Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A framework for service quality - second draft

In July I posted about the framework for service quality which I'm working on. The post has generated a lot of interest (I can tell that from the Google Analytics) and some very thoughtful feedback.

I'm sharing now the second draft of the elements - you can download it from my Resources page as a pdf, and the pdf itself is here. In this document I ask a specific question for feedback - in relation to staff appraisals - and say a bit more about the concept of a maturity matrix. You can also see how the draft has changed from the first version, and again, comments and feedback are welcomed.

The point of the exercise is to create a diagnostic tool which anyone can use to help them measure and improve the quality of a professional service in higher education. It's published with a creative commons license - you're free to use and amend it as you wish, as long as you acknowledge the source, and share what you've done on the same basis.

You can post comments in reply to this blog; or reply to the tweets or linked-in posts which I use to publicise it. Or, if you'd rather, email me directly - hugh @ hughjonesconsulting.co.uk.

Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Gary Argent commented via email:

    Hi Hugh, I think this is a really interesting piece of work. Two thoughts:

    Agree that appraisals can be a difficult area in HE. As you point out this is sometimes because managers are unaware of how to give constructive feedback (or are uncomfortable doing so), and I think it is important that the institution provides training for the managers to help with this. The other difficulty that I encountered was that sometimes the appraisee could not see a tangible benefit following a “good” appraisal. If they were in a fairly static role and / or at the top of the salary band then there was little opportunity for progress, either financially or in terms of personal development.

    That being the case a “good” appraisal process needs to consider how visible the links are to reward, be it financial or career development, and a good service will be more creative with how they make those links.

    My second comment would be that a good service must actively consider risks to the quality of service. Ideally this will be done using a risk register, updated regularly, and if possible with links to the main institutional risks to show how the service’s operation (or failure to operate) supports the university’s mission at an institutional level.

    One particular local risk that should be measured concerns staff attrition. When I was at City I maintained another document (separate to my risk register) which I reviewed with my boss annually, which considered the risk of each member of staff leaving the team, both in terms of likelihood and impact on the service. The document identified contingency plans for high risk individuals (especially those on shorter notice periods) to mitigate the disruption that they would cause if they resigned or moved to a different department (which can happen quite frequently with sabbaticals in HE).

    Hope that helps – happy to discuss.