General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2190206

    Just say YES – quickly


    by ojeda ·

    How do I get my IS department to say yes more often, and quicker? I have begun translating IS as Instant Stonewallers.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3073140

      What are your questions?

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Hopefully they’re more specific than the one you asked here, and are less hostile.

    • #3073125

      Have you tried…

      by mickster269 ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Try bringing small bakery treats on Monday, and keep a full candy jar (small hersheys or mars work great, also jolly ranchers) somewhere they can get to it. Helps out immensely.

      • #3070097

        Good Advice

        by jevans4949 ·

        In reply to Have you tried…

        Thanks for passing that on. A good suggestion! :-}

      • #3069972

        Reasoned explanations

        by jdiaz ·

        In reply to Have you tried…

        How about thoughtful well-reasoned explanations that address the specific concerns of your users? Explain how your proposal will benefit your community. Often, I have worked with developers who are promoting their own projects that have little to do with end users immediate needs. Simple direct communication is key too.

    • #3073120

      Same as with anybody else

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      You have to demonstrate to them that what you want will be beneficial to them. I don’t know how your company is structured. Maybe your project will transfer a lot of money into their budget. Or increase their service level, or decrease end user complaints, or give them a great success story to tell everyone about, or give them an ally when confronting the board, or give them a chance to play with new technology.

      Or maybe they just appreciate people who treat them nicely and enjoy doing them favors.

      I’ve spent most of my life on the other side and believe me, we have just as many complaints about you. You don’t have the faintest idea what you want, you can’t articulate it intelligently, when you get it you don’t like it, you change your mind a hundred times, you don’t understand that you can’t have Good, Cheap, and Fast on the same project, you think you’re our only customer, you complain so much that we’ve had to block you out to keep from losing our temper, your staff abuses our hardware and software, they waste the help desk’s time looking for answers that everybody else in the company remembers from our briefings, we’ve been told by the executive staff to give you bottom priority but they neglected to let you in on it.

      It works both ways.

      For the sake of argument, perhaps the people who run your IS department really are a bunch of jerks. Your company’s management can’t possibly NOT know that, so they must be in on it. There’s some reason they refuse to fix it. Somebody is somebody else’s relative or sweetheart, or there’s a reorganization coming and it’s a big secret, or there could be a case of actual blackmail or extortion going on. If you keep griping, you’re going to get on everybody’s radar and eventually you’ll reach someone powerful who REALLY can’t allow you to continue doing it.

      • #3073116

        Hit a nerve there? (smiles)

        by mickster269 ·

        In reply to Same as with anybody else

        Tell us how you really feel, DC…

      • #3066159

        Before IT/IS

        by don’tquityourdayjob ·

        In reply to Same as with anybody else

        DC you hit the nail on the head.

        “You have to demonstrate to them that what you want will be beneficial to them.”

        The systems are in place today to benefit the organization or company not IT or IS. The business processes existed way before most of the IT or IS technology that’s in place today. That technology is there as a direct result of the existing process and the improvement of those processes.

        I do agree that most organizations could do a better job of initiating IT/IS projects and defining the scope of that project up front.

      • #3070047

        Justify the Request

        by wayne m. ·

        In reply to Same as with anybody else

        I agree with Dc Guy’s recommendation, though I would quibble with the phrasing. One does not need to use a tit-for-tat, mutual back scratching approach, but one does need to provide a reasonable justification for a request.

        Treat the IT/IS/whatever group as peers. Do not make requests, but provide a suggestion and describe how following the suggestion will be beneficial and how not following the suggestion causes difficulties. Lastly, use a little bit of salesmanship. Describe the problem, but not the solution and let the IS group try to solve the problem. They may come up with the same solution or they may come up with a better solution. If they come up with a worse solution, they will be much more receptive to an outside recommendation after having had the chance to think about the problem.

        The key is really what DC Guy noted; treat the IS department the “Same as with anybody else”. No one likes to be placed in a superior-follower relationship and will at least passively rebel. Do not tell IS what to do, rather go to them with the problem and ask them to help solve it. This may sound like a more time consuming approach, but I have usually found that this is the quickest way to a solution.

    • #3073069

      If all else fails …

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      … try using electricty, straight out of the tap. A few feet of lamp cord plugged into the wall outlet and bare ends applied to the other person can be very persuasive.


      • #3073047


        by jaqui ·

        In reply to If all else fails …

        electric play.

        but isn’t foreplay against company rules?
        or did they just make sex itself not allowed in the office?

        • #3073033

          not exactly mainstream play

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to ooohhhh

          No, the method that I’m advocating would only appeal to a small set of people for recreation, especially if they were on the receiving end.

          I have found that electricity can help expedite business gridlocks and nullify office politics. I only wish that I had started using it sooner. 😀

    • #3073007


      by maecuff ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      And I can’t be sure of this, because your post is very short, but perhaps you need to develop a sense of the word ‘urgent’.

