Making IT Easier (Part three of three): The End-User

In the first two parts of this series I highlighted some of the ways in which IT professionals and Business Leaders can “Make IT Easier.” For the last part in this series, I’ll be focusing on what end users can do to make things easier for themselves, their bosses, and the IT Staff.

As an end-user, it’s highly likely that at some point in your career, you’re going to need the assistance of those in the IT department. Whether that is for a new PC image or a difficult troubleshooting question, this is typically a department whose good graces you want to stay in. Understanding the technological issues that are affecting your productivity, and how these things should be prioritized will help greatly.

I have a few questions below for the end-user that can help to limit some of the easier calls while also reducing interdepartmental friction.

  • Did You Reboot?Oftentimes, pretty much any time you call in with an issue on your computer, the first question the technician is going to ask is “have your rebooted?” For some issues, this is the quickest and easiest remedy, because it ends any process trees, and closes any applications that may be causing issues. If a reboot doesn’t fix the issues, this is where some more of the diagnostics can take place.
  • Is Everything Plugged in?If your computer is not turning on, make sure to verify that the power plug is connected to the computer as well as the wall outlet. This isn’t meant in a condescending way. It feels like the IT equivalent of spending 20 minutes looking for the sunglasses you are wearing. We’ve all done it before, and we all feel dumb when someone else points out our mistake.
  • Do you know the Urgency of the Issue?Determine ahead of time whether or not this issue is only really impacting you and whether or not it is costing the company money by not having this functionality. This is important because it can help to set your expectation on where the priority of the request will be set. If this is not an urgent request, then be understanding and be patient with the IT Staff, and try to minimize the randomization.
  • Does this fit in the IT Staff’s Service Scope?If you’re in a corporate atmosphere, the IT teams will be called on for a large variety of different technological tasks. Make sure you understand their scope of services before requesting support for certain items. Many people will likely be willing to assist with pointing you in the right direction even if they are not the correct team and if you asked nicely.
  • Are your expectations realistic?If someone is taking a long time to fix an issue, unless they are slacking, it’s likely that the issue is difficult to resolve or it’s on the outside of their skillset. If they are having some major issues, having someone getting angry at them will likely not help resolve the situation any quicker, and oftentimes, it will lead to a rushed effort where important details are overlooked. Friendliness goes a long way, and like any other service type job, people will go out of their way to help those that treat them well.

I hope you enjoyed this three part series. The ultimate goal is to make IT a little easier for all those involved, and hopefully this should alleviate some of the frustrations that can often times arise when dealing with IT in the workplace.

If you have any comments, please click the comment button above, and be sure to follow me on twitter @burked585.

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