IT's a Hard Job

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  • Project turbulence – find your blue skies

    Posted on October 20th, 2017 admin No comments

    Every pilot gets to fly in completely blue skies. All they have to do is ascend high enough.

    Look at a pilot’s pre-flight checklist. It leaves VERY little to chance.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Avoid the F word

    Posted on September 29th, 2017 admin No comments
    It shows as fixed.

    You believe it to be fixed.

    Don’t say it’s fixed. Customers want you to, you want to. Don’t do it.

    It’s not fixed IF:
    1. the issue comes back
    2. they believe it’s not fixed
    3. it looked fixed but actually wasn’t

     

    Make claims that you know to be 100% accurate. Some examples:

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Five reasons to look at EVERY check

    Posted on July 24th, 2017 admin No comments

    If you run a small business, you should view every check your company receives. Every single one. Here are 5 great reasons: Read the rest of this entry »

  • What’s a safe corner to cut?

    Posted on June 5th, 2017 admin No comments

    What aspect of your service changes when you get busy? If you don’t have a clear agreement on your team about which corners get “cut”, you may create a very inconsistent and difficult customer (and employee) experience.

    Imagine an emergency room that’s really slow, only one patient there for the morning.

    What will their experience be like? It will probably be different than if the place is packed with emergency guests.

    The doctors may have time to chat more. To explain what’s happening, or why they are waiting on a particular result from the lab. They may be able to offer you water or something from the pantry if you’re hungry. That’s unlikely to happen if they’re overwhelmed with patients.

    What else might be different? The wait certainly will be different, they can see you right away. The time they take to prep and clean up the room might be better, because more staff will be available to help.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Is a creative solution a good one?

    Posted on April 20th, 2017 admin No comments

    “Creative” – the word is universally considered a virtue or compliment.

    “You were so creative.”   “What a creative concept!” “Use your creativity and come up with something.”

    Many products and services have tried to displace Craigslist and Evite over the years. Few have succeeded and certainly not for a lack of creativity. Apple is creative, but you pay extra for that luxury. Creativity is lauded and encouraged, but there are some hidden downsides to it.

    How does creativity work in an IT role or solution?

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Don’t thank someone for their time

    Posted on February 19th, 2017 admin No comments

    On occasion you may have an opportunity to meet with people in positions of “power”. Perhaps in an interview, or you may meet a business leader, or celebrity or politician. One of the first things people do is to remind that person of their respect and deference to their stature. These are the most common ones:

    “Thank you so much for meeting with me.”
    “I know you’re busy.”
    “I really appreciate your time.”
    “I won’t keep you any longer.”
    “It’s so kind of you to squeeze me into your schedule.”

     

    You’ve either heard or said these many times before. They sound polite and appreciative. On the surface, there’s little wrong with such pleasantries.

    This is a mistake. Read the rest of this entry »

  • They’re annoyed. You’re annoyed. Why?

    Posted on January 23rd, 2017 admin No comments

    They’re not upset because you’re not trying, they’re upset because they don’t realize how much you are trying.

    There’s something fundamentally wrong when you’re trying to help someone, that person needs and will benefit from your help, and both you and they are frustrated.

    The ideal arrangement is this:

    1) they appreciate you being available to help,
    2) you appreciate the opportunity to help,
    3) you both are pleased with the outcome.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Worry, be happy.

    Posted on November 21st, 2016 admin No comments

    worryYou can achieve a best case scenario if you spend most of your time obsessing over the worst case scenarios. “Don’t worry be happy” may be a catchy song, but it may be the worst approach for an IT professional.

    Attorneys get paid (very handsomely) to worry. That’s why they are ridiculed so much, because they seem to be “downers” or “sticklers” – that’s their job. They worry so that other people can manage risk.

    IT pros don’t worry enough. That’s why there are devastating privacy scandals that plague major brands. More vigilant companies put risk higher on their priority list. If you want a best-case scenario for your client, data network or your employees, spend some time on “worst case scenario”.

    There are many:

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • The BEST email application

    Posted on November 16th, 2016 admin No comments
    The best email application for you is web mail. Yes. Web mail. It’s not the same webmail that you used a few years ago.
    Why?

     

    It’s really fast. Many, many computers behind th scenes are making it run super quickly, as opposed to your single computer when you use a mail desktop application.

    You can use keyboard shortcuts. If you feel that webmail is “slower” for power users, you’re probably wrong.

    It doesn’t bog down as easily.

    It saves your drafts as you go, so you’ll actually lose less data as opposed to your computer crashing while you’re writing a long message.

    It won’t slow your computer as much. This is extremely important!

    You can lose your device and not lose any of your archived mail.

    You can search ALL your mail without it needing indexing your hard drive.

    There are fewer culprits with delivery delays.

    It’s a consistent experience across a variety different computers.

    It’s not subject to theft or loss – you just use it from whatever computer you need.

    Are there downsides? Sure. But the upsides outweigh them.

    You can still get to your files. You can selectively sync folders in many cases.

    Many IT pros use webmail. They know the trade-offs. Outlook is great, but it’s a VERY heavy and cumbersome application.

    If you don’t think webmail is “good” for you, ask a professional first. Don’t assume you know. You may find that webmail is way, way more usable than you previously believed.

     

     

  • Everything is urgent. That’s ok.

    Posted on September 27th, 2016 admin No comments

    ce524c60-1fbe-4a62-ba21-8c27aaf7679eIf you’re in the service business, you know the “U” word very well.

    It’s urgent I get my car from the valet NOW.

    It’s urgent my brother get this medicine, doctor.

    It’s urgent you change my oil so I can get to the concert.

    It’s urgent that my son get his breadsticks as he’s crashing from no blood sugar.

    It’s urgent you get my email working in the next 5 minutes.
    Before you flinch, sigh, dread or otherwise adversely react to someone requesting something that’s URGENT (caps really do help, right?), here are a few tips on how to keep it in perspective. Read the rest of this entry »