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Requirements and Expectations

Category:ITSM -> Basic Definitions

There is a gap between requirements and expectations. Full compliance of services to agreed requirements does not necessary mean that the customer is satisfied.


There is a joke about a man who came to a store to return Christmas tree toys.

So the story begins when this man stepped inside the store. He came up to the shopkeeper and said: “Take them back, they don’t quite suit me!”

“Is there something wrong with them?” the shopkeeper asked, “Is the color wrong?”

“No, the color is all right,” the man replied.

“Maybe the size doesn’t fit?”

“No, the size is perfectly fine.”

“Maybe they break?”

“No, they don’t break.”

“Maybe they fall from the Christmas tree?”

“No, they hold up well.”

“Is there something wrong with the pattern?”

“No, the patter is good.”

“So what is wrong then?”

“They don’t please me!”

We often compile specifications of our goods and services thinking for the client. And when the client places an order we let him choose from pre-prepared templates of various combinations with multiple parameters. And at the same time we don’t take into account that in most cases the client does not understand even half of those parameters and he also cannot even say for sure on his preferences about the other half. Although he somehow ticks the points in the offered form and we probably make efforts to comply with the agreed requirements. We even go at night to his Christmas tree with dividers to make sure that the size of Christmas tree balls still complies with the set standards and requirements. Everything is cool and meets requirements. Nonetheless he comes back and says “Take them back!” because he wanted to have the toys like in his childhood or the toys better than his neighbor’s. But we didn’t ask him about this and then we never asked if those toys pleased him at all.

We need to control customers’ satisfaction by the quality of given services. Then we have to compare their feedbacks with our own IT systems monitoring results and carry out the analysis of any differences between what we think about the services and what our service takers think. Based on the conducted research, correct either one or all of the following: quality, measurement or expectation.

By privilege15