Project: Migration to Google Apps – Google Change Management

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going-google

I recently worked on a project to migrate from Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office  to Google Apps. Google Apps offered tremendous benefits, but it was a big change. Sometimes the success of the change hinges not on the change itself, but how it’s managed and the change management process that is outlined by Google was simple and effective.

Google provides a guide explains how to address user concerns, such as:

  • Why are we switching?
  • What happens to my old email and data?
  • How will I get up to speed?

It ensures

  • Faster adoption
  • Increased productivity
  • Greater return on investment

Get Ready, Communicate, Train

You’ll find many models for change management. Google use the simple one Get Ready, Communicate  and Train.

  • Get ready: Includes tasks to understand your organization’s culture and people, and the support they’ll need to make a successful transition to Google Apps. Typical readiness tasks include profiling your user community, sending a user readiness survey, and establishing a Google Guides program.
  • Communicate: Includes tasks to get your users excited about the switch to Google Apps. Typical communications tasks include creating a communications plan, launching an internal marketing campaign for the switch to Google Apps, and sending messages to users.
  • Train: Includes tasks to educate users about Google Apps. Typical training tasks include creating a training plan, launching a training site, and conducting courses. Historically users had never been trained on Lotus Notes and so expectation levels were low.

What changes are managed?

  • Product changes—Any new tool requires time to get users up to speed. Most users can start reading and sending messages in Gmail within minutes, but power users in your organization—executives or administrative assistants—may need more support or training.
  • Policy changes—Google Apps offers lots of new features, and your organization must decide how to use them. For example, if users can now access email on their phones, does this affect your mobile device policy?
  • Process changes—Some internal processes or procedures may change with Google Apps integrated into your environment. For example, if your organization used shared mailboxes to manage mail queues, you might update some processes to use Gmail with Google Groups.

The Google Apps Rollout Project Plan

For a Medium to Large company of 250 or more employees, a standard Google Apps transition is divided into four phases:

  • Phase 1: Core IT
  • Phase 2: Early Adopters
  • Phase 3: Global Go-LiveEach phase generally lasts about four weeks, although this varies with the size of your company and the specifics of your legacy system. The transition is usually complete within 90 days.During each of the three phases, you progressively configure more Google Apps features, migrate more data from your legacy system, and move more of your users to Google Apps. For a larger company then Phase 3 can have a number of sub phases as the employees are split into manageable sub phases. In this case phase 3 included 4 phases (Blue, Red, Yellow and Green).
  • Phase 4: Life After Go Live is about ensuring that adoption moves from Basic to Advanced as required by the user. This may involve more training and support.

Each of the phases  includes a project plan that will include Get Ready, Communicate and Train modules.

For more detail please read this document.

 

 

 

Leadership is about Clearing the Obstacles

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Leadership2base

Once, as a team, you  have decided that you are running in certain direction, then it’s the leader’s job to clear the path, get the obstacles out of the way and make it fast to make decisions.

Another way of saying this is that it’s the leader’s job to create the environment for success and the largest part of this is about clearing barriers to performance out of the way. Find and remove the objections to achieving the objectives.

Let the team run as far and as fast as the environment will allow and they can achieve.
If there are too many obstacles to handle at once then use voting to find out what the team believe are the biggest obstacles and then focus on them and get them removed. Then move onto the next. For large widely dispersed teams then technology can help with surveys, collaboration tools and social networking tolls available.

The Poetry of Business Growth

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Business-Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I deliver Business Growth, by leading a great team

I show them how team success, helps achieve their dreams

The chance to make a difference and to do something good

The chance to build their skills and grow as as they should

 

The chance to provide,  a future for their family

And build this future on merit, success and security

With all the barriers removed and no reason to hide

They will rise to success on the platform I provide

 

I start with Customer Profile and a Value Proposition,

Then the team to deliver, Customer and Revenue ambitions

Efficient and effective with tools, training and skills addition

We Begin and Establish Growth and later Optimise our position

 

From Market Entry to Development, it’s the same approach I feel

Better to use experience and process, and not reinvent the wheel

Diagnose the Challenge first, and then onto Solution creation

And then a project plan,  for controlled Implementation

Is my Prince now a frog?

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frog-prince2v2Is PRINCE2 still relevant in an agile world? Or like in the fairy-tale, has it lost its relevance and changed into a frog? Well, no… it is still very relevant for two reasons:

  • Certain projects do not require an agile approach
  • Certain projects prefer a blended (waterfall and agile) approach. It was seen in my last post that the term Water-Scrum-Fall has been termed to indicate that the market currently seems to prefer ( or pragmatically accept) such a blended approach.

