This Best Practice relates to our ITXM Framework™, available FREE to read or download
Showing end-users how their collective feedback has guided IT improvement initiatives.
The goal of regularly communicating with end-users is to update them on the significance of their feedback. "You Said, We Did" demonstrates how feedback is used to make IT decisions that improve the products or services that end-users rely on.
Sakari Kyrö / HappySignals
2nd February 2023
"You Said, We Did" communication refers to a process where IT communicates with end-users about how their feedback has influenced IT decisions and improvements. To make this communication effective, it should be presented practically and utilize simple language that is easy to understand without technical jargon.
The communication should clearly outline how the feedback has been used to make changes and improvements, demonstrating the direct link between end-user feedback and IT decisions.
By doing so, end-users will feel valued and engaged, as they can see the impact of their feedback, which can encourage them to provide more feedback in the future.
The main reason for regularly demonstrating how end-user feedback has been taken into account is to show that IT values their input when developing IT services. Many end-users do not provide feedback because they feel it won't make a difference.
Regularly communicating how feedback guides IT work, even if their requests cannot be fulfilled, helps end-users feel heard and valued. This encourages them to continue providing feedback, knowing their opinions and ideas are being considered. This also helps IT better understand the end-users needs and expectations, resulting in more user-friendly IT services that better meet their needs.
It's a good practice to begin demonstrating the results of Experience Management as soon as they become available. Initially, the results might be small wins in specific areas of IT, but it is still worth highlighting them to end-users. By consistently using the "You Said, We Did" approach, end-users will become more confident that their feedback is being taken seriously and acted upon. This can help to build trust between end-users and IT, which is crucial for maintaining positive working relationships.
Even minor improvements can be significant to end-users, and highlighting these successes, encourages them to continue providing feedback, knowing that it is being used to make positive changes - in alignment with the ITIL4 principle of "Focus on value".
There are many good guidelines on effective internal communications, but we found this IT communications guideline by Sari Ihana to be really great.
Her five tips on improving IT communications are simple, practical, and easy to follow.
1. Choose the right channel. Use email only if you must. Send only those messages by email that require action from the end users. Sure, there will be those techy people, who want to discuss IT stuff, but most of us just want to get things done and move on with our work. You can move the discussion from email to the company's internal social media or discussion forum. We tested this. It works.
2. Keep it short and get straight to the point. As much as it tempts you to shout your success in that IT project to the whole world - don’t. Nobody cares unless they work on that same project with you. You can always glorify your team in the IT social media or discussion forum you just established. The end users only need to know: What, when, why, and what is required from them. If possible, the why should be something that benefits them.
3. Keep it simple. Use language that is simple and easy to read. Leave out the big technical words; use language that the end users understand. Remember to avoid "posh" English words if you work in a global company. English language skills vary a lot between different countries.
4. Use pictures or videos. If there are many steps that the end-user needs to take, use images. Show precisely what they need to do. If it's a big change, then make a video out of it. This might seem silly for the IT people, but we're terribly busy, and most of us are not that technical. Clear message saves money and time when all the end users are not calling to IT Help Desk (or whatever it's called in your company) when they don't understand what they need to do.
5. Test. So you have worked with your IT thing and tested and piloted it. Now it's time to let people know. What do you do: Vomit something to a long email starting with bragging about your project success? NO! You write your message considering those 4 points above and then test. Test if anybody can understand what you are trying to say. Testing with other IT guys is not ok. Go as far as you can from IT. Ask that non-technical person to explain in his own words what the message is about. If he succeeds, you have succeeded.
End-user communication is just one part of IT project communication, and email is just one channel. But having clear end-user communication and proper channels will improve your project's success and make the end users happier. Trust me; we’ve done this.