Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Brandon Lane CIO - Episode 6

Richard Gets a Wake Up Call

Brandon Lane, the once and future CIO, surveyed his new office.

During his dramatic makeover of it on Sunday he had been faced with two choices. One was to use it to impose his authority and the other was to use it to signal a different way of working. He'd gone with the second choice, though now he was beginning to wonder. It was dawning on him that IT people don't do subtle.

The other thing that was worrying him was his experience of home life. He knew that however much Ysabelle rearranged the rooms there was always one optimal place to sit, and she would claim it before anyone else realised where it was. Looking around his office he tried to guess which was the best seat in the house. Was it best to face the door, or to be hidden from anyone entering the room so you could judge their reactions? What was the optimal distance to be from the coffee machine? Where were the power sockets? Which was the most comfortable chair?

Conversely, he wondered, where was the best place to put someone if you wanted to make them feel uncomfortable.

He didn't have long to wait to answer that question before Richard, the Service Desk manager came in.

"You wanted to see me?" Richard ejaculated as he sat down in the chair Brandon had just identified as the most comfortable.

"Nice of you to drop by. Do take a seat. How are things on the desk"

"I think they are OK, as a manager I try not to get involved in the day to day issues. Of course it would help if we had a new service management tool. Jacques was going to let me develop our own. I've put a paper together, I'll send it to you"

"Richard, remind me, what is the tool you are currently using?"

"It's XXXXXX. Rubbish. It doesn't let me do any of the analysis I want to do."

"I'm sure. Now just remind me of the last IT customer satisfaction survey actually don't bother I read it this morning . Ah, here it is, let me quote 'They never get back to you when they say they will', 'Rude', 'treated me like an idiot', 'Explained how a system I'd designed worked in words of one syllable, and got it entirely wrong'. I could go on, but tell me, does your paper outline how a new tool would solve these issues?"

"Well that is users for you. Never happy. They don't realise how difficult our job is."

"What worries me Richard is this. Do you realise how difficult their jobs are?"

"A new tool would let us..."

"Richard. Richard. Richard. You pick up the phone. You find out what is upsetting the person on the phone, and when they put the phone down you leave them with the feeling that they don't need to worry. How is a new tool going to help you achieve that? How difficult can it be anyway? By the way how are the issues with  the changes to the MFD IP addresses coming along?"

"Is there an issue? No one has told me yet."

"Richard, you are the Help Desk Manager. It is your job to know, and to make sure that other people know what is going on as well. Get out there and sort it."

"But what about your team meeting, it starts in ten minutes."

"Yes it does, but I think it would be a better use of your time to get back to the desk and sort things out."

There was an awkward pause.

" Now Richard. Now would be a good time to go and sort it out"

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