PRINCE2 is not the only option when considering a traditional methodology but it is a popular one and one that blends in well with new Agile project methodologies such as the Agile project management framework  which is derived from DSDM.

PRINCE2 Structured Project Management

PRINCE2 is a formal, structured approach to project management. It recognises that there are three major levels of activities:

  • Direction (Management Sponsorhip)
  • Management (Project management)
  • Delivery (Solution development and delivery)

The major focus of PRINCE 2 is in management and direction. Delivery it treats as a black box because it may be internal or external. Prince2 does not dictate how delivery is  done but it does state the expected communication and deliverables.

A PRINCE2 project looks like the following:

Prince2-Process-Trans

In fact, the 2009 revision to PRINCE2 reiterated its underlying simplicity by recognising explicitly seven principles:

  • There is continued business justification for a project (or you should stop!).
  • There are defined roles & responsibilities (everyone knows what they should – and should not – be doing).
  • Manage projects by stages (bite-sized chunks are easier to track).
  • Manage by exception (don’t micromanage or meddle when things are going fine).
  • Focus on products when you plan (think things you can measure and tick off a list, not open-ended tasks).
  • Tailor the process to a project’s size, complexity etc.
  • Learn from experience! If that didn’t work last time, change it!

It doesn’t say anything about how you should build your products.The only things PRINCE2 says about making things is the following:

  • focus on products when you plan;
  • break down complicated products into smaller ones, until each unit needs around 5-10 days’ effort to build;
  • factor quality procedures into your building process;
  • have a mechanism to hand a product-to-be-built over to the technical team – a spec of some kind (PRINCE2 calls this a “workpackage”) – and a way to sign off built products that come back.

PRINCE2 and Agile as a Blended Approach

PRINCE2 can be used to manage the project and Agile  methods can be used to deliver the solution. The two methods are entirely complementary; they touch only in the definition of what constitutes a “workpackage” – and they even agree on how big that should be!

Project-Mgt-Frameworks3

 

A paper on integrating  DSDM and PRINCE2 is on the DSDM website. Another option is to use PRINCE2 for direction and use an agile Project management methodology  and solution delivery. Agile Project Management is an initiative which extracts the Project Management elements of DSDM Atern and makes them available as Agile Project Management – a certified approach in its own right. This can then be combined with popular Agile solution delivery approaches such as Scrum and XP. This is detailed in this Agile Proect Framework for Scrum document.

What about “Just Agile please”?

In some cases the requirement may be to go completely Agile. This is possible as long as the direction provided is agreed and sufficient for the company leaderhip.  Agile Project Management derived from DSDM (Shown in next 2 diagrams) or Disciplined Agile Delivery  (Shown in bottom diagram )may be used.

DSDM-Artefacts

 

Journey-so-far,-1-project-f

 

disciplined-agile-delivery

Can an elephant be agile?

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Who says you can’t be big and agile?

agile elephantLou Gerstner of IBM famously said “who says elephants can’t dance?”  Can big organisations act in an agile way? Do they have to throw everything (traditional methodologies) out and start again?  To be agile do you have to go completely Agile and use all Agile methodologies.? Most companies according to research seem to be adopting a hybrid approach. The term Water-Scrum-Fall has been coined by Forrester to describe waterfall processes at beginning and end and Agile (Scrum) in the middle.  It recognizes how many firms blend an approach of writing most requirements up front, using time-boxed sprints to code, and then falling back on traditional big-bang deployments.  Sure there are some companies that are fully agile and Agile but there are some that are fully waterfall but can still adapt sufficiently to their environment. Why? Because they have different problems to solve.

Different customers  require different approaches

Agile methodologies tend to be better in smaller and innovative environments. Waterfall are still best for very large scale project coordination and where features must be delivered at a certain time e.g a datacentre move.

  • Management need a business case. A new product development  requires investment and a return on that investment within a specific time. Management require a business case and a plan and a commitment to deliver. Sufficient planning and detail is required on what will be delivered and when.
  • Operations require predictability. They require new features at a specific time in a way that can be launched without causing outages, or downtime on critical services.
  • Complex projects need co-ordination and formal communication. In complex projects with multiple teams they will be dependent on each other to deliver specif items with specific features at a specific time.
  • Customers have their own preferences. They may or may have the time to be giving constant feedback
  • Are the requirements stable and known, or unstable and unknown?
  • Do critical and expensive resources require to be scheduled?
  • Development teams can only predict so much. The only risk free prediction is when it is delivered. Documenting the future may kill the future.

