The Butler

Butler square.jpg

The butlers live to serve. They understands that users need ISPs to be productive and will make sure that their environment is reliable and that issues are fixed rapidly. They live in the shadow and are extremely responsive to requests, even inappropriate ones.

Starbucks us a great example of Butler. It provides exactly what hurried workers want in the morning (a quick cup of coffee), but adapts its atmosphere to the needs of its clients throughout the day so you can work or relax in the afternoon or even goon a date at night.  

Service orientation: High
Business orientation: Low





Compassionate: Feels sympathy and concerns for others. Understands the situation of others and offers support. 

 Courteous: Polite and respectful in their manners. Always treats users and colleagues with the outmost respect. 

 Friendly: Kind and pleasant. Works to maintain a kind, pleasant atmosphere and avoid conflict. 

 Helpful: Always ready to help out. Will stop everything at the drop of a hat to help a user or colleague in need. 

 Versatile: Able to adapt to different situations. Will easily accommodate the requirements of their users or partners and change their work methods accordingly. 



Inconsistent: Service delivery is not always uniform. The crisis of the day often takes priority over everything else. 

Indecisive: Has difficulties making tough decisions, especially if it impacts users negatively. Butlers often overcommit due to their inability to say no. 






Highly customized to the client's needs. Results in duplication and over-customization, making it difficult to evolve it in the future. 


Tightly aligned with the needs of the organization, doesn't hesitate to jump in and handle crisis. 


Extremely user focused, tend to be overwhelmed by the amount of work generated by the crisis-driven management style of their leader. 




Tend to stretch and exceed budget having an inability to say no to user requests.  


Little governance, assumes that if the business asked for something then it must be important. Doesn't challenge requests.  

Performance measures

Heavy emphasis on requests handling and resolution time. Strong focus on user experience. 




1. Plan initiative for the next three years

Move away from the fire-fighting mentality by planning ahead the initiatives for the next three years. Integrate new initiatives in to the plan taking into account capacity and the user's capacity to adapt to change.

2. Respect your service level commitments

Don't create false expectations by over-delivering on requests or projects. Deliver exactly as promised (date or scope) so the users and the business realize you are a predictable, trustworthy provider. 

3. Measure and report on exceptions

Protect your self from last-minute requests and crisis by measuring the number of emergency requests / work and working with the business to make them understand the impact on other priorities.  


Latest research on Butlers

Personality profiles


Posted on October 17, 2013 and filed under ISP3.