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How do you do....it? Thread, Make a case for more staff in Technical; Hi all For a few months now I've been telling manglement I need more staff but they're not convinced. After ...
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    tazz's Avatar
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    Make a case for more staff

    Hi all

    For a few months now I've been telling manglement I need more staff but they're not convinced.

    After being given about 6 jobs that were all a priority (1 included photocopiers and the other telephones) in addition to the scores of other jobs logged by staff, I kind of lost it

    I am on the verge of sending a list to manglement specifying every single system, os, app, protocol, # servers, # switches, # WAPs, #of clients, # staff, # pupils etc that me + 2 noob technicians are being expected to support.

    How should I make my case?

    I have a helpdesk on which my team have logged almost 100 things to do in 3 days.

    I've worked in IT for 11 years and schools for 7. I know what I need to be doing most of the time, but I don't have the time to do most of the things I should be doing!

    Thanks


    Tazz

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    I know what you mean, this is the first time I've been able to logon this week! It doesn't help that I'm the only person in the school who knows how to show the kids how to use Explorer to manage their files, so I have had to take 18 lessons this week, which is more than the NQTs have to do!

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    leco's Avatar
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    Even if you set out all of the tasks, with numbers, the chances of the implications on IT staff time being actually understood may be negligible.

    I had my performance manglement (love that word) meeting on Tuesday and the boss talked about time management. Unfortunately he has absolutely no idea what I do, so trying to explain how long tasks take was very difficult.

    I am the only IT tech in the school (Junior 260 pupils) but like you Tazz I get calls for everything and anything that is remotely technical - if there's a red light on it fetch IT

    All you can do is work your way through the list, in order, and stop when the time runs out. Perhaps if things are not done the message will eventually hit home. Best of luck.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    either get some compromising pictures / emails of the head or start looking for other jobs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    Even if you set out all of the tasks, with numbers, the chances of the implications on IT staff time being actually understood may be negligible.

    I had my performance manglement (love that word) meeting on Tuesday and the boss talked about time management. Unfortunately he has absolutely no idea what I do, so trying to explain how long tasks take was very difficult.

    I am the only IT tech in the school (Junior 260 pupils) but like you Tazz I get calls for everything and anything that is remotely technical - if there's a red light on it fetch IT

    All you can do is work your way through the list, in order, and stop when the time runs out. Perhaps if things are not done the message will eventually hit home. Best of luck.
    This doesn't quite answer your question, but it may provide some pointers for a way forward - Do you ever evaluate your department?

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    tazz (18th September 2008)

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    tazz's Avatar
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    Update...

    Ok, thought I'd made the case for more staff.

    We have x many more systems / laptops / users / software / WAPS / PCs etc etc but the same number of staff.

    No time for training / system improvements / holidays (er, whats that then?)

    Also made the case for wanting to implement FITS and needing an experienced network techie to free me up to "be a manager" (which is what my boss is always saying) and a non techie admin person to log calls, deal with third parties, place orders, reset passwords and stop the numpties getting through.

    Apparently I am "bleeting on" about it. We have a weekly meeting and each week I get asked are there any people issues and each week I say Yes I need more people. Once a week when asked is not bleeting in my book.

    I want to provide an excellant service and no matter how much my boss thinks things are good because (some) people can print and access emails from home I feel we are doing crap as we have no chance of resolving issues in a reasonalble amount of time, let alone meet any SLAs that we might want to introduce.

    Well I s'pose we could say our SLA is to look at the problem within 14 working days and resolve it sometimenext year.

    I did another 10 hours today. It's not fair!

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    I know exactly where ur coming from...

    We have 2 techies, and one of us has to 'manage' most of the assessment data organisation and systems relating to it inc registration. Why we actually dont buy decent software that could allow teachers/admin staff to do these sort of admin/printing jobs I don't know? and let us get on with doing proper techie stuff like managing WSUS, updates, installs and student internet logs (i.e. maintaining and improving the system we already have!)

    I have spoken regarding issues like this to a long time to my boss, but we always get *non technical* jobs that anyone who is midly IT literate and can use a mouse can do!

    I feel a sense of achievement today, since I finally got Coreldraw 12 running without crashing, freezing, and giving piles of errors so after 2 years, it finally works!

    M.

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    User3204's Avatar
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    I think I remember reading somewhere (is that vague enough) about the computer to tech ratio in schools should be about 150:1. Although, laptops mean you'll need more, as they have more issues.
    We're currently, in my school, down from 3 F/T and 2 P/T staff, to 2 F/T and 1 P/T staff.. at the start of the new year, this is NOT what we need, I've "lost" 1.5 people..

    When it was just me... I was told off for not doing things on time... so I asked for someone else to prioritise my job list ( which at the time was about 40 items ) and this made them realise.. that YES... I was overworked.

