Wednesday, June 06, 2007

IT Rule #5: Encourage people to tell you about problems

You can't fix/improve something if you don't know it is an issue. Make it very easy for employees to get an issue to you and that you have a mechanism for an IT staff person to grab it and let everyone else know they grabbed it. Respond quickly and *always* thank them for bringing it to your attention, regardless of how many times you have heard the problem. Remind employees constantly to tell you about stuff, even if they think you already know about it.

Repetition is important because of two factors:

  1. Most people tolerate computers doing weird things. Restart the app or reboot are typical attempts to deal with things. Typical because it makes the problem appear to go away (reality is that it justs masks the problem).
  2. Most people don't want to bother IT with problems because the IT group may be unresponsive, they don't  think the problem is important enough, or they just want to get back to work.

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