I’ve always taken the view that the IT helpdesk doesn’t exist purely to solve people’s problems but also to help them help themselves.
In this case, I have my team show the staff members in question how to share their calendar with others and how to control the level of access. This means they can adjust it in future at their own volition.
Yet, for some in the enterprise it’s not important to know how to do these things when you can simply phone the help desk and have them do it.
Let’s return to the data projector. When the conference room was set up with modern equipment the technician had organised and delivered some simple but effective training in how to use the room and its facilities.
This was well received by those who attended. The problem is, not all attended. There were a select group of people who expressly said they did not need to attend, if they wanted to use the room they would have the receptionist set up for them.
Of course, on this particular occasion the receptionist had called in sick. These people wished to hold a meeting but lacked the ability to plug a laptop in to the projector and to turn it on.
(Actually, I find it hard to believe people are genuinely unable to plug in a laptop and turn on a projector. I’m more inclined to think it’s a confidence issue rather than a matter of ability.)
They could have thought about it and figured it out. They could have asked someone else in the building. They could have, retrospectively, considered it may have benefited them to sit in when the equipment was being demonstrated and explained.
The action they chose was to phone a technician and insist he abandon whatever it was he had in progress, that he drive over and that he connect this equipment for them. The meeting could not begin until this happened, with the participants sitting in the conference room and being unproductive for that entire time.
This can be a polarising issue. Chances are you’re a technical person so you may find yourself agreeing with the sentiment that the “suits” in the company, so to speak, ought to be able to handle such basic matters by themselves.
However, chances are equally good that a member of the management team or the sales team would read this and shake their head. They want to get on with the act of selling. They don’t want to deal with climbing under desks and plugging cables in. Just as we can call a store and ask for a pizza to be cooked and delivered so too they believe they should be able to just call IT and have someone come and fix their concern.
This argument has gone on, and will go on. It’s not new.
Nevertheless, something has changed. There’s an overriding factor now.