      We have many projects in our department, with not enough resources and not enough time. When we are presented with an issue that requires immediate response, we respond. However, there are times when a request comes in that just isn’t as urgent as what we are currently working on. We have a few users here who apply ‘urgent’ to every request they make. They are also the same people who think we should drop everything, and focus on their problem, the very second they make the request. That’s not very realistic, is it? And actually, is somewhat unreasonable.

      • #3072952

        That’s always fun.

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Maybe

        Explaining to someone why their problem will have to wait is great fun. (NOT) Some people just don’t see how having a database server down is a more urgent problem than having their desktop icons disappear. Been there many times.

        • #3072946

          No kidding

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to That’s always fun.

          Or, my printer jams too much. Why is it jamming, can someone come down here RIGHT NOW and tell me what’s wrong? And telling them that we’ll look at it when we can, and in the mean time, please direct your documents to the printer that is a whole 5 yards away from the one that is jamming is just not acceptable. Sheesh.

        • #3071512

          Our informal statement in IT

          by mickster269 ·

          In reply to No kidding

          While we never say it directly, we’ve been heard to mutter:

          “Your lack of planning does not constitute a crisis for me.”

        • #3071507

          I like that..

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Our informal statement in IT

          I will steal it and make it my own. 🙂

        • #3071312

          Well Mae…

          by surflover ·

          In reply to I like that..

          If you’re going to use it, here is the original… “Poor planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part” (I had it printed on a poster, framed and hung behind my assistant’s desk outside my office)… I’ve been using it for a couple decades 🙂

        • #3057750

          If I had

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Well Mae…

          an assistant, I’d frame this and put it behind his desk.

        • #3066232


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Well Mae…

          You have an “assistant” with a desk outside the door to your office? Woah, nelly. You’re management, not IT. Heh.

        • #3071459

          I’ve said that to problem people.

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Our informal statement in IT

          Don’t mutter. Stand up for yourself.

          One problem that I’ve had many times is that a manager has hired a temp or a new person and they are under some short deadline. The manager invariably calls me in from lunch or from some other activity and acts like the end of the world is at hand if this user account isn’t set up immediately. Naturally the manager hasn’t said anything about this in advance. I often make the intial password something like planahead.

          I’m not shy about telling people when they aren’t being reasonable or why their failure isn’t my fault. If you do good work then you will develop admirers among the end user community, including managers. Their favorable opinion of you can empower you to be frank and honest with problem people.

          DON’T BE OBSEQUIOUS!!!

    • #3071520

      Need more detail.

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      but as a rule, if what your requesting costs money, it’s likely that IS is the wrong place for your request.

    • #3071457

      Stop asking them to do stuff

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      one of the things you made them say yes to last week that made your current request impossible this week ?

    • #3057655

      Reply To: Just say YES – quickly

      by spidershrek ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      The main problem is patience. If you are not pacient enough how do you want us to say yes to want you want. You might see us sitting in our desks but that doesn’t mean we are playing games. We have so many things to do and in top of that users ask and ask, and ask.

      Also as someone mention before we like to be treated nice and with proper respect.
      Try doing so and i guaranty that we’ll say YES!!!!

    • #3069459

      Understand the big picture

      by jcoppa ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Try to see the big picture and what it will cost an organization to cater to one individual versus the group as a whole. Policies exist for a reason.

    • #3069353

      Just as a guess…

      by ~neil ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Do the replies you are getting here seem as random and varied as the responses you get from your IS department?

      You’ve just asked a group of IS people a very vague question, without any information useful to answering it. If we were your employees, in this instance, we would have no option but to stall the answer until we can get the info we need to answer it.

      There’s nothing more frequent, nor frustrating to a tech, than trying to answer questions amounting to ‘how much will it cost to finish a project that I will describe, after you answer?’

      Try giving us specifics, and whatever you do here, to get an answer, try doing with your IS department.

    • #3069351

      Understand what you are asking

      by jevans4949 ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      If it’s a software development request, sometimes it’s a one-line change that can be done in 5 minutes, sometimes it’s a 6-month project. If the person you’re speaking to doesn’t know which it is, they probably err on the side of caution and guess at 6 months.

      They may also be under a directive from On High to minimise the number of system changes.

      Your organisation may have some horrendous system change methodology which means a one-line change takes a week’s regression testing and three days of meetings to get authorisation from 97 different managers.

      I see you are in Database Admin. Typically implementors proceed with caution with changes to live database systems, especially if they are mission-critical. They may also require someone to work weekend overtime – for which they spent the budget on your last request.

      • #3069286

        Good Point..

        by maecuff ·

        In reply to Understand what you are asking

        I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in the middle of developing something when the user will say, ‘you know, I’d rather have this..or could you change it so it does that?’ And while the request might seem small and simple to the user, it can sometimes change the entire design.

