As of today, the corridor on the 3rd floor of our HQ building in Mülheim, Germany, displays new idea sheets. How did this come about? On February 17, 2016 a “world café” on the topic of “Support of the future” took place as part of our TechTalk conference. We, that is, Chris Kierspel and I, would never have thought, prior to that conference, on what we were going to let ourselves in for and what benefit we could get out of it. This was, above all, due to our lack of experience, of course; however we were unsure in how far open communication might be established.
The “World Café” supplied ideas
What, then, is a “world café”? For 20 minutes, respectively, alternating groups of people shared a long table with idea sheets where each individual was able to express their ideas and pin them on to a wallpaper sheet. So what was it like from our viewpoint? I’m still impressed by the responses, the openness, and productive suggestions. There were also key topics, which were on everyone’s mind, evolving out of the four different groups.
Actual optimization suggestions
I’d like to briefly discuss an item that was at the very top of the list: It transpired that the desire for a portal is a unanimous desire of all participating partners. On the one hand, this is because they want to have increased transparency with the tickets, to be able to better view the status of a ticket and, on the other hand, to enable a more qualified task and thus turning your back to the e-mail media and avoid the ping-pong effect associated with it. Ideas were also developed such that a list of questions, depending on the product, be shown when entering a ticket or that suggested solutions from the knowledge database or from a “Known bugs” database be shown. This means at best that you do not have to create a ticket because one of the suggestions has already been helpful. The portal solution may also include a chat function to make paths even shorter.
Facing solutions every day
Some of this had surely already been our focus; however, open discussion also showed that we had taken some aspects too little into consideration in our previous internal view. So this gave us the opportunity to better adjust our portal to our partners’ needs.
To be able to better transport the contents to our Support colleagues, we have hung the idea sheets on the walls of our corridor (see photograph) to enable everyone to read these raw impressions unfiltered. This will, of course, also trigger an internal departmental discussion, because some of the items require explanation.