By Gary C. Crouch, CPA.CITPPresident/CEO
18 Service Pillars
A Standard is an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations. CS3’s 18 Service Pillars are the standards we use as our model to measure the quality of the services we provide our clients. While some of the Pillars are very specific, others are of a more general nature. Taken as a whole, they provide the parameters within which we operate assuring the customer’s needs are the focus, not the process of team dynamics, or the personality quirks of its members.
Demonstrate Success - Success is always measured against the client’s written objectives and can only be achieved when it is demonstrated to the client. Always insure acknowledgment is communicated throughout the customer’s organization.
Every customer defines success differently. As the customer owns the project, the customer must define the objective. However, being fully informed as to what the customer is trying to achieve, the consultant must concur with the effectiveness of the objectives. If not convinced of the value or the result, the consultant should reconsider taking the project.
Assuming the objectives are valid, the CS3 employee must work toward the objective as defined. Any modification to the project must be submitted to the customer (in writing to avoid miscommunication) with ample explanation and applicable pros and cons. Only when the Customer fully agrees to a modification should any effort be altered.
As always, assumptions are dangerous. Success should not be assumed until the customer agrees the objectives have been met (again in writing). While the “sign-off” may seem like tedious administration, or even the sign of a lack of trust, the true purpose is proper communication. The very act of stating “Mr. Customer I believe we have completed this objective, do you agree?” opens a dialogue. If any participant in the conversation has doubts, questions or concerns, the discourse should continue until everyone is satisfied. It is only the positive response from the customer which verifies success has been achieved.
And finally, the achievement should be communicated to all parties affected by the process. All parties may rely on the assurance the objective has been met and any resulting benefits may be utilized. Without this communication, employees would continue the old processes and lose the benefit of the achievements.
During every major project, CS3 begins the project by reviewing the objectives with all parties; our sales and consulting teams and the customer’s team. During the project CS3 hosts status meetings to provide frequent communications regarding completion of the required tasks and milestones. The final meeting of the project is to review the initial objectives, any intermediate change orders and the level of achievement in meeting the objectives. Before the project is closed, agreement must be acknowledged by the customer before success may be claimed. And then…the celebration begins!