NI14 – paying the piper

Two new works on NI14 have appeared very recently, one from CRM developer Lagan, the other from LGITU magazine. Both annoyed me! …

The Lagan report notably for making a number claims for e-payments as a means of avoiding avoidable contact, along with an interesting typo on page 12 that York got 19,050 Internet payments in 1997…other than that, in its bid to sell expensive CRM systems it failed to emphasise strongly enough that NI14 is a process issue and that as the new Socitm report points out, web sites appear to be currently creating dissatisfaction not removing it! I also note that the www.lagan.co.uk link shown on the back of the report doesn’t go to them, at least not on my Internet connection!

The LGITU reports the results of a survey sponsored by the IDeA, who are funded by government, so are hardly going to put down NI14.

Page 3 sees the statement that “The primary means of collating this information is expected to be an existing CRM system”. Who has said? It is also confused in the following sentences as to who and where it is collected – I thought all channels, front or back office?

On page 4 they state that the number of IT respondents indicates that NI14 is “not being seen as a key issue within technology.” Whiich I support as a view and as an action – its not an IT issue – IT is a potential facilitator to measuring or resolving issues but ‘avoidable contact’ is the most corporate issue of all and needs the attention at all points of contact be they front or back office or elected members.

NI14 is of little benefit itself and the additional work in capturing it will be a hindrance to the day job of public service. The perceived downside noted on page 6 that it may not be accurately reported is more of a certainty has missed the point – its not the cumulative figure that matters its the process of capturing demand failure at the points of contact that matters and then sorting those processes out.

Page 7 catches up with the rationale behind NI14 but the understanding of what its like to try and deliver services across multiple channels to a high standard on retracting budgets with performance indicators to record isn’t there.

The commentaries from CLG & IDeA are as expected, the ones from Mouchel and Microsoft also try and sell their wares. My colleague Steve Palmer hits a lot of points about NI14 on the head but of course is promoting the joint Socitm/GovMetric service which while not perfect in NI14 terms probably does a better job in picking up the citizen dissatisfaction data and helping improve the end-to-end – but there are others! (I published my list of alternatives here)

As to the data in the report – as with NI14, its the qualitative feedback that really matters and this was quite interesting, supporting all my fears and not so much the spin LGITU have wrapped around it in their press release.

Remember, its the one who pays the piper calls the tune!

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