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DOWNLOA Users share 11 complaints about IT support

By JodyGilbert ·
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http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5731233.html

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Walk-around

by Becky Roberts In reply to Absolutely on target. MBW ...

Great point, I should've mentioned it. This is something I do a lot, especially out in the plant where the workers frequently feel disconnected and neglected by us office types. I also find that eating lunch or taking a break with different groups of people opens up many new doors.

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*Smiling*...

by RayJeff In reply to Walk-around
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It's a part but not everything

by ITisForME In reply to Communication is key

I was hoping to have some comments to see if others have had similar issues. I?m conserving money for vacation in two weeks so I?m making this Post instead of out partying. Most people seem to have tilted to the diplomatic side which is of course honorable. However in doing so, you side step the problem where you have both IT and User issues just about everywhere. The point is to discover those issues and try to glean a solution. Most places will have the gender, IT/User and management conundrums to overcome as part of finding and implementing a solution. In my case out of 56 employees only 3 are men and 53 are women. As I have said about half work very well and half have a lot of problems. If you look at the problems they have, certainly some would be attributed to, to be human is to error. The over whelming vast majority of problems are simply User error. We have the same equipment, applications, configuration and so on, everywhere, so if half works then is the other half defective equipment? Most employees are Tellers and they move around the offices filling in several times a year. We have good offices and bad offices more so then random people with problems. If a problem Teller in a problem office goes to a good office for a week and the problems go with that person and a good Teller goes to a problem office and has no problems then I just can?t see it being defective equipment nor can I see it being anything other then the individual.

This leads to the other part. I have a User manual for Tellers which is 20 pages including pictures and pictures being half the manual. It begins with what I dubbed the ?10 steps?. The first 8 pages are the ?10 steps? and the next 2 pages are trouble shooting the ?10 steps? then the rest is other trouble shooting and information. It?s the first 10 things you do starting at number 1 ?turning on the computer? is what the problem half stumbles on and forget the other 12 pages. It starts with those folks believing that they don?t need to know how to do the ?10 steps?. They also feel that they are doing somebody ?else?s? job by learning how to use ?their? computer. They think that I am Tring to put some of my responsibility on them by having them learn how to use their computer. They also have the mind set that using the computer is not Teller work so they don?t need to concern themselves with it, even although about 90% of everything they do is done on a computer. So, they refuse to learn or take responsibility for the problems they have. Imagine that. We should all be so lucky. If you look at my first Post you will see a list of ?10 Don?t do? which are included in the User manual. You would be astounded by how many problems that occur just from those ?10". Using the Internet for which nonbusiness use is prohibited yet abused with reckless abandon causes an enormous amount of problems. What confounds me the most is how so many times Branch managers have backup their problem folks and even their supervisors at the Main office have backed them up. Needless to say that has led to many battles and me willfully passing the support baton to the Trainer (in fact demanding to do so). My life has improved dramatically both at work and home since then. I was bring the problems home with me and they eat away at me for years, that is all gone now. I also have noticed the supervisors at the Main office starting to stiffen up now that I am no longer part of the equation and they must now deal with it. Newbie?s are much less tolerated if they can?t cut the muster in 90 days and Branch managers that have issues are being scrutinized for the first time. We are all the benefactors of that but more still needs done. I?m certain that a huge part of the problem was that I?m a man and they are all women. Now it?s all women and they can?t use the gender issue so they must now act and they are now beginning to see the light and make the hard decisions, I hope it continues. I can expand on anything I?ve written and welcome your comments.

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All it takes is being open...

by RayJeff In reply to Communication is key

"Many IT departments are seen as an obstacle that users must work around. We need to do a better job of being seen as a helpful service. Communicating about our service, how it works and why, can change these negative perceptions."

I agree with you. And it's like the IT department doesn't care how the rest of the organization thinks/feels about them. It's sad.

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Admin rights ...

by matic.zupancic In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

I can only disagree with "solution" about admin rights on desktop computers.
No one except sysadmin should have admin access to the computers, and even she/he should normaly use only user rights when doing everyday tasks that don't need special (admin) rights (word processing, ...).
My honest opinion is that in these days when getting a virus is more common than getting useful information, administrator rights could cause a lot of harm. It's not about trusting employees (even when they "earn" our trust as suggested in the article), it's about common sense in computer security. It is a security issue.
So, I would suggest that administrator-rights-issue (as in article) should be completely ignored at our work. Does any contract between employer and employee (not administrator) include a statement where administrator rights are needed for work to be done?
For conslusion: administrator rights are for administrators.

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by The Admiral In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

I have a slightly different take on the 11 complaints, and when employees, potential customers, executives, and my support team are level set, I get ZERO complaints about it, and they also know that it is not a policy that can be escalated or whined about in order to get their own way.

