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General Chat Thread, We need to "grow up", apparently? in General; Originally Posted by localzuk It isn't the IT dept's fault either. That's my point. So you're saying its not the ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    It isn't the IT dept's fault either. That's my point.
    So you're saying its not the IT dept's fault, IT don't make IT procurement decisions, there's budget constraints, security issues are involved, the equipment is too old and IT only 'provide what it is asked to provide'.

    If thats all true what exactly is your role as a Network Manager?

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    ITIL isn't a buzzword, it's a way of providing IT support efficiently. SLA isn't a buzzword, it is a way of ensuring people get the service they require. What's wrong with that? 'Synergise' would be a buzzword...
    You are of course correct, they aren't buzzwords (SLA is a TLA though!). I would argue that ITIL generally is failing to provide an efficient service. Maybe some blue sky, out of the box thinking is required across the piece.....

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Can you elaborate? You have ignored my comments about the fact that IT don't make these decisions, and the comment about budgets or security.
    Most problems are not 'demanding to access everything on his iphone', most issues are that a customer cannot complete some work because of an IT issue and all they want is some help.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    So you're saying its not the IT dept's fault, IT don't make IT procurement decisions, there's budget constraints, security issues are involved, the equipment is too old and IT only 'provide what it is asked to provide'.

    If thats all true what exactly is your role as a Network Manager?
    I'm sorry but we're discussing this from a business (ie. commerical) point of view, not education. Education is a very different beast, and IT support in a school is very different. However, even then, I don't decide to issue phones to staff, or whether websites are blocked to staff - these are decisions for the SMT to make, as they are there to decide what provides the best education to the pupils. Much like in a business, which will have board meetings to decide that they want to allow mobile access to their data etc... IT decide on the actual equipment, on the actual software etc... We don't decide on why, when or where.

    You are of course correct, they aren't buzzwords (SLA is a TLA though!). I would argue that ITIL generally is failing to provide an efficient service. Maybe some blue sky, out of the box thinking is required across the piece.....
    There are an awful lot of examples of ITIL having provided better services (do a google search) or even in education FITS - there are plenty of examples (speak to Grumbledook, he'll give you some i'm sure).

    Most problems are not 'demanding to access everything on his iphone', most issues are that a customer cannot complete some work because of an IT issue and all they want is some help.
    And there are procedures to follow to ensure the right person helps. I have dealt with plenty of organisations who don't follow ITIL practices, only to be passed from pillar to post over the phone because no-one knows who deals with an issue, who is in charge of our account etc... I'd much prefer getting through to a helpdesk, which checked to make sure I haven't done something stupid, and then writing everything down and escalating it to the right person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    I have to agree with the "The ‘helpdesk’ must start treating users like customers" byline.

    Our County IT helpdesk is very poor and just seems to be another level of separation between the guy who fixes the problem and the customer.

    There are three helpdesks between me and the network engineer I had in the office just before Christmas for example, if he had to pass the issue to BT it would of been four.

    The problem seems to be the 'corporate culture', managers seem more interested in building empires than helping customers. I've been in this business 20 years and have watched the growth of non-productive IT jobs, from form filling Helpdesk drones to 'IT Managers' playing buzzword bingo (SLA, in scope etc...).

    IT has a poor reputation for a reason, (almost as bad as HR in some cases!) rather than ranting at people who point this out we might be better off examining why.
    That answers the question for me. It's management that needs to grow up, and I don't think that's exclusively in the world of I.T either.

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    I've just done a FITS course and I'm in the process of applying it it to school.

    I've very much taken the F to stand for Framework, it's something to build around!

    It's essential though, as to be honest as the lone man here I need the support of SMT in forcing staff to use a single point of contact - without this I have no chance of organising my days.

    I see it as a communication tool from the bottom up. In schools the main reason why I don't think it works are staff expectations are too high and senior management don't understand it either, so I'm trying to educate them about it, giving them advantages rather than saying 'this is going to create an awful lot of paperwork for me'.