There is no one size fits all. The trick is to apply the right approach in context, according to the needs of business leaders and recognizing the pace that the organization can successfully absorb new ideas and new methods and if they are right for the problem in hand.

But approach is only a part of a successful solution

Regardless of approach the following parameters will have a large impact on the success or failure of a project.  If there is no management sponsorship then a major project will fail. If the business objectives are not clear then it will fail. The amount of information available upfront may dictate approach. Little information upfront may dictate  an agile approach…but it will probably also mean that only a little money is approved and that approval will be required after every increment. A company that is dominating its market and is deciding to spend some of its cash pile on entering a new market is in a much different position than a company that is a follower in the market and is trying to deliver a large customer contract.

It is more important to be agile than to be religious about Agile methodologies.

Parameters For Success
Market Position & Maturity Product Organisation Culture
Acceptability of Change Management Sponsorship Clear Business Objectives
Strong Customer Involvement Optimal Project Complexity Optimal Project Size
Team Skills Team Emotional Maturity Project Management Expertise
Tools & Infrastructure Information availability

 

Parameters derived from my own research and experience. Used the Chaos Manifesto 2013 for some input. (There are questions over the details of their research but some of the macro stuff seems ok)

I’m definitely agile

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Agile & Waterfall

In managing a project to develop and deliver a product the traditional way of delivery are methods such as PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) which is a widely used project management method that provides all of the essentials for running a successful project. It is sequential in that one task is finished before the next starts and the product is delivered at the end and is managed by a plan. Traditional plan based sequential methods are known as generically as “Waterfall”.

agile&waterfallA new way of developing and delivering products is Agile.  It is a term commonly associated with software development. The Agile Manifesto was published in 2001, building on work throughout the 1990s, which summarised the core philosophy behind agile development philosophies. This consists of 4 key values and 12 principles.

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.Through this work we have come to value:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
4. Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more”.

Agile: From Software Development to Business Change Projects

Agile started out improving software development but the term Agile has evolved into an umbrella for a group of methodologies that can be used to manage business change projects. Agile delivery teams will develop a project :

  • In an iterative and incremental way. In each short phase a delivery team will build part of the system and test it and customers will have some working functionality.  Priority is given to development of most value to the customer. User feedback is used to improve functionality in next iterations. Risk is reduced throughout the project as deliveries are made.
  • By responding to change. A delivery team can respond to valid changes to requirements, changes in technology or customer change.

It is worth noting that Agile, recently, has had a good press and Waterfall a bit of a poor one. However, both have value and can be utilised depending on the problem to be solved. A methodology does not make up for bad management or unreasonable constraints or criteria for success.

Agile: Three Major Approaches

Three of the major Agile approaches are Scrum, XP and DSDM:

  • Scrum – Team Focussed, Light, Empirical Agile
  • eXtreme Programming (XP) – Engineering focussed, Technical, disciplined Agile
  • DSDM – Project focussed, scalable, governable Agile

Agile: A New Paradigm for When Something’s Gotta Give

One of the major developments in thinking in Agile has been a to re-evaluate what should be done in situations where all criteria of success cannot be achieved and trade-offs have to be made – when something’s gotta give:

Triangles-diagramMod

Traditionally the scope or features remained fixed with time, cost and possibly quality having to flex. In Agile  time, cost and quality are fixed and features are flexed. Hopefully to be included in a later iteration. The breakthrough in thinking is that in many developments, too much time is spent upfront, planning and designing based on imperfect or no information, based on what customers think they want, based on technology that is changing. The Agile approach recognizes an imperfect world and tries to adapts to it in the most pragmatic way. This will not work in all circumstances. I’m sure we have all won customer contracts that include developments that are very uncertain but “cast iron” promises have been made to customers on price, on time, on features and on quality. But as I said earlier, good tools don’t make up for bad circumstances or bad management.

Agile: A New Risk Profile

agile-value-deliveryV1This approach of developing in fixed time cost increments with usable releases at the end of each increment getting customer feedback on working software (service, product) can reduce risk, reduce cost,  improve quality and be more adaptable to change. It is a seductive and compelling argument. That and the name Agile (who does not want to be agile?) has meant that Agile has become a meme that is having an increasing impact. It has become about values and behaviours, more about being agile than doing a specific Agile methodology.  This is sometimes dangerous as it means that conversations can become confusing especially as media and companies will use the term agile to increase hits or attract attention. But its always the way with ideas whose time have come, that have crossed the chasm and are ripping through the rest of the market.

