iSixSigma

Consultant Metrics

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Consultant Metrics

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #40234

    Jakelicky
    Participant

    Our firm sells consulting services as a small part of our overall business.
    Not Six Sigma consulting, mostly technical non-software related services to educational institutions.
    We are looking at development of CTQ metrics for those services.
    Any ideas???
     

    0
    #124294

    Habib
    Participant

    If you are already a consultant, don’t you think that you should know the products you are selling better than the people on this forum?

    0
    #124295

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    You don’t develop CTQs, your customers do.  Ask them!!!  Be sure that they are clearly defined, measureable and there is some spec/expectation attached to them.

    0
    #124296

    Restagno
    Member

    I’ll be seriouly questioning the quality of your services if you don’t even know what are your CTQs!!!!!!!!!

    0
    #124297

    Jakelicky
    Participant

    First off I am not a consultant, but when you look to the business units they look at billeable hours, repeat business, extensions, and to some degree those are CTQ’s, but the most common answer tothis question from the business units is to do some sort of customer satisfaction survey, which in my experience are not worth the paper they are printed on, much less the cost of everything else involved.
    I was looking to the experience of this message board, that they might know of some truly meaningful measure (meaning measureable with reliability and reproduceablility) of the quality of these types of service. 
     

    0
    #124298

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    I see a failpoint in your thinking.  CTQs are not customer satisfaction surveys.  It is far different to ask, “How are we doing?” than to ask, “What’s important to you?, How do you define it?  How do you measure it?  What’s it’s relative importance compared to other things?”  Yes, you can have internal metrics as you mentioned.  But ask yourself how would customers respond if you told them that you were measuring these things?  Would they GAS?  If not, then what would they be interested in?  I don’t believe it would be any of the internal metrics you described.

    0
    #124300

    Geckho
    Participant

    I think that was his point…that’s why he’s asking for insight.
    But instead, he got slammed and insulted.
    Unfortunate, but not terribly surprising.

    0
    #124301

    Jakelicky
    Participant

    Well the easy answer is always to ask your customer. In most cases they do not know, or certainly can’t translate it into something measureable.
    Ford asks their customers what is a quality car and they say,”when I close the doors, I get a great sounding thunk”.
    Our customers won’t say shows up on time, works 40 hours, they say is knowledgeable, has solutions, maybe available.
    Give me a 5 point scale of customer satisfaction and I will have the mail room guy or gal fill it out, and you can hire and fire and make business decisions on that.
     
     
     

    0
    #124302

    Jakelicky
    Participant

    thank you…exactly my thoughts

    0
    #124315

    Tyrone Ellicott III, CSSBB
    Member

    Slammed and insulted    Vs.   Point counter point???   
     
    I have trouble seeing what you saw in Darth’s response to which you commented.
     
    Were you sensitized to respond as you did to this because of Darth’s brusque response to your previous thoughts regarding Minitab Recalculating Control Limits?    Your other response to the Minitab conundrum, which ended with a poke at those in the forum who attempt to impose their thoughts on others, also indicated a little sensitivity. 
     
    Darth can certainly be rude and insensitive at times, but is it possible that you are expecting just a bit too much from an anonymous technical forum in which contributory service is frequently found in the self-leveling mass-adjudicated rancor of subject matter expert dialog and repartee?   Can’t we all just get along?   
     Tyrone Ellicott III, CSSBB

    0
    #124318

    Geckho
    Participant

    I must admit that Darth’s comment was not of the particularly scathing variety to which I was referring with the “slammed and insulted” statement.  He just happened to be the one who most accurately summarized the topic at hand, and therefore became the topic of the “I think that is his point” aspect of the reply.
    As to my alleged sensitivity about being told that I am wrong about something, I would direct you back to the thread in question where I continue the “debate” by asking more about the topic and examples that others have provided in an effort to perhaps understand what aspect of my statement was incorrect, thereby continuing to add detail to the discussion to expand the knowledge of everyone involved, including myself.
    I recognized long ago that I am not infallible, and therefore to do not take particular offense to being told so, if the case can be made.
    What I do take particular offense to is self-proclaimed “experts” of the subject matter belittling those who would choose to attempt to engage in meaningful conversation.  To do so, in my estimation, provides a contstraint to the continued development of our craft.
    I would like nothing more than for all of us to “just get along”. :)

    0
    #124319

    Tyrone Ellicott III, CSSBB
    Member

    I must admit that Darth’s comment was not of the particularly scathing variety to which I was referring with the “slammed and insulted” statement.  He just happened to be the one who most accurately summarized the topic at hand, and therefore became the topic of the “I think that is his point” aspect of the reply.
     
    As to my alleged sensitivity about being told that I am wrong about something…
     
    … I do take particular offense to is self-proclaimed “experts” of the subject matter…
     
    I recognized long ago that I am not infallible… if the case can be made.
     
    I hate to further upset you, but this to me reads like a cry for help.   It just says, “I am very sensitive, please don’t offend me.”   I’m just going to leave it like it is because I sense another explosive point counter point from you asking for further examples and rationalizing your perspective and reactions.  
     
