Tasks and journeys to improve efficiency

A task model is a description of the activities users perform in order to reach their goals. Task models can represent both real-world and digital activities. They help you understand how your product can fit into the users’ lives. User journeys are a method of expressing the ideal route for your product to facilitate these activities.”
Jesmond Allen and James Chudley
in their book, “Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences“.

There are many ways to skin an OctopOSS.

Most CSP‘s OSS these days tend to be COTS (Commercially-available Off The Shelf software), or suites of COTS, with significant configuration to suit the CSP‘s needs. Invariably the COTS solutions provide a number of different ways to achieve a given objective. For example, in a hypothetical OSS a customer’s address could be entered through the “Customer” form, the “Network Element” form or the “Service Order” form. This means that there are three possible user journeys for this fictional scenario.

In my experience, the integrator’s BAs (Business Analysts) build process maps around a task model that achieves one User Journey using only the tools that they are implementing. However, I haven’t observed any CSPs performing analysis or benchmarking of whether this is the most efficient User Journey within their entire eco-system, which is particularly relevant if the CSP has multiple vendor products being used by their operators.

Any CSP‘s most efficient operators find better User Journeys than their least efficient operators. The question is, how many CSPs have built a feedback loop to measure, benchmark and train their operators to follow the User Journeys of least resistance?

There are tools that can perform this feat but I haven’t seen them used in an OSS efficiency context before. I’m looking forward to finding the first OSS customer to give these relatively low-cost tools a trial.

Perhaps the first customer will actually be a supplier / integrator that is seeking the optimal business process design for their customers…. but process efficiency is not necessarily high on their priority lists. That just takes too much time to monitor and understand the CSP‘s operator decision-making process. It should be a priority for the CSPs though.

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