More on Scrum

Scrum is the most popular approach for team management at the product delivery level. Data from Forrester’s Q3 2013 Global Agile Software Application Development Online Survey indicates that a whopping 90% of all teams practicing Agile development have adopted Scrum.

Scrum-ProcessV2

User stories in the form of “As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>” are used to create individual requirements that go into a product backlog that is prioritised by value. Those that are committed to be delivered in the iteration or  next development cycle called a sprint are put into the Sprint backlog. Sprints can be from 1 week to a month depending on the development environment.

10-scrum-rules

Daily scrum meetings are stand-up for 15 minutes where progress is monitored, commitments made and impediments aired.

There are weekly planning and review meetings . Artifacts are light and include the product backlog (requirements), sprint backlog ( deliverables in this sprint), burndown charts (a monitor of value delivered and sprint velocity).

Agile & Waterfall Comparison

A comparison of Waterfall and Agile is shown below. Please note that either tool in the wrong hands can deliver poor results and in the right hands can deliver excellent results. It’s a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.

Attribute Waterfall Agile
Communication Bias Written Face-to-Face Conversation
Artifacts & Ceremonies Heavier Lighter
Documentation Heavier Lighter
Customer Relationship Negotiation Collaboration
Change Costly- Control Less Costly-Welcomed
Risk through project Risky till end Risk decreases throughout
Management Command&Control Trust to Self Organize
Prioritisation By Plan By Value
Delivery At end or large increments In smaller increments
Design & Planning Mostly Upfront Minimal Upfront&Throughout
When Something's Gotta Give Time&Cost Scope or Features
Strength Large Scale Projects Innovative software development
Questions Stifle Innovation? Corporate Governance and Project Management?
Team Size All Sizes Optimally Smaller
Team Location All Locations Optimally Co-Located
Predictability Can be more Can Be less
Learn and Improve Yes Yes

Product Management vs Product Marketing Activities

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Titles really are a mess. What one company calls a product manager, another calls a product marketing manager. It is best to be aware of this and to focus on the activities required. Also where these people do not exist in an organisation other departments fill the void. So the activities may be performed (poorly) by technical, sales, operations or marketing communications.

Typically the title “product manager” is used to signify people who listen to the market and articulate the market problems in the form of requirements. And the title “product marketing manager” is usually assigned to those who take the resulting product to the market by defining a product marketing strategy.

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoff Moore defines (and recommends) two separate positions:

A Product Manager (PM) listens to the market

PM“A product manager is a member of either the marketing organization or the development organization who is responsible for ensuring that a product gets created, tested, and shipped on schedule and meets specifications. It is a highly internally focused job, bridging the marketing and development organizations, and requiring a high degree of technical competence and project management experience.”

 

A Product Marketing Manager (PMM) talks to the market

PMM“A product marketing manager is always a member of the marketing organization, never of the development group, and is responsible for bringing the product to the marketplace and to the distribution organization… it is a highly externally focused job.”

 

In reality, there is a blurring of activities and the captions used (talking and listening) are used for simplicity, clarity and guidance rather than laws. The activities performed by the roles are as follows:

Product Management Activities

  • Define Market Opportunity,
  • Define User Personas for individual products.
  • Create Product Requirements & Use Scenarios,
  • Analyse Competitive Landscape,
  • Define Product Differentiation & Position Product,
  • Create Business Case, Acquire Funding,
  • Create Product Roadmap, Develop Product,
  • Launch Product, Manage Product Lifecycle.

Product Marketing Management Activities

  • Articulate Product Objectives,
  • Articulate Product detail ( differentiation, positioning, applications, pricing and USP), Understand Market (needs, problems,& segmentation, priority, size, customer profiles and purchase processes),
  • Understand Competition,
  • Build Go to Market plan ( value proposition, sales process, select/create sales channels and objectives, message map, demand generation strategy, promotion strategy, sales guide, sales support & collateral, sales training, pipeline management, metrics, systems, budget, schedule),
  • Execute Plan ( launch event, launch team).
  • Conduct Win/Loss analysis.

 Director, Product Strategy Activities

In organisations where a Director, Product Strategy exists then they may take on more of  the strategic and less tactical activities.

