This week we are looking at the problems of managing the desktop infrastructure and especially the question of its cost. Tightly coupled with the whole topic of managing PC users is the effect that desktop support has on the whole perception of IT service delivery. We all know that if we ask a user what they think of IT there …
Yes they do.
You need a easy way for ideas to flow up the organisation, get users used to asking for advice on more than desktop support. If desktop support is too awkward, people tend to resort to self fix / colleague fix. Which is hard for the IT leadership to monitor improve process.
Why no mention of user satisfaction in the metrics? We added this to our support system a couple of years back and it's incredibly helpful to see when users are (dis)satisfied with how their issues are dealt with and you get better participation than with a periodic survey. Investigating individual calls with negative feedback has enabled us to tighten up a number of procedures and it's meant a focus away from volume and 'time to resolve' both of which generally have little relevance to user satisfaction - which is the aim in providing a support service, isn't it? (those on SLA's excepted).
@yes they do
> people tend to resort to self fix / colleague fix ...
One thing that teachers have to contend with is the realisation that a proportion of children in any one class will be more intelligent than they are. That's just a statistical fact. They also have to come to terms with a lot of kids will know more about subjects that a particular teachers _isn't_ teaching them, than they do. F'r instance, it's a fair bet that a class full of 14 year-olds will know more about science than their art teacher does (at least, the ones taking science will).
So it is with desktop support. An IT dept. should at least be aware of the possibility that some of their users do actually know as much about PCs and _their_ PC in particular as the IT dept. does. Whether that's from a previous job, self-improvement, learning from their kids, or just a 5 minute surf on the 'net doesn't matter. Just assuming that IT is always right and (l)users are always wrong is arrogant and incorrect. Maybe there's scope for the IT dept to learn some things from their users, too.
I've just conducted my own mini-poll.
I just called a dozen or so friends and family who are running one iteration or another of the cut-down version of Slackware 12.2 that I originally built for my Mom (all I could get hold of in the thirty minutes I allowed myself for this exercise).
Universally, they didn't realize that they were calling me for support at least an order of magnitude less than they had been when running WinXP.
So to answer the question, it would seem that end-users don't even THINK about support, unless the thing is broken, and then they want it fixed ASAP.
Side note, comment from my Dad: "So that's why we never see you anymore ... Maybe we should put XP back on your Mother's machine" ... Must remember to make time to visit the parental units more often ...