processforusability home page

The resource for the victims of outsourced services and call centres - their users


user joy

The Good News

User-centred design is possible and - in fact - well-established. To find out more, click here

tube rage

The way we are now.
The unfortunate state of most outsourcing and call centres just now.

cowboys and SLA's

The trouble with Service Level Agreements (SLA's); why they have little chance of being helpful to the client organisation's business.

Electronic Service Delivery for e-government. How a user-centred approach can be made to work.

To see the text for the BHCIG panel paper on this, click here

It isn't easy being a user. Start of a user-centred task analysis      
Links and contacts (just pointers rather than recommendations mostly)

Tales from the tube face.

Bulletin board to be implemented.

The state of the market, and why things are likely to get worse if left to themselves.  

"How many help desk operators does it take to change a light bulb?"
" brr brr .."Hello, can I help you? What seems to be the problem?"............
"My light isn't working"

"Well, we have an exact replica of your light bulb here, and it seems to be working perfectly.
Have you tried using the light switch?"

Some years ago, the author supported some post-graduate research into the organisational design of call centres. The researcher was taken to see a recently installed call centre, providing desktop support to an organisation. The centre had been set up to meet CCTA guidelines and considerable care had been taken in selection and training, in organisational design (e.g. whether to have technical staff taking the initial call, or to have initial queries fielded by someone less technical), and in transfer of expertise from existing call centres to the new one. All in all, very impressive, and a model of good practice. He then met the users, who were apoplectic with the poor level of service.

Some quotes from reports:

"If you separate IT from the business process then outsource IT the consequences are IT disasters! This has happened in government/IT sector partnerships."

"We need to educate the customer and the user. What we need is intelligent customers. Public sector customers do not understand how to match the technology with people in order to meet IT objectives."

"We need a more effective dialogue between the IT sector and the customer. It people use their own language and think technology is the answer. This implies we need mutual education."

”The failure to understand how people do their jobs and what jobs they are really doing. The failure to look at business and work processes and understand how they might be transformed if the power of information and communications technology was really exploited."

Much much more to follow shortly.

The material on this site (apart from the material from the ISO standards) is copyright
Process Contracting Limited© 2003