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The perfect Support Group

By darren.goldsby ·
I'm in charge of Support within my company. My opposite number runs 'delivery', which is effectively first line support.

I've got a great team of techies, however we have serious issues with cross team working and the current structure is too swayed towards Technical Disciplines (Windows/Networks/Unix) and not towards Service Support and Problem Management.

Whilst we need technical specialists I really want to get my team to beciome great Problem and Project Managers too - anyone else managed to succesfully solve this most annoying puzzle?!?!

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Well, that depends...

by gralfus In reply to The perfect Support Group

I hope I'm interpreting your question correctly. Do you want everyone in your group to become PMs, or do you want just some of them? I used to work at HP, and they were trying to "encourage" us to not be just techies by requiring each of us to get BS degrees in IT or IS. They had the attitude that if you weren't progressing in your career, then you were not suitable to continue working there. They did pay for the schooling (which I did online), which was very nice, but many couldn't take the burden of going to school in addition to work.

Another step was to create a second and third teir support staff out of the permanent employees, so the actual deskside support was all contractors. The 2nd and 3rd teir staff supported important projects which got their feet wet in project involvement. Of course, we lost some people because there were too many people for the amount of projects that actually had funding. 3/5 of the staff were laid-off.

The other part of the equation is what the techies want to do with their lives. Many techies like dealing with equipment and programs rather than with people, and it is hard to pry them into doing otherwise. There can be more money in "management" positions, if you can stay employed, but many techies still would rather do what they are used to rather than change. I have loosened up considerably from when I started, and the degree classes did help to broaden my perspective. But my real preference is still to do technical things rather than management of people or projects.

As far as cross-team training, my current employer has us spend a week shadowing someone from the other team every couple of months and vice versa. This helps break down the walls that so easily develop in IT departments. Managers have to lead the way in helping their teams get along.

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what a prick.......

by youfuckingnonse In reply to The perfect Support Group

Dear mr goldsby.
You are not "in charge" of your support group obviously. Infact it sounds terribly managed.

To slove "this most annoying puzzle" you should quit or top yourself. Prick.

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