem definition or in managing any change.  It can also be applied to management consulting engagements.  Here is an example of how to apply PDCA:

  1. Plan See an opportunity and form a hypothesis/plan a change. Define success.
  2. Do Create a prototype or do a small study and test the hypothesis/plan.
  3. Check Review results. Was success achieved? What can be learned and applied?
  4. Act Take action based on findings, Implement or repeat the cycle using new knowledge.

 Management is very faddish and there are many managers who believe Deming is old hat. That would not be said about Agile but if you examine the Agile approach to software development it follows the same principles. PDCA and some other artefacts of the Total Quality Management approach fell out of favour in some circles due to an excessive focus on documentation.  The work required to create documentation made it very difficult to change as the effort seemed to daunting.  Poor use of the approach gave it a bad name.

In fact PDCA is alive and well and just as relevant today.  A number of other methodologies have effectively built on PDCA and repackaged it and one of those is Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).  The model below packages the same principles differently: 

Figure 2: ITIL Service Improvement Model


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