Strategic Business Process Management Consulting and Training Since 1993
BPM Consulting & Training
menu MENU

What is the Pool Temperature?

Pool Thermometer I have worked with numerous clients over the years to understand the difference between your internal specifications and customer expectations. Today, I encountered a real-world experience that clearly illustrates the difference, and this example will also highlight what NOT to do to resolve the discrepancy.

I am a swimmer. I am lucky enough to live in Florida and can generally swim year-round, thanks to a heated pool. Historically, our condo pool temperature is maintained at 85 degrees. In recent weeks, the pool temperature has felt much colder than that. There is a floating thermometer that confirmed my suspicion, reflecting a temperature of 78 degrees (doesn’t sound like a big difference, but it is noticeable to pool-dwellers!).

I submitted a work order to have the pool temperature raised (an entirely different process improvement opportunity). In response to the work order, I received a picture of a temperature gauge at the pool pump showing a temperature of 87 degrees. Additionally, the response indicated the thermometer in the pool would be removed because of its inaccuracy.

Key learnings from this story:

  1. The temperature at the pump could, in fact, be 87 degrees, but the actual pool temperature could be lower, showcasing the difference between internal specifications and customer expectations.
  2. Removing the customer’s measurement device does not make the problem go away.

Are you sure your internal specifications and customer expectations are aligned? And are you listening to your customers’ needs or ignoring if your specifications tell you a different answer?

Mandy Dietz

Share This