The first issue that you have is that applications and hardware do not work. 99.999% of the time, Applications works as they were designed by the software company. In some cases, potentially harmful features are disabled (like Microsoft?s search for folders and printers on the network), in order to keep the sanity of the users and the network admins. All of these are pointed out to users as soon as the decision is made. The users are told:

? What action is being taken.
? Why the action is being taken
? And if there is an exception process

The reason we do this is because when users know why an action is being taken, they are less likely to gripe.

The second issue is the inconsistency of WiFi configurations. This is a no brainier when you compare Wireless things. People gripe about their cell phones in that they get disconnected, well, the same is true about wireless LAN. Here are the issues:

? You have a wide variety of hardware, some complies with IEEE specs, others don?t.
? Some have hi-gain antennas, others don?t
? Some have security enabled others don?t
? Some have pay as you go, others don?t
? Some have bandwidth throttling, so your 11 Mb connection is 20K
? Your laptop overshoots, much like a CB Radio overshouting your Radio

There are many variables that you have to take into account that are all different by situation. I get complaints that peoples wireless items work one day, and it don?t the next, not thinking that the environment changes outside and inside the house or business as well. Good example of this is the impact of sunspots.

Third is that the complaint is a slow computer or network. Folks do not realize that they are the reason that the computer or network becomes slow. The plain and simple answer is that useage cause?s wear and tear. What this means is that when you use a computer, especially on the internet, you have to purge all of the junk from the caches or the next time you come up it fractionally gets slower and slower. Since Microsoft has made their office products and just about everything else internet connected, you get a lot of trash downloaded automatically from the internet. If you don?t want to believe it, Install Zone Alarm on a system then brings up MSWord. Guaranteed it will scream about connecting to the internet. While Fred?s machine runs the report faster, Fred?s machine is different than yours. So ?just because? is not a valid complaint. Like a kid who wants a hand grenade ?just because? is not a valid argument to give it to him or her. Fred?s machine may have additional memory, a different processor, etc. All things being equal in hardware, they are never the same when it comes to PC?s.

The networking issues can be from a gazillion number of users on, viruses, spy ware, or some other gaggle of reasons such as downloading movies or MP3?s, etc. Add to that the possibility of inexperienced network administrators and paper technicians, and the problem only gets bigger. (This is why folks, I have said that companies want experience and they want a good clean reference when you are certified!!!!!)

Frequently required password changes are a fact of life, just like death and taxes; unfortunately, there is only one thing your users can do. Get over it. In the realm of ever increasing security (yes, this time it was a majority of users doing something and not a minority) and the lack of passwords, we now have to have complex passwords over 8 characters long. If you are stuck at six, there is a database out there that has them all in it and can hit your application in a manner of milliseconds with all of the passwords. And those users who whine about it are also the ones who whine about not being able to use their kid?s names or their dog fido?s birth date as a password. As I have said to a user about 10 minutes ago. Grow up. You?re not in Kansas any more!

Screen Saver Lockouts after 20 minutes is a gracious amount of time for a shifty eyed employee to get your credit card number you just entered into Amazon.com or ask for your password to be reset or change your eBay email and password. Need I say more? You don?t want a lockout, LOCK your door. Else, your complaint has been dually noted and given its proper weight.

Not being the administrator of your machine. Might I ask why do you need it? Show me proper business justification, and you may get power user access. But to get the access for the sake of that access isn?t going to be enough. If they are going to training, then the training session should have admin access, but we are not training you are here to work. If the laptop settings are working and have been tested everywhere except where you are going, then ITS NOT THE MACHINE! This has nothing to do with big brother, but to ensure the employee accesses the proper resources to do their job. They whine because they don?t have the tools to do the job, then they whine because they have the tools, but don?t have 110%. Just do your job and give us a reason to fire you.

Spam filtering. If I had a dime for every time a wad of spam came through, and the complaints that ensue. Pick the way you want it, don?t complain when it is enabled, and get over it. You either want the spam or you don?t. As Mad Max from John Boy and Billy would say ?Quit Ruinin? my life!?

Restricted Web Access. That is another subject that brings light to my heart. ?Why can?t I order from Victoria?s Secret?? My answer would be, the business justification for ordering from those sites has not been management approved. As far as eBay is concerned, I run an eBay thing out of my house. It never stops me from doing my job. I have eBay email my business and personal account the daily update. That is all I need. Unless your ordering stuff for the business, and I don?t need the Angel Bra for the company! I know I own it; Victoria?s Secret is a home activity.

Step number nine. Very simple. There is a Business Machine and a Personal Computer. Use the Personal Computer for home stuff; use the Business Computer for Business. If you use the Business Computer for Personal items, then the business should expect a payment from the person as a rental fee. Truthfully, if a person is out and a bout on business and they are technically working, then the business computer is going to be their only online connectivity unless they hit the library for their web based email. The restrictions for a managed email client for their personal email should be looked into. With some asset management software, you can enable the notebook to read the mail, and when they are in the office, it removes all traces that the person checked their email completely.