    It will create paperwork, but nothing extra to what I should be doing. Having a ICT steering group with SMT involvement means that IT is no longer dictating what the school wants, and SMT can make informed decisions over the costs and benefits of capital expenditure

    In all honesty having worked for several schools now I feel that there expectations of what they can afford are way too high, you end up buying the cheapest kit which fails after 2 years. The idea of replacing it never seems to get into the equation either! Sometimes there is the expectation of being 'cutting edge' - unless your a new build BSF project it won't happen - most of the budget will be in operating costs to keep your existing stuff going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'm sorry but we're discussing this from a business (ie. commerical) point of view, not education. Education is a very different beast, and IT support in a school is very different. However, even then, I don't decide to issue phones to staff, or whether websites are blocked to staff - these are decisions for the SMT to make, as they are there to decide what provides the best education to the pupils. Much like in a business, which will have board meetings to decide that they want to allow mobile access to their data etc... IT decide on the actual equipment, on the actual software etc... We don't decide on why, when or where.
    I've recently left the private sector (Large oil company) and can think of no real difference, they have servers, PC's, laptops, networks, Switches, projectors etc, just like my school. Not sure what the situation is at your school but I was an intrinsic part of the decision making process in my previous employ and I still am at my school, I wouldn't do the job otherwise. Shouldn't a head of department be on the SMT?

    Actually there is a difference, in the private sector I had to justify expenditure, in my school I get a budget without even asking!

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    There are an awful lot of examples of ITIL having provided better services (do a google search) or even in education FITS - there are plenty of examples (speak to Grumbledook, he'll give you some i'm sure).
    ITIL is very data orientated, by carefully employing SLA's and Scopes of work the statistics look great, one trick is to make a time to fix for a ticket 8 hours, make sure you don't mention thats 8 WORKING hours though, another is to deliberately exclude time-sensitive jobs from the scope so they're not measured.

    Another trick our helpdesk used to do was 'accidentally' close a ticket within the SLA even though it was not resolved (oops, sorry, just open another one) or close it because of 'no response from user' when the problem was with the users email. The whole ethos of the helpdesk was ticket management, not problem/customer management, our county helpdesk is exactly the same. I had a call from the helpdesk asking if they could close a ticket this morning (The website outage due to snow issue) even though I'd had no feedback on it all week.

    The old saying 'Lies, Damn lies and Statistics applies. When you actually speak to the customer, such as this journo, they usually think the service is worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    And there are procedures to follow to ensure the right person helps. I have dealt with plenty of organisations who don't follow ITIL practices, only to be passed from pillar to post over the phone because no-one knows who deals with an issue, who is in charge of our account etc... I'd much prefer getting through to a helpdesk, which checked to make sure I haven't done something stupid, and then writing everything down and escalating it to the right person.
    Adherence to the ITIL bible doesn't make up for bad management or lazy/incompetent IT staff, neither does blaming the customer for our own failures of leadership.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    I have to agree with the "The ‘helpdesk’ must start treating users like customers" byline.
    Have to say I too agree with this...

    IT support is there to support a customer, be that student/teacher/school.

    But... it doesn't mean growing up, our director has us implementing [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNDP9jLuzXU&feature=related"]YouTube- FISH! Culture (trailer)[/ame] Customer service.

    p.s It's not all management speak, I go to a place where they use it and they put a smile on my face for about 2 days.
    Last edited by mossj; 18th January 2010 at 08:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    I've recently left the private sector (Large oil company) and can think of no real difference, they have servers, PC's, laptops, networks, Switches, projectors etc, just like my school. Not sure what the situation is at your school but I was an intrinsic part of the decision making process in my previous employ and I still am at my school, I wouldn't do the job otherwise. Shouldn't a head of department be on the SMT?

