A year ago, Husch Blackwell’s IT Leadership Team gathered for a two-day summit to collaborate on IT strategy to ensure alignment with a newly announced firmwide strategy. Several areas of focus were identified in support of the firm’s Client Pledge five-pillar strategy, one of which is service excellence; a commitment to provide superior service every day, to every customer. As part of this commitment to service excellence, the IT department instituted a daily stand-up.
How daily stand-ups helped us drive IT service excellence
While stand-ups are nothing new to IT or any other corporate department, this meeting’s agenda is structured to ensure communication across the IT matrix, rather than within a single IT team. The meeting begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and starts with roll call. Each of our 12 IT teams have the opportunity to communicate current issues that may impact internal or external customers, or challenging issues that require assistance from other IT teams. Following roll call is an opportunity for anyone to raise hot topics that may need help or may be of interest to the group. Examples of hot topics could be announcements of new software releases or fixes obtained from vendors, a rundown of firm-wide meetings occurring that day via video to ensure IT is ‘kind’ to the network during the meetings, etc. All of IT is empowered to ‘speak up’ and ‘sound the alarm’ if they hear or see something that needs attention. A hot topic could also be a new issue the Help Desk is receiving frequently from customers, or a pesky issue a team member can’t resolve.
Following hot topics, all Help Desk support tickets opened for more than 6 days without resolution are reviewed. The owner or responsible IT staff member for each ticket participates in the discussion, lets the group know the status of the ticket and if they need help from other IT teams, etc. It’s a great way to ensure difficult-to-resolve issues are receiving the full attention of IT.
IT started the daily stand-up in the summer of 2019, meeting twice a week. It proved so beneficial and powerful as a communication mechanism that it was quickly updated to a daily meeting and has been held every weekday morning for over a year. It’s engrained in IT’s culture and daily routine. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say ‘hey, that’s a great topic to bring up in tomorrow’s stand-up. Typically, 50 or more of IT’s 80 staff members attend, and all IT Leads and Managers are expected to attend.
Looking to the future, Husch Blackwell’s IT department plans to continue the daily stand-up and fine-tune it as business needs dictate to ensure it remains relevant and valuable. It has most definitely become foundational to IT’s service excellence area of focus which supports an important part of Husch Blackwell’s Client Pledge.
Join us at the virtual BraveIT 2020 conference in September
TierPoint’s BraveIT conference is an interactive, thought leadership and networking event designed for the modern IT professional. The 2020 BraveIT virtual conference will take place September 16-17 with multiple guest speakers and panels. See the full agenda and register today.
BraveIT Spotlights are guest blog posts from our 2020 BraveIT sponsors. Greg Branham is the director of IT operations at Husch Blackwell. Husch Blackwell is a law firm that specializes in delivering in-depth solutions to the most complex business challenges.