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DOWNLOA Five things support pros should take care of before a vacation

By JodyGilbert ·
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http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5827032.html

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Make a list, check it twice

by DMambo In reply to DOWNLOAD: Five things sup ...

Before a vacation, I start listing jobs to delegate a couple of months in advance. I give each item on the list an "owner" during my time off and direct questioners to the owner of the issue for the duration. Even if the only answer they can give is "it'll have to wait until he gets back", at least people aren't fuming with no place to go. And in general, the owners can mitigate the impact of the problem to some extent.

Unfortunately, my attempts to make the delegation permanent have almost always failed . Once I return, the owners are happy to offload their temporary assignments.

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passwords

by apotheon In reply to DOWNLOAD: Five things sup ...

It's surprising to see someone advocating the practice of writing down and/or sharing passwords. The common wisdom is so vehemently in favor of memorizing, and never writing or sharing, passwords that it's a bit of a shock to see an article or download at TR that advocates the opposite.

In this case, though, writing and/or sharing (depending on circumstances) is exactly the right advice to give. IT managers often forget that the networks they manage are not actually "theirs", and exist to support the business to which they're attached. The passwords exist for the purpose of ensuring security for the business IT resources, but if that security means that the business can't operate while the IT manager is out of town, someone isn't doing his or her job.

I guess, in general, I'm saying that this download is on target. It would have been better presented online rather than as a PDF download, though: something this short and simple need not include the additional overhead of downloading a document that can only be read by PDF viewer.

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Task completion.

by pweegar In reply to passwords

I'm the IT guy in our Corp Records department. When I am on vacation, the boss gets really nervous. You need to make sure there is at least one other person who can perform routine tasks, that you give DETAILED instructions and they understand what has to be done, when, and why.

The biggest things the boss fears is: A server needing rebooting, media needing to be added to our jukeboxes and how to clear errors.

You also want to mlet vendors that you deal with on a regular basis (daily, weekly) know that you will be away.

And it's a good idea to change your phone message to let ppl know your away and who they should contact in case they need assistance.

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Password Quandary

by Becky Roberts In reply to passwords

I share your ambivalence concerning writing passwords down, that's why we came up with the compromise of storing them in a safe to which only certain people have access.

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indeed

by apotheon In reply to Password Quandary

It's a good way to handle it.

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Better ways

by CharlieSpencer In reply to passwords

I find it easier to temporarily give my backup the rights to perform administrative tasks under her own account. When I return, I reset her privs back to their normal level.

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Interesting the little response there is to this important item

by reheinlein In reply to DOWNLOAD: Five things sup ...

Becky,

The key phrase for IT is NO SURPRISES, so thank you for your article; I appreciate the subject's importance as we, in IT, are all support pros, responsible to customers AND one another. So since it is that season again, you might issue a new version.

Thinking ahead by handing off responsibilities, before disappearing, could be a make or break issue for the bosses and your co-workers. And, for a manager of any kind, preparing is critical.

Becky, a few items on my check list:

Communicate
Touch bases with those who rely on you
Change your Voice Mail greetings to include:
Days out of the office
Date returning
Your delegate's phone number
Note Remember you may have internal/external
greetings & in use greetings
As appropriate, distribute a formal memo, naming
your delegate & what authority you've passed to
her/him.

Backups/Copies
In the safe go those items difficult/impossible
to recreate/replace, i.e., your system backup.
Office & desk keys

Regarding Passwords
Seal them in a envelop, sign across the flap &
send them to your offsite storage with whatever
arrangements are required.

Thanks,

Rob

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