    Actually there is a difference, in the private sector I had to justify expenditure, in my school I get a budget without even asking!
    You are very lucky. Most network managers are not in the SMT. Most have to justify every item of expenditure. (Dig around on the forum, there are plenty of discussions about both of those topics). However, yes, my advice is taken on issues. For example, the head will say 'we want to implement an online payment system for parents', and i'll research possibilities and advise. I don't decide that the school wants that payment system. I'm guessing this is how it works in business too? ie. a dept head/director will come and say they want X and you'll go away and research possibilities and advise on how to implement the service they want.

    ITIL is very data orientated, by carefully employing SLA's and Scopes of work the statistics look great, one trick is to make a time to fix for a ticket 8 hours, make sure you don't mention thats 8 WORKING hours though, another is to deliberately exclude time-sensitive jobs from the scope so they're not measured.
    That is down to poor management somewhere. SLAs aren't a stick to beat a IT provider over the head with. They are a tool to ensure that both sides know what expectations are. Of course the SLA will sometimes be broken - you can't plan for all occasions. Do you think a business would work better without SLAs then? With an IT dept that has no times to work to, and so customers have no expectations? I don't.

    Another trick our helpdesk used to do was 'accidentally' close a ticket within the SLA even though it was not resolved (oops, sorry, just open another one) or close it because of 'no response from user' when the problem was with the users email. The whole ethos of the helpdesk was ticket management, not problem/customer management, our county helpdesk is exactly the same. I had a call from the helpdesk asking if they could close a ticket this morning (The website outage due to snow issue) even though I'd had no feedback on it all week.
    This is usually down to poor management of the helpdesk - obsession with closing tickets to fit statistics. You can't blame ITIL for this, only the management of the helpdesk (this is an IT failing, yes).

    The old saying 'Lies, Damn lies and Statistics applies. When you actually speak to the customer, such as this journo, they usually think the service is worse.
    Yes, because customers don't see the work that goes on to keep everything running. They only get to see the problems, and therefore complain about it.

    Adherence to the ITIL bible doesn't make up for bad management or lazy/incompetent IT staff, neither does blaming the customer for our own failures of leadership.
    No, it doesn't, I agree - but if it is followed properly, and mixed with good management then it can and will make life easier for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post

    Adherence to the ITIL bible doesn't make up for bad management or lazy/incompetent IT staff, neither does blaming the customer for our own failures of leadership.
    Take out the IT staff and this can be applied to anywhere. I think what you are saying is right except that you are targeting IT staff for poor management of a helpdesk when this can be seen on all types of helpdesk. It's not an IT problem it's a helpdesk/managment problem.

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    Angry Any Helpdesk Drones out there....?

    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    Take out the IT staff and this can be applied to anywhere. I think what you are saying is right except that you are targeting IT staff for poor management of a helpdesk when this can be seen on all types of helpdesk. It's not an IT problem it's a helpdesk/managment problem.
    Just another little rant,

    Yet another IT helpdesk ticket of mine has been closed. (apparently on my say so - that would be a lie then)

    So, to the Helpdesk drones out there - closing the ticket doesn't fix the problem, as the bloke in the article said - grow up, the 'la la la I'm not listening' approach to IT support is getting rather tedious.

    Must go, got another ticket to raise, wish me luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IT_Guy View Post
    Just another little rant,

    Yet another IT helpdesk ticket of mine has been closed. (apparently on my say so - that would be a lie then)

    So, to the Helpdesk drones out there - closing the ticket doesn't fix the problem, as the bloke in the article said - grow up, the 'la la la I'm not listening' approach to IT support is getting rather tedious.

    Must go, got another ticket to raise, wish me luck.
    Have you actually complained to the organisation about this practice? When things go awry with our suppliers, I don't just carry on and hope they fix the issue. I persist at it, bugging them until they get their act together. For example, our LEA and SouthWestOne provide us with some services, and when their service is not up to snuff, my manager (Bursar) gets on to the head of the IT services and gets them to find out what has gone wrong.

    This usually fixes most procedural issues.

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