“6 tips for ensuring IT manager success” on LR Solutions, August 3, 2021.
Evaluate internal customer satisfaction
Many managers, particulalry those who lead applications development, infrastructure, or operations teams, are responsible for internal customer support. Alan Zucker, founder and principal of project management training and advisory firm Project Management Essentials, feels that the best way to measure such managers’ success is to talk with their customers and gauge their satisfaction with routine interactions.
Zucker recalls that several years ago while heading an IT project management organization, he made it a habit to meet with his project managers on a regular basis. “My project managers were matrixes into the development teams,” he notes. There was a problem, however. While the managers were generally happy, many customers weren’t.
Working collaboratively with the development teams and its customers, a 10-question, 360-performance survey was created, resulting in a poll conducted every six months. “Project teams assessed the project manager; the project manager assessed the teams’ performance, as did their functional manager,” Zucker says. The results were compiled and shared. Within a year, Zucker notes that team performance improved and the perception gap between project managers and customers narrowed.
Zucker also advises CIOs to establish an expectation that managers, team leaders, and other relevant parties meet regularly with their respective customers at least biweekly or monthly. “These meetings are critical to develop trusting relationships and collect feedback on their teams’ performance,” he notes.
Ola Chowning, a partner with technology research and advisory firm ISG, suggests moving beyond relatively generic customer satisfaction surveys to take advantage of the more precise Net Promoter Score (NPS), an index ranging from -100 to +100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a product or services to colleagues.