  • Discover and validate market problems (both existing and future customers)
  • Seek new market opportunities by leveraging the company’s distinctive competence
  • Define and size market segments
  • Conduct win/loss analysis
  • Determine the optimum distribution strategy
  • Provide oversight of strategy, technical, and marketing aspects of all products in the portfolio
  • Analyze product profitability and sales success
  • Create and maintain the business plan including pricing
  • Determine buy/build/partner decisions
  • Position the product for all markets and all buyer types
  • Document the typical buying process
  • Approve final marketing and go-to-market plans

Sales Problems may point to poor Product Management & Product Marketing

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Sales problems are very visible.

 

Targets are not met. Customers are not acquired. Pipelines are not healthy. Forecasts are not met.

Often the immediate reaction is to blame the sales personnel. Typical questions are: Are they working hard enough. Are they working smart enough? Do they  have the right relationships. Are they looking in the wrong places. Do they understand customer problems?  Do they understand the product value? Can they present the value of the product effectively?

Diagnose, Create & Deliver

Diagnose, Create, Deliver

While sales personnel can always up their game, in many cases the root problems can be elsewhere. If Product Management and Product Marketing processes been ignored, or not done correctly then the following problems may be diagnosed

 

Diagnosis

  • Do product differentiators exist and are they understood?
  • Is product positioning clear and understood?
  • Have the correct target market segments been identified?
  • Is the product fully developed and bug free?
  • Does the product provide the whole solution for the customer or are partner products required?
  • Is the product perceived as too expensive?
  • Is the value of the product understood and presented well enough?
  • Are the value messages available for all of the key players in the customer organisation?
  • Do suitable message vehicles exist? Do sales tools exist?
  • Are there reference customers available that are acceptable to target customers?

Create & Deliver Solution

A solution must then be created and delivered. Depending on the organisation this may be done by Product Management and Product Marketing.

Product management is inward focussed and product marketing is outward focussed.

  • Utilise Differentiators – Articulate product differentiators, and combine with customer profiling and competitive analysis to position products correctly and to drive messaging.
  • Prioritise Target Customers – Utilise market analysis and product positioning to prioritise demand generation and sales activities
  • Finalise Development – Create project plan and obtain high level management sponsorship  to finalise development.
  • Create Whole Solution – The construction of the solution may be done directly or via a third party such as an integrator. In Early markets the customer will normally provide this function either directly or via a third party.
  • Execute Pricing Review – Ensure that value is demonstrated clearly by better presentation or if required a pricing reduction or re-organization.
  • Create Better Value Presentation – Include all the value elements and simplify presentation in line with the customer financial modelling. Include as a standard sales tool.
  • Acquire Reference Customers – Provide sufficient support to sales personnel to target and acquire reference customers.

Project management methodologies and tools can be used  as appropriate to deliver solutions efficiently and effectively.

Management is not Leadership

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Leadership

Leadership & Management are confused much of the time. What is the difference? The following has been extracted from an article in HBR by John Kotter. He expresses it well in my view.

It is important to stress that it is wrong to romanticize one to the detriment of the other. Both are very important. In a world of rapid change and ever more complex organisations we need both to be at the top of their game…but they are different and confusion does not help.

 

The Mistakes people make…

The mistakes people make on the issue are threefold:

Mistake #1: People use the terms “management” and “leadership” interchangeably. This shows that they don’t see the crucial difference between the two and the vital functions that each role plays.

Mistake #2: People use the term “leadership” to refer to the people at the very top of hierarchies. They then call the people in the layers below them in the organization “management.” And then all the rest are workers, specialists, and individual contributors. This is also a mistake and very misleading.

Mistake #3: People often think of “leadership” in terms of personality characteristics, usually as something they call charisma. Since few people have great charisma, this leads logically to the conclusion that few people can provide leadership, which gets us into increasing trouble.

Management is “Doing things right”…

Management is a set of well-known processes, like planning, budgeting, structuring jobs, staffing jobs, measuring performance and problem-solving, which help an organization to predictably do what it knows how to do well. Management helps you to produce products and services as you have promised, of consistent quality, on budget, day after day, week after week. In organizations of any size and complexity, this is an enormously difficult task. We constantly underestimate how complex this task really is, especially if we are not in senior management jobs. So, management is crucial — but it’s not leadership.

Leadership is “Doing the right things”…

Leadership is entirely different. It is associated with taking an organization into the future, finding opportunities that are coming at it faster and faster and successfully exploiting those opportunities. Leadership is about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, about producing useful change. Leadership is not about attributes, it’s about behavior. And in an ever-faster-moving world, leadership is increasingly needed from more and more people, no matter where they are in a hierarchy. The notion that a few extraordinary people at the top can provide all the leadership needed today is ridiculous, and it’s a recipe for failure.

