User experience (UX) is a strategic priority at Cisco IT. In fact, improving user experience is incorporated into our IT Vision, Strategy, and Execution statement. When we talk about user experience, we raise the importance of better UX design, a better user interface, and the ability to make it pervasive. But, what we are really trying to establish is a cultural change as to how we approach this strategic priority. That is the bottom line. How can we make it part of our DNA and embed it in our operating model?

User experience isn’t just about our workforce, but also about our customers and our partners. It’s about how we deliver business outcomes for our clients and the difference between what is expected or needed and what is received.

At Cisco IT, we recognize the importance of having a pervasive positive user experience. That’s why it’s one of our strategic priorities. To ensure stickiness, we’ve developed a playbook that shows our approach to making UX part of our DNA.

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Chapter 1 of the playbook is about understanding the relationship people have with technology. This exercise is not about addressing the 70,000-plus Cisco employees all at once, but about paying attention to how our services are consumed by specific business groups or “personas.” It’s often too easy to move from a good experience to a bad one if we don’t pay attention to the details.

Chapter 1 is very much about listening, listening again, and documenting the findings. This approach provides an educated foundation for us to develop and build an action plan.

The personas we selected to start with are Sales, Engineering, Support Services, and New Hires (new employees coming to Cisco). As we went through the listening exercise, we identified key pain points and found that some are specific to a particular persona while other pain points are common to all the groups: content and search.

With the New Hire persona, for example, we focus on having as much information captured before the employee starts working. On Day 1 he or she is already provided with a computer, passwords, and communication essentials. Furthermore, we have a community ready for them in our Jive collaboration and social media site, so they have a one-stop shop for all their new-hire needs and IT-related questions. Also, we create a New Hire Bundle in eStore, our internal online services catalog, so it is very easy for new hires to find all IT services and applications in one location.

I hope you find this summary of Chapter 1 valuable. Please stay tuned for my upcoming blogs where I’ll navigate through the rest of our UX playbook chapters.

Remember, the key word throughout the playbook is pervasive because we’re all responsible for ensuring a positive user experience.