Looking ahead is an occupational necessity in the IT field, whether you're assessing new technologies, planning for future bandwidth needs, or building project plans. With the second half of 2007 now underway, this might be a good time to do a little personal goal-setting, too.
A while back, IT pro Becky Roberts put together a list of resolutions aimed at improving her relationship with users and refining her support tech skills. Here's a recap of her goals to help guide your progress for the rest of 2007.
#1: Treat users with the respect they deserve by not pulling faces behind their backs, deliberately confusing their ages and IQs, or submitting "Dumb User Stories" to TechRepublic.
#2: Document all changes, procedures, solutions, outstanding issues, etc., so that if I'm struck dead by a random meteorite tomorrow someone can assume my responsibilities.
#3: Immediately cease and desist from deliberately confusing the users — and stunning them with my brilliance — by distributing instructions containing such geek-licious words as cache, demodulator, DOS attack, aspect ratio, and Bayesian logic.
#4: Practice the "safe computing habits" I preach to the users by routinely backing up my data, not downloading every free utility with geek-appeal, and not bypassing firewall protection even though I am a computer god and know how.
#5: Have the caffeine IV removed and drink only organic herbal tea or fresh spring water.
#6: Prioritize work orders by business need and not by who gives me the most chocolate.
#7: Remind myself every day that this is not my network, these are not my computers, and I exist only to serve the needs of the company and its employees.
#8: Make a concerted effort to better understand the needs of the users by learning their priorities and engaging with the requirements of their job functions. I will then apply this newly acquired knowledge to use technology to improve the lives of my users by simplifying their tasks and increasing their efficiency.
#9: Provide training and documentation for every rollout, upgrade, and procedural change instead of expecting the users to learn by osmosis.
#10: Occasionally venture out of Olduvai and Tristram into the real world of carbon-based entities and maybe even get a date....