Humans are the best sensors for IT

Human feelings will always be the most reliable measure of the experiences IT services are providing for end-users.

Put your end-users at the centre of every IT service and improvement. Start by listening to what your human sensors have to say about IT’s impact on their Happiness and Productivity.

At the core of why HappySignals exists is our vision for IT Service Management to be more human-centric — to listen to end-users and improve their experiences of Enterprise IT. 
 
In a previous blog post, I shared a practical guide to build a more human-centric IT. In this post, I dig deeper into why Humans – your end-users and employees – are truly IT’s best sensors and what it means to place them at the center of everything IT does. 
 

Why are humans the best sensors?

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Humans are sensitive to circumstances

End-users experience IT under their own circumstances. For example, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on work in their specific office location, or the specific requirements of their jobs all influence how end-users experience IT. 
 
But especially in large organizations, IT cannot possibly know about all the different circumstances that affect end-users in different teams and countries.  
 
For example, one of our customers found that their employees working in Finance had vastly different expectations and experiences of IT towards the end of the month, compared to any other time in the month. 
 
This was probably because the end of the month or the quarter is a critical time for Finance employees, who need to complete many vital processes. Hence any IT problems they face at this time compromise their productivity even more than at other times, and need to be resolved as quickly as possible. 
 
This customer could not have known these specific circumstances without asking end-users directly. But since they did (via the HappySignals platform), they were able to configure their ServiceNow platform to give higher priority to tickets submitted by Finance employees at the end of the month, thus improving their experience during the most critical time. 
 
While such specific circumstances in any organization cannot be intuitively known by IT, end-users themselves understand intimately well how IT is supporting or hindering their work. Asking them is hence the only way to understand, in a granular way, how IT is working for all your employees!
 

Human feedback is always on and never needs configuration

Today’s Enterprise IT environment is highly complex, with different touchpoints and constant changes to processes and technologies. Amidst managing this many touchpoints and improvement projects, it is understandably difficult for IT to constantly keep up with measuring the impact of different changes. 
 
For example, no organization could have foreseen how quickly remote work would overtake the workplace last year — so of course, no one was prepared to measure its impact on IT end-users immediately. Similarly, some organizations have hundreds of business processes that rely on IT. It would be too expensive and complicated to measure how IT works for each of those individually. 
 
But here’s the good news: Humans sensors for IT need little configuration, no matter what unexpected changes occur, or what different processes you want to measure for.
 
Whatever happens, humans will experience these changes or differences in real time. Their feedback will automatically reflect the state of IT services at that moment, so your IT team doesn’t need to waste effort configuring different measurements all the time.
 
As we say – more smiles, less time wasted!
 
 

How to quantify the output from “human sensors”?

I have explained why there are no better sensors for IT than humans. But what exactly should IT find out from humans about their experiences?
 
There are two end-user experience metrics that we believe are most critical to measure — Happiness (how end-users feel) and Productivity (how much work time end-users lose due to an IT issue).
 
 
On the HappySignals Experience Management Platform for IT, Happiness is measured in the same way as a Net Promoter Score (NPS). End-users are asked to rate their experience on a scale of 1-10. Productivity is measured by asking end-users how much time they perceive to have lost due to the IT issue they faced and its resolution.
 
 

Make IT Human-centric by listening to your human sensors

You may be able to use technological means to measure how IT services are being used. But if you want to understand how end-users feel and how their productivity is affected by IT, there is no really no better alternative than asking them.
 
End-users are the ones having experiences with IT all the time, so only they can draw your attention to the areas which most need improvement. Thereafter, your IT team could use technological means to understand in detail what is causing the problems flagged by end-users in those specific areas. 
 
Ultimately, human feedback should be the first filter that guides you to look in the right places. Then, you can truly build a Human-centric IT that puts end-users at the centre of every service and improvement effort.
 
Want to find out more about Human-centric Experience Management? Read our Practical Guide to XLAs.
 
 
In this week’s episode of Happy in 15, Sami and I also discuss why humans are the best sensors and what some of our customers have achieved with this human-centric approach. Watch it below.
 
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If you enjoyed watching this, be sure to subscribe to Happy in 15 and never miss an episode. If you prefer to read than watch, stay tuned for more blog posts like this one!
 
Looking for something even more bite-sized? Check out our recently released Learning Center, where we cover everything from XLAs to optimizing your ServiceNow.
 

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