    It’s not my intent to do other than offer an opportunity for introspection on your point and suggest that you toughen up a little and stay issue and fact-based in your postings.  You appear to have a good understanding of the field and subject matter at hand and write better than most, so how about leading the technical and on topic elements of the discussion and leaving the cyber-thugs to duke it out themselves.   The forum does not need another emotional bellicose ranter and that’s what you are sounding like, intentionally or not.
     Tyrone Ellicott III, CSSBB

    0
    #124323

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    jakelicky,
    Regardless of whether or not you liked what Darth said or not, he was not wrong. So what was your CTQ? A polite answer or an honest answer. Darth is an experienced consultant with a good track record. You might consider trading of some sensitivity for the quality of the answer. Hypersensitivity is not a good characteristic if you are driving change and nobody hires a consultant to maintain status quo.
    Next time you sit down with a customer ask them how they like “billable days” as a CTQ. That may be a CTQ (a very poor one if you look at the behavior it will drive in your consultants) for your business but it is a “don’t care” for your customer. Billable days drives their cost and not necessarily their benefit.
    A little country sense helps also. When you are breaking a horse to a ride and you saddle the horse and climb on – what is the first thing you do? You get off – that way the horse understands that the extra weight is not a permenant thing. Consulting is similar. You bid a contract and deliver what you promised and then leave. That was what you promised to do in the contract. If you stay in and keep creating more and more billable days you customer becomes like the horse – they want to know when you are going to get off their back. (Just for you Darth – it was a little more palatable than frogs and cigarettes). It is basic integrity – deliver what you said you would deliver.
    There does seem to be some link missing in this question. You bid a job based on something a customer needs done. What they asked to have accomplished is a CTQ. If you don’t understand what they want accomplished I don’t understand how you can supply a bid if you don’t understand what they want?
    Of course making budget is a CTQ for both of you.
    I can’t imagine a customer that does not understand why they hired you particularly if you ask a few more questions beyond “what are your CTQ’s?” Someone had a reason that you were hired and they probably made that decision on a make buy type decision. They saw a reason that it was more cost effective to hire your skill sets than to take the time to home grow them. That’s two CTQ’s: 1. cost (your better to drive cost/benefit than just cost) 2. skill sets (how will those skill sets manifest themselves in a way that the customer will clearly understand what they received for their money).
    The thing that you see frequently with a dissatisfied customer of a consulting contract is when the consultant leaves so do the results. You need a plan and a metric for sustainability. The easiest way for you to sell more business is to have a customer sell it to someone else for you. Only a satisfied customer will do that. Repeat business or referal business – again that is your CTQ not your customers but it is a function of you understanding and delivering their CTQ.
    If you leave them with a success model they will refer you. Remember that if you drive your consultants on billable days (what some call mining the customer) you just prioritized the short term “billable day metric” over the customer satisfaction metric for your consultants. If you are patient enough to sell from results you will eventually get the billable days and probably better quality of business.
    If you truely have a customer that does not understand what their CTQ’s are then look past your customer to your customers customer. Your customer needs to satisfy someone. You need to understand what you were hired for to clearly help them satisfy their customer. Once you become an integral part of that value chain or you are responsible for the knowledge transfer that lets them satisfy their customers better then you will understand how you need to measure yourself.
    BTW if you think the sound of a door is a poor metric ask Harley Davidson how important the sound of their engine is. It is an unmistakable sound. It is important enough to them that the story is they tried to patent the sound. Sounds can be characterized.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.

    0
    #124326

    Jakelicky
    Participant

    thanks for taking the time to post such a thoughtful and helpful response.
    I surely did not mean to imply that the sound of the door was not important, just that that someone need to translate that in to something that can be designed to. e.g tightness of fit, closing force, etc.
    The customer would not say those types of thing. That was my only point.
    So did I deliver to the contact or not, attribute data.
    I did talk with Accenture who is doing a large engagement at our firm, and they said they struggle with this also, Their solution is to send out a Managing Partner to fill out the survey, and talk to cutomer selected respondents.
    I do think as you noted, did the engagement achieve financially measureable results? might work for Six Sigma engagement, but that is not the type of work our consultants do.
     
    thank you again
     
     
     
     
     

    0
    #124327

    HF Chris
    Participant

    Have you ever asked your customer why they chose your product? Can you help that customer be successful? Start with your core competencies, are you meeting those? You may find business growth or at least a market discriminator by listening to the customer. CTQ’s are not just about if your meeting their needs now but can you meet new needs. Your service is only as good as the next guy that asks.
    Chris

    0
    #124332

    BTDT
    Participant

    Mike:Perhaps the sound of a closing door is a good metric for a consultant too. Just don’t have it hit you in the rear when you leave.Cheers, BTDT

    0
    #124364

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    jakelicky,
    I have no intention to get into a debate with you over financially measuable results but you are doing business. Business runs on finacially measurable results. Even if this malady is pervasive in your business the customer always wants to understand payback – that is how you differentiate options in business. As an industry (your industry) if you are taking the stand that it can’t be quantified you really need to think it through then take a look at the sales tool you gave your company.
    When you sit down with a Leadership team at the beginning of a Six Sigma deployment there is nobody in the room bouncing around in their chair saying “Tell me about one of those MSA’s” or “would ya fire up Minitab and do a t test for me?” They want to know about the payback which means if you can’t answer the question you just took one step closer to the door. If you intend to charge them for your services – the least you can do is quantify what they are going to get back.
    You need to get past the survey idea. Put the piece of paper away and talk to the CEO. Pay attention to what they are saying. These tend to not be shy people and they typically will tell you very clearly what they want.
    Take a look at how you doa QFD. Don’t get yourself wrapped around the axel on all the different houses of quality. Look at the matrix and see if you can figure out how to get the information around what you are trying to sell your customer and the associated metrics and you will probably find out the CTQ’s aren’t that hard to figure out.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

    0
    #124365

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    BTDT,
    Unfortunately there are a whole bunch that never hear the creaky door as it closes. They get their “Billing Machines” into a customer and all you hear is Ross Perrot’s famous sucking sound except it is the consultant and the companies cash.
    So now we have two CTQ’s 1.consultants listening for the door & 2. Customers listening for a sucking sound.
    Regards

    0
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.