The curse of targets

Throughout my consulting career I've seen some themes over and over, usually as a result of different viewpoints, which underlines the importance of seeing the big picture from every stakeholders view before deciding on anything.

Here's a common one: The Customer Service department is banging on the IT door, because their metrics have plateaued. The IT department, in response, believe they can improve efficiency and customer service metrics by allowing front-line employees to share their work using a fancy phone system to forward and route calls between available staff.

What they haven't factored in, is that the sales organisation targets employees on these very calls and they generate the best commission for the individual. Consequently there is conflict:  there is no incentive to share this work, no matter how poor the customer service metrics.

If the fancy phone system is deployed, it will simply go under-used.