Solution-Centered Support
Manager's Survival Guide

So your organization is about to adopt Solution-Centered Support , you're team is about to participate in the adoption roll out, and you're saying to yourself, and probably to other people, "I don't have time for this. We've got too much work to do. How is this going to affect our service levels?" And probably numerous other questions, all of which are likely to be valid.

Yes, you and your team are about to experience a shift like none other in the history of support. A shift for which there is no known appropriate alternative. The growing complexity of solutions that organizations are delivering and customer are developing is driving customer demand for more support that creates a requirement for more training on the part of support engineers. The demand for more support creates a demand for more people and their training detracts current engineers from delivering support. The addition of more people is also in direct conflict with the organization's attempt to manage cost growth as a response to continually declining margins due to price cutting to keep pace with the competition. And then there's the continuing effort to replace people that leave which creates additional training requirements thus reducing the productivity of seasoned engineers. In short, it's a real mess, from which you may feel like there is no escape. Actually there is a way out. Solution-Centered Support is a business strategy for the future of support which can provide relief from the vicious chaos described above.

Solution-Centered Support Principles

Solution-Centered Support is a set of interrelated disciplines developed through a collaborative effort by some of the most well know high-tech companies in the country. Solution-Centered Support is not a program to be implemented; it is quite simply a better way of doing business which provides hope for the future. The disciplines to be adopted and developed center around culture, content, process, quality and technology. While the methods of developing these disciplines are provided in the adoption workshops they are defined as follows:

Solution-Centered Support Practices


The benefits which result form a successful adoption and continued development of the Solution-Centered Support disciplines are many. Some of the most evident benefits experienced by organizations currently adopting Solution-Centered Support are:

Promoting A Successful Adoption

The next question is probably something along the lines of "OK, so how is it that you manage to attain all these marvelous results?" It's a most appropriate question, and the answer is a bit easier to describe than it is to perform.

The successful adoption of solution centered support depends on the consistent alignment of efforts of all levels of the organization to focus on doing those things which contribute to results and improve their capacity to improve in these areas. More specifically, the focus needs to be on developing understanding and skills in the areas of integrated problem solving workflow processes, content structuring, products supported, and the organization's capacity to share knowledge and collaborate on the development of knowledge. The specifics of these areas are presented in the adoption workshops.

Specific activities managers should perform to promote alignment are:

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Copyright © 2004 Gene Bellinger