The ROI of Self-Service Operations

Self-Service Operations is a design pattern that helps Operations teams decrease support costs while improving agility and responsiveness. Self-Service Operations enables you to safely shift operations activity to where your workforce can be best utilized. This includes moving the ability to take action, by pushing a button or calling an API, closer to the problem or party in need.

Employing Self-Service operations clearly benefits Operations teams, while also boosting the productivity of the teams that they serve and improving overall business efficiency. In high-performing companies that have already applied this design pattern, we've observed that the benefits accrued by each constituent group (Operations and the groups served by Operations) reinforce each other and compound over time.  

Calculating a return on investment for Self-Service Operations will always depend on a company's unique environment. However, we've found the following methods of measuring ROI to be effective for most organizations:  

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ROI benefits for teams doing operations support work:

  • Decrease in time to respond to incidents (MTTR / Mean Time to Repair)
  • Decrease in errors and rework (Fewer mistakes, greater consistency) 
  • Increase in total support volume the team can take on (Comfortably do more with same number of people)
  • Decrease in time waiting for response from escalations (Teams can safely take action rather than waiting for response from others)
  • Increase in operational support tasks that can be handled by other teams (Create more capacity by enabling other teams to do operations support tasks)

ROI benefits for teams outside of operations support teams:

  • Decrease in number of escalations (Fewer interruptions, less context switching)
  • Decrease in time spent waiting for completion of tasks by Operations support teams (Safely take action rather than wait for tasks to be done by operations support teams)
  • Decrease in issues due to problematic or incorrect handoffs (Less unplanned work)

ROI benefits to measure at the business level:

  • Decrease in total support costs (More cost-effective organization)
  • Decrease in time to market (Quicker cycle-time and less schedule slippage)

 

From a manager's perspective, Self-Service Operations creates the capacity needed to be able to focus management efforts on creating value, scaling services, and satisfying internal customers. Self-Service Operations helps to make Operations more open and accessible, while still maintaining — if not improving — the already high expectations about quality and security.