Microsoft

Poll: How proficient are your users?

Are your Microsoft Office users well trained or barely getting by? Take our latest poll.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

9 comments
ronny.holmstrom
ronny.holmstrom

when people call you and ask if you could please send the attachment as a word file when you just sent them a docx file instead of a doc file - that's clueless!

tigereaz
tigereaz

I am open for suggestions - personally I find the "tutorials" too techie heavy - I hate to say it this way but we need to "dumb down" - press this key enter this value etc. ie:excell - we could use conditional value and what if skills but holy smokes ... explaining it from the site is damn near impossible ...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

We don't do a good job of educating our employees on computer skills. We haven't had any instructor-led Office training since before Office 2003 (our current standard version). I have postponed installing Office 2007 because of this. I think my users lack the ability to adapt to 2007 without formal training.

egray
egray

I work for a large and poor social-services nonprofit. We do have a handful of staff who understand how to use software and the basics of how files are saved. But the majority of staff are very skilled with people and extremely stupid with technology. Users call to say they can't get on the internet, and IT discovers it's because there's no computer plugged into the mouse and keyboard. Folks save files without the faintest idea whether they're saving to a floppy, the server, a temp file, or the internet. Whole projects 'disappear' and no one can tell me where to look for them, because they don't know where they were in the first place. And when someone forgets their Yahoo password, they phone and tell me the servers have crashed. I'm not kidding. Is this normal?

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

for a [i]social-services nonprofit[/i]. I've got seven of them, and only one is relatively skilled with technology.

KSoniat
KSoniat

At any company I have worked there are usually 2-3 "super" users who really know there way around the systems and MS products. A hand full of easily trainables, then those who make you pull your hair out. We just had an accountant retire and I was assigned his Access data base as no one else knows Access. After initial reservations I found it was actually thoughtfully developed and well documented. It is an in-house credit card system from a company we purchased. We are not continuing to offer an in-house credit card so it will go away as soon as everyone pays their balance off.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I actually had one user ask me how to administer a line of credit renewal... Uh I'm a programmer, not a banker, your the banker, you should know this... Thankfully I do know how and explained it to them.

paul.hudson
paul.hudson

Hey, we're IT. We know how to do everything, right? By accident, or on purpose, we hardware types learn the software side and the software types learn the hardware side. It just goes to show how trainable we are. Unfortunately, management doesn't see the value. Why should they train their people to use new stuff? They have an IT staff to limp them along. I too, have a few power users, a few who want to learn new stuff but, most just want to do their job and wish they didn't have to deal with a computer. They don't see the value in this "tool" to make their job so much easier.

barryc
barryc

My standards are apparently pretty high. I expect users to know how to use the main Office apps (Word, Excel, Outlook) with what I consider decent skills. For Word, how to use and define styles, adjust page numbering, create captions and cross references and insert Tables of contents etc. Only my Editor and I know how to do these things. The sales staff and most of our writers are not able to do these tasks without help. For Excel, how to fill down, create a conditional formula (use the =if function), format a workbook with reference areas, named ranges and so forth. For Outlook, how to schedule an appointment for a coworker, add a contact to an appointment or task, create a signature. These are what I'd consider minimum skills for a new hire, not something for which extra training is required.

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