[unisog] Rotating Staff through Helpdesk

David Fetrow fetrow at apl.washington.edu
Wed Mar 8 21:42:37 GMT 2006

  We do this (with 3 fulltime staff and a helpdesk running
  from 8am through 5pm we don't really have a choice) but I
  do try to shield whomever is working on time-critical projects
  from spending as much time there.

  Note that people develop a trust relationship
  not so much with the group as with individuals IN the
  group so people get asked for by name which can overload
  the especially visible, competent and friendly.

  Nevertheless, there is a lot to be gained. It isn't that unusual to
  find out that project X, which we were working hard on, is
  being used less and less and the people really want product
  Y instead (or vice versa: Ever make a change to something
  "better" and wish you were wearing asbestos underwear?). This is
  more of an issue for people who haven't been on the front lines for
  years than someone newly moved out of tech support. Getting out of
  touch takes time. Another advantage is getting feedback one on one
  on how your coworkers are perceived by the people you support.

  User advisory committee meetings and such are VERY useful but
  people will bring stuff up as you de-virus their computer that
  just won't show up in committee.

  An extreme example of "out of touch": data centers optimizing batch
  processing to 99.99% effeciency as their customers wanted interactive

  --David Fetrow				    fetrow at apl.washington.edu
    DCS Manager, Applied Physics Laboratory  (206)-616-0869

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