    • #3069342

      You may be assuming the answer

      by bank_it_guy ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Is as general as your question. One of my big frustrations is that I am asked a simple question that has serious impacts on 1) allocation of resources, 2) security, or even 3) figuring multiple ways to do the same thing better than the one of the other ways, and I try to give the pertinent impacts of those 3 concerns and I am either making it too complicated or not straight forward enough.

      In a sense, this sounds like what is happening. You ask a question, or make a decision, and IS has to consider all the ramifications of that decision in a microsecond, or else be a stonewaller.

    • #3069305


      by apotheon ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Those are great examples you’ve provided. Your precision is astounding. I’m amazed at your politeness and respect for coworkers. I have no idea why they wouldn’t leap to attend to your every whim.

    • #3069289

      Of course I’ll say yes…

      by jtinagero ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      As a junior IS tech with lots of customer support experience I would be glad to tell you yes to your question. You would be happy, I can quit ducking your department and I can get back to all the urgent gofer jobs I am tasked with.
      But I don’t have a clue on the effects it would have on other departments or even the other people in your department. Heck I just fixed the resolution on a monitor so a guy could read it better but the 2nd and 3rd shift called and whined. Of course I’ll say yes just don’t ask for WHEN !

    • #3069279


      by techlizard ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      Oh and a Thank you is helpful as well. This guy poses a two sentence question that is rather insulting then doesn’t even come back to explain further or thank anyone? I’d ignore him too, in fact I will, starting NOW.

      • #3069263

        Thinking along the same lines…

        by maecuff ·

        In reply to …mmmm…..

        no comments? no expansion of the original post? It seems all this person wanted to do is slam his IT department.

    • #3069242

      Easy…send MONEY

      by bschaettle ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      They’re not saying YES because you’re probably not paying for what you want. Offer some $ from your budget and they may say YES to just about everything.

      • #3066230

        not likely

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Easy…send MONEY

        I get the distinct impression this guy doesn’t have department budgetary discretion in his job description.

    • #3066146

      Project Management

      by don’tquityourdayjob ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      I can’t tell you how many times I have said yes to a question like “Can you…?” or “Can this be done?” and the person asking the question assumes that I’m going to do it just because it can be done.

      There is a huge difference between saying “Yes, I can do that.” and “Yes, I will do that.”

      Often, an project will be required to make changes in the system and you can’t just go live with the change.

      You should ask questions in a way that does not require a yes or no answer. Instead, ask “What will it take to do this?”.

      I’m sure that you have to go through this with other departments too. Frequently, the answer to your question is probably yes but the IS group may need to hire another person, buy more hardware or upgrade software, bring in outside consultants, etc. All of which costs $$$$ and may not have been budgeted for or will interfere with existing projects.

      Additionally, like any change to an existing process or product an evaluation should take place.

      For example, you can’t just change the design of a product without evaluating how it impacts the safety of the product, the cost of the product, etc. That would go through an engineering change process. Why should it be different when it comes to IT/IS?

      • #3066093

        something I’ve noticed

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Project Management

        It seems that everyone’s assuming ojeda is talking about big requests, like “I need a new extension to this application,” or “Give me centralized management of all user data so I can monitor the people in my department.” It’s true that these things require a lot of money and/or time, generally speaking. He may be talking about things that don’t require so much money and time, though, on an individual basis.

        For instance, he might be asking for someone to reinstall Yahoo! Messenger on his workstation, or to tell him where all his icons went, or to fix a problem with Outlook not retrieving email, or to get rid of some of those third-party spyware Internet Explorer toolbars he’s installed. He might expect that the moment he calls, someone will say “Yes, sir!” and arrive at his desk immediately to snap his fingers and make everything better.

        I suspect that’s more likely than having a problem with people not immediately jumping on his multimillion-dollar major hardware migration plan just because he thinks it shouldn’t be too difficult.

        In either case, I can understand occasionally saying “No,” or “Not right now.”

    • #3060518

      More often AND quicker?

      by ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      What are you asking to be done and who are you in the chain of command?
      Do you have the authority to ask of me what you are asking?
      Who in the the IS department are you asking and do they have the authority to answer you?
      Your profile says that you are in “Database Administration”. If you are truly an Administrator then you should realize that some answers require thought, and for others no IS the best answer. While an even better one is “I don’t know…Let me find someone who can answer that question for you”.
      Next do you accept the answers that you are given? or do you feel that IS is just out to get you personally?
      Just as a data base is not a word processor no matter how one may wish it to be…IS can NOT solve all of your problems no matter how many times you may ask.

    • #3060494

      The last time I heard YES prematurely …

      by back2basics ·

      In reply to Just say YES – quickly

      I’ve been out of the IT field for 2 years now, but the last time I heard YES quickly, a nasty little worm called nimda took down 250,000 MS servers in less than 8 hours. Premature release of a client app, by “pressured request”, took place the day before at our shop and left 450 users staring at blank screens for two days. Hast makes waste … and chapter 11 attorneys very wealthy.

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