Thursday, 26 March 2009

Have you turned it off and on again?

In case you haven't seen this clip before, here's a link:

No doubt that this is what a lot of people think an IT depart is actually like. I would say that I don't agree at all (obviously); but the problem is that what our users think of us is important, and if this is their impression, then we have a long way to go to rectify that view.

If the users think we are ignoring them, putting them down or talking over their heads, then they will not listen to us; if they don't listen, then they won't learn anything. We are then stuck in a situation where they repeat the same errors, and never understand where they are going wrong and never learn how to do something correctly.

As it happens, we do find that in many cases, a simple re-start will fix the problem; people don't know what they have done (or quite possibly, don't want to admit to what ever it is they have done) and the restart puts everything back as it should be. Not necessarily the right way to do it, but we have to get them working again as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it then gets to be a bit of a cliche.

It's also very true that sometimes, we use a bit too much jargon; many users do get very confused by it, and sometimes it doesn't help if they think we are just trying to put them down. In most cases, it depends upon the user - some of them can handle it, but all too often it is just not what they want to hear. As is often the case, it is very much "horses for courses".

A short one today; more later.

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