Continuous Improvement in IT

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The IT team at Micronclean Ltd are all extremely passionate about offering the very best level of service we can to our internal customers which includes production plants, head office and those who work remotely.

It is our pride in never resting on our laurels that has led to us creating a structured approach to improving the services, applications and other processes through incremental improvements of key areas which provides the company and it’s customers with the optimum service we can.

Any IT team should see themselves as the key enablers and drivers of positive change within a modern business. So, here are just some of the things we do to keep our customers happy:

Ticket Monitoring (Speak to Data)

We use a ticket-based support request system, which provides our customers with a record of their requests, which they can track as issues progress, plus we can systematically prioritise these requests to produce the team worklist.

We can analyse the support data for underlying trends using tools such as Pareto, and by routinely identifying and tackling the biggest problem areas identified each time we can swing the balance of work from being “reactive” to “proactive”.

Downtime Recording

We routinely capture our uptime figures in four key areas. This data enables us to assess our performance of managing critical business services.

5S (Sort | Set | Shine | Standardise | Sustain)

All of our server rooms and IT offices are subject to 5S auditing. Standards and continuous improvements will be sustained by monthly audits led by alternating members of the team to give everybody the opportunity to identify issues and put their input across. We display a summary of all of the results of the audits on the wall in the office and in monthly communication updates to the rest of the business, and we also display individual results on the door of the area. We have sustain worksheets displayed in each which are a snapshot of how the area should look, with key quality and safety comments for easy visual understanding.

Visual Management – Abnormality at a Glance

The IT team have a set of core values that are closely aligned with those of any successful operations team. One key pillar of this is simple visual management.

A wise, old operations director once told us of the power of abnormality at a glance. The premise is simple: within three seconds of looking at a KPI you should be able to tell there is a problem, and within 10 seconds you should be able to understand what that problem is.

This breathtakingly simple approach to reporting on performance is what enables our team to efficiently highlight and deal with problems.

Incident Response (Root Cause Problem Solving)

By dedicating our resource to tackling problems properly, we can address issues to solve them at root level. This means we are not just fire-fighting the same old problems, and the time saved from this in the long term can be used more proactively.

One of our most powerful tools for achieving this is using 5 Whys? This is a principle where you keep asking the question, Why?

Once you have asked yourself this question 5 times (on average), it is then that you are truly getting to the root of a problem.

We don’t do sticky plasters at Micronclean!

Project Management/Change Management

Even our project management and change management processes have the Deming cycle built into their very core (i.e. Plan Do Check Act). This ensures that all projects/changes are on track with the original specification, and outputs do not stray.

We also capture any lessons learnt along the way that we can feed into the next project or change.

Pride

The single-most important thing we do is to instil pride in the work we do by following all of the above. We have a team of highly motivated and continuously performance improving set of individuals that make our team what it is.

We work hard, we work smart and we enjoy it!

Author

Oval: Image

 

  Robert Jamieson

  IT Manager