 

Customer Service: The John Lewis Way

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john_lewis_oxford_street1

I recently had the pleasure of working inside John Lewis and experiencing first hand how they deliver customer service that’s admired. I enjoyed working with the company. The customers and staff (partners) are in general happy, very polite and helpful and the company has a great atmosphere which is a credit to them. This has not happened overnight. The trust that customers have in John Lewis takes a long time to build but much easier to lose. How have they created this? First are the founding principles of Customer Service in John Lewis –

“Be honest; give respect; recognise others; show enterprise; work together; achieve more.”

Then my impressions…

1. “We’re Based on the Notion that if we Treat our Partners well, it will lead to Good Customer Service.”

This is a simple idea but one few companies really put into practice. John Lewis implement it in a number of ways:

  • Partnership
    • Staff are called and treated as partners
    • All partners are owners in the business and get a yearly bonus based on performance
    • Managers served staff at Xmas lunch
    • Partnership concept breaks down barriers and creates meritocracy
  • Respect
    • Respect for each other and for customers is a core value within John Lewis
    • Managers and staff were generally very helpful to one another and to customers
    • No difference between how customers and partners were treated…indeed partners were often customers
  • Trust
    • Trust partners and empower them to do well
    • In general partners were given space to to their jobs and to succeed and
  • Soft Benefits to create family effect
    • Subsidised canteen, discount card, subsidised, sports , subsidised concerts, holiday homes etc…
    • Social club with great parties etc.

2. Empower Staff

  • Train staff well
  • Empower them to make do the right thing. This may be asking a manager or acting on the customer’s best interests depending on the situation. They are encouraged to think outside the box once the basics have been understood and acted upon. Staff are expected to show enterprise in the right context
  • Staff are product experts in their areas and have built up this expertise over time and through training.
  • Be honest – if you don’t know do not waste the customer’s time. Find somebody with the right answer. Bring the customer to the answer if required.

 

3. Get and Act on Customer Feedback

  • Headquarter staff spend a few days serving over peak periods. This helps to give better customer service overall but also gives them immediate insight into the problem areas that customers are facing.
  • Staff are expected to communicate issues regularly and many forums are created whereby this is done in a  formal way

4. Make Online and Store seamless

  • Returns for online can be done in store at any till with systems work behind the scenes to improve this process ongoing. This can be much better than having to repackage it and post it back to other online retailers.,
  • Maintain exceptional customer service online. Customers have access to people when they need it and can use Waitrose and John  Lewis stores to pick up their purchase rather than missing the delivery at home.
  • Online is becoming a huge part of the overall service offered by John Lewis allowing customers to purchase when stores are closed. The John Lewis Clearance sales started on Xmas eve.

5. Make Customers Life Easy

  • Shopping can be stressful and unpleasant in the wrong environment. John Lewis try to help make it a pleasant environment.
  • Create a calm environment that is pleasant to look at and products are easy to find. Do not overburden with selling messages in flash colours
  • Keep queues to a minimum by hiring temporary staff for peak times to help at till as and free up existing staff to answer questions and give advice. Also deploy HQ staff to help out.
  • Provide a customer collection point that will collect all customer purchases in one location to ensure that they are not overburdened with bags
  • Provide home delivery options from store
  • Provide delivery options to John Lewis or Waitrose stores
  • Provide extensive gift list and gift wrapping services
  • Staff are honest and if they cannot answer will say so but will find someone who can and will not leave the customer until they are assured that the customer is being served by someone able inside John Lewis.

6. Be Different

  • Never knowingly undersold
    • John Lewis will match competitor prices if evidence is presented that is relevant and reasonable.
    • Staff are empowered to do this on the fly with manager’s approval.
    • Systems will support on the fly one off discounting.
  • Have an exceptional returns policy
    • John Lewis customers are trusted implicitly and when they bring back a product that they are not happy with it is changed often without question. This could be abused but at a macro level this creates tremendous good will and indeed more purchases. Often customers need to see the product in the home environment before being really sure and if they could postpone or not purchase if the returns policy was too difficult.
  • Have an exceptional warranty on electricals
    • John Lewis provides market leading warranties on electrical items whilst maintaining competitive prices.. This has become more important a sthe options on the high street narrow.

7. Hire people who share the John Lewis vision

  • Hire people who will take on the values of John Lewis and take it forward. The gatekeepers that hire staff  into John Lewis have an important job to hire people that will not abuise the trust and respect gievn to them by partners and customers.

 

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