The number ten burns by Hyde as well. We can have an entire network of communications, have the technicians talk with the end users, and even solicit feedback and the tickets will be kept open because they believe that it is not fixed. When the problem is fixed, then the ticket gets closed, and the email goes out. The technician tells the end user that the ticket will be closed, and if they continue to have problems with that problem to contact them for up to a week. After a week, a new ticket needs to be cut. Large companies can not project an ETA when their own network goes down, so you have to have the technicians do their own scheduling as long as they have high utilization, in that they put in 8 hours a day. You?re not going to get blood from a rock, and the users need to understand that you?re not going to get instant gratification when you put a problem in. One of the gripes I have is the helpdesk holds on to tickets as they bounce it from queue to queue, not telling the end user squat, then when the ticket does get there, the technician is hit by a bus wanting to know why it took a month to get the ticket addressed. This is wrong. If a ticket is entered, the system should do all the automation as to where the ticket gets routed, and not rely on a mega queue then they, at their leisure gets to where it needs to go.

Number 11 says, we should teach users to be technicians. Think about how many people who know enough to be dangerous. Apply catastrophe here and a whining user, and you see that the IT department?s core is to fix the technology; the USER?s core is to use the technology. Plain and simple.

Have fun with this folks!

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yesssss!!!!!

by matic.zupancic In reply to

At last! Someone with enough courage.
Your post should be available as an article for download!

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Communication is the key ...

by etruss In reply to

"...in order to keep the sanity of the users and the network admins. All of these are pointed out to users as soon as the decision is made. The users are told:

? What action is being taken.
? Why the action is being taken
? And if there is an exception process

The reason we do this is because when users know why an action is being taken, they are less likely to gripe."

I can definitely agree with the above. What happens where I work (and what burns my ***) is that changes are made and it's left up to the user to discover it, report the problem and get told (by a help desk guy who is telling the 100th person today why it now works that way) that it was a change that you'll "grow up and live with". This doesn't help anyone and just adds to the division between IT and the users. Just tell us what you are doing and why and treat us like grown-ups and we will understand.

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Wagging the tail... or the dog?

by bilboatbath In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

Now, I'm not an 'IT techie'. But I have been around computenmachins for well over 3 decades. As manager of a hyper-productive satellite office for a major insurance co, for example, I identified a business need, researched the options, and introduced the Compaq 'luggable' to amazed IT pros at a demo meeting I called at Head Office. When asked by a senior mainframe techie, with a smirk, if it was robust enough to do unsupported duty in an out-office, I swept it one-handed off the desk onto the floor. The shock in the room was palpable! I then picked it up, re-started it fine, and asked quietly if that was 'sufficient' - aznd that it would meet my IT needs.

The National Sales Director - my boss's boss's boss - grinned at this pre-planned 'perfect demonstration', and announced that if I wanted one, I'd have it by Friday....

The kit was rolled out, over six months, successfully to 73 offices. No techie support from Head Office - or even an inquiry as to how things were going - was ever made. Compaq supported the project 'locally'. This approach was raised at Main Board level when discussing resource allocation.....

Lesson? Those bringing in ?0000-business get first call on resources needed to bring in more - not the support tail.

Next, I've been working recently in a College. As others have said, there was an uncomfortable mix of old and very old hardware, 'cross-threaded' networking resources, and Tower of Babel application software. Oh,yes, and a bunch of supercilious, arrogant and unproductive young male 'support techies' whose principal skills seemed to be sneering at others and evading their worklists. '....Part of the problem, and not part of the solution...!' However, the chief techie and the IT manager were great guys, and we slightly-savvy users who'd worked in industry decided we needed/deserved an enhanced service, and 'took responsibility for our own fortunes'.

So, the Principal's .ppt addresses began to fail at mid-point, governors' funding meetings would suddenly be unable to access the Management Information System from the room they met in, networked printers would be unable to print out Agendas and Minutes for urgent management meetings, parents would withdraw their kids from Second Year in favour of competitor colleges citing unreliable access to IT resources in classrooms and labs. The Principal began to ask why, got some answers from us, and the team of young male wasters were, one-by-one, swiftly encouraged to move on.

"Where will we get useful replacements at the peanuts we can pay junior support techies?", he wailed. "They can get over twice as much working in the local IT retail barn." Now, one of our lecturers is a very-highly qualified lady engineer from Croatia. When she heard of the problem, she came up with a solution PDQ, and within 3 weeks we had two very bright young lady support techies from Croatia, keen as mustard, with a 'can-do" attitude that swept away just about all problems, including the curmudgeons. They were earning over three times what they'd earned back home, were picking up skills fast, and had the willing support and tolerance of just about all their 'users'...

Now we have four good 'uns, for the price of three bad 'uns, and a much more satisfied user base. Problem solved.

Lesson? To measure how important you are, individually, to an organisation, put your hand into a bucket of water, pull it out - then inspect the size of the hole that remains.....

Decide if you want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution.....

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