There is a concerted effort in the technology industry to provide professional service offerings that are fixed cost, low risk, and high value. These offers are sometimes called “packages”, “productized solutions”, or “industrialized services.” Regardless of the title, these types of service offerings have the same key attributes:
- They are well defined and highly engineered to reduce delivery risk
- They leverage delivery tools and methodologies to reduce the amount of hours required to deliver
- They are designed to be highly repeatable from customer to customer
As more PS organizations swing the pendulum of their services from “custom and labor intensive” to “engineered and optimized,” TSIA is hearing a common service business challenge: What are the organizational capabilities required to successfully build and deploy industrialized service offerings?
Build it and They May Not Come
The concept of codifying PS expertise into delivery methodologies and tools to reduce both risk and delivery effort is by no means new or revolutionary. However, the successful execution of this concept continues to elude most PS organizations. Why? I would argue there are three key reasons:
- The service organizations define and develop service offerings based on their strengths—not their customer needs.
- Service organizations attempt to market these offerings on features and not business value.
- Even if the service organization has defined compelling offerings that could deliver business value to customers, the services organization fails in executing the services consistently on a global basis.
These failures occur because the service organization does not have the required organizational capabilities to truly execute industrialized services.
Organizational Capabilities Required to Execute Industrialized Services
Before a service organization jumps on the “engineered” or “industrialized” services party train, TSIA recommends the organization assess the effectiveness of the following organizational capabilities:
- Value Proposition: The ability to engineer service offerings that deliver valuable customer benefits and clear points of competitive differentiation.
- Value Based Pricing: The ability to set prices for fixed priced service offerings that are based on the value proposition of the solution.
- Solution Components: The understanding of what assets truly reduce engagement effort and risk.
- Service Development Life Cycle: A mature and effective service development life cycle for professional services offerings.
- IP Asset Reuse: The ability to maximize the reuse of all relevant existing services assets in service engagements.
- Field Enablement: The processes and programs to enable regional services staff to delivery target offerings.
These are not the only organizational capabilities required to drive the market success of industrialized offerings, but these are table stakes. If your company has poorly defined processes or weak skills in one of these categories, your ability to drive industrialized services will be hampered.
TSIA has observed that PS organizations that pursue industrialized offerings can quickly create datasheets describing the offerings. However, without the organizational capabilities described above firmly in place, the offerings never reach their theoretical potential.