[unisog] Rotating Staff through Helpdesk
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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