    Can other people see what is on your helpdesk ?
    And, more to the point can they see how long High-priority tasks are staying on this list ?
    Can you get a printout of how quickly issues are closed ?

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    Friez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User3204 View Post
    I think I remember reading somewhere (is that vague enough) about the computer to tech ratio in schools should be about 150:1.
    Becta recommend 150:1 if your school is pretty solid in terms of ICT And the staff pretty confident in using it, up to MORE than one tech per 50 machines if the school is full of numpties and failing ancient equipment...

    Becta Schools - Resources - Managing staff - How many ICT technicians do you need?

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    I thinks sometimes to get the point across you have to do the bare minimum of what your job entails until that they understand that you cannot be everywhere and do everything.
    When you said you have done 10 hours, are you meant to be doing 10 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by tazz View Post
    Ok, thought I'd made the case for more staff.

    We have x many more systems / laptops / users / software / WAPS / PCs etc etc but the same number of staff.

    No time for training / system improvements / holidays (er, whats that then?)

    Also made the case for wanting to implement FITS and needing an experienced network techie to free me up to "be a manager" (which is what my boss is always saying) and a non techie admin person to log calls, deal with third parties, place orders, reset passwords and stop the numpties getting through.

    Apparently I am "bleeting on" about it. We have a weekly meeting and each week I get asked are there any people issues and each week I say Yes I need more people. Once a week when asked is not bleeting in my book.

    I want to provide an excellant service and no matter how much my boss thinks things are good because (some) people can print and access emails from home I feel we are doing crap as we have no chance of resolving issues in a reasonalble amount of time, let alone meet any SLAs that we might want to introduce.

    Well I s'pose we could say our SLA is to look at the problem within 14 working days and resolve it sometimenext year.

    I did another 10 hours today. It's not fair!

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    witch's Avatar
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    Firstly I would make sure that you can give a timescale for your jobs list or else it means nothing to the un-IT literate - if they don't understand what a job is, then they have no idea how long it might take, so if you tell them this may make them understand how you just can't fit it all in.(keep a rough tally so that you can eventually give an estimate of how long a job might take).
    If you have the strength, stand up in SMT and rather than 'bleating on' as they so nicely put it, just state which jobs will NOT be done until whenever due to the amount of work needing to be done. Find something important and that might make a difference!
    Can you get info on how many techs comparable sized schools locally have got?
    Secondly I would STOP doing phones and photocopiers - or at the very least put them at the bottom of the list - I know quite a lot of us do do this sort of thing but you can't do the 'real' tech stuff in the time available so anything less than this gets bumped.
    Thirdly, and I'm sorry that I have to say this - do you think that if you were a man then someone might listen? I come across this all the time and try to get around it by getting one of the few SMT males on my side. Just this term I have changed from a female ICT co ordinator to a male one, and he is already starting to get people to listen about IT in a way that the old one never could.
    I'm sure you have seen my recent thread on a similar issue -it is really hard not to be able to do your job properly, I know.
    IF you are doing extra time, then STOP immediately - if you do it, they'll take it and things will never change. Work to rule, all of you, and then if things get really bad perhaps something will be done
    good luck

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    browolf's Avatar
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    our science technician department has more staff than we do and they're just 1 department!

    as I see it it's a lot easier to quantify not enough support staff in science. if there isnt enough whole lessons cant proceed as existing staff are delivering lesson resources to classrooms and they can't be in 2 places at once. Seems quite black and white.

    most of the time with IT a few kids in a room whose computers dont work. the lesson continues and the teacher works round it and it isnt a big disaster. some teachers may feel it is but really it isnt.

    I reckon the only way to make IT quantifiable is to turn it into black and white and stick to it like glue. and public too. laminated sheets of rules posted up everywhere, timetable of times of available support, times of server maintenance, lunch etc. list of prority levels.
    Last edited by browolf; 24th September 2008 at 03:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    IF you are doing extra time, then STOP immediately - if you do it, they'll take it and things will never change. Work to rule, all of you, and then if things get really bad perhaps something will be done
    good luck
    Quoted for the absoloute truth of it. Once you start working unpaid overtime your on the slippery slope to becoming a rug for people to wipe their feet on.

    For my school - it was when I had to let all the little jobs go (as witch suggests) for so long that the constant pressure on SMT from the teachers finally drove them to agree to appoint a full time technician. Things have been much better since as the little things are attended too as well as the big things.
    Last edited by Butuz; 24th September 2008 at 01:39 PM.

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    I agree just work through the problems, do not work lunch breaks, do not come in early and go home on time, all of you. Explain to everyone that their problem is number XXX and you will be able to fix it in XXX days. See how long it is before something gives. After all you should be able to pick up some noobie for little more than minimum wage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    Explain to everyone that their problem is number XXX and you will be able to fix it in XXX days.
    I like this - brilliant! It will really show the problem when a teacher is told that their issue is number 78 and it will be fixed, possibly, 2 weeks next Tuesday!

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