When you unify the user experience, there's going to be fallout. Homogenising the hardware and software environments means change, and sometimes users react badly to change. I have been ordered to roll out Office 2010 this summer, and I know I have several users who are going to hate it. Helping them through the transition is a …
but gald you have staff / time.
"This isn't a big company thing, and it's free. If you don't do it, the only reason is your own laziness"
I finally (after 5 years) wrote a guide on using one of our cores systems. A quick wiki (and the resources to set up the server come from where?) is all well and good, provided they can print it, or it's in a real simple format (most wikis are shit. FACT). So this "simple" thing I did, took 3 solid days, then another day for a co worker to proof read, then another person to format it to a set standard (f**king ISO bollocks) and another to publish it.
A few minutes my arse, thank god for the rescession, I'm finally getting documentation done.
Now to do the other 20 or so docs.
Ah, would that this were possible for all of us
As a goal, it's a great one.
As a feasible goal, weeeeeeeeeeell, that's a different story.
As part of a tiny and under-resourced team in a *very* balkanised and haphazard environment, surrounded by users with varying levels of skill, varying levels of erroneously-positive conviction of their own skill, and varying levels of tolerance/acceptance of the knowledge & skills of the IS professionals in the building, I don't often have time for hand-holding. I don't have time for most of the stuff that I should be doing as part of my job - and I do include user training and soft-skill-related items on that list.
Unfortunately, it's my experience that the sort of company that under-resources its IS operations is also the sort of company that has a top-level view of IT as a sort of magic wand, and of the IT people as serfs whose job is to do what they're told and not have an opinion. That kind of view trickles down rapidly, and when combined with under-resourcing, leads to exactly the sort of "us vs them" mentality that you point out is harmful. But it does take 2 sides for that scenario to persist....
Not a geek/Management
"There is a category of power mad ubernerd whose introduction to new software is “this is what you get. You will like it because the company says you will”. I hate this approach."
That's not a true geek/actual sysadmin, that's "management" material.
Anyone with half a head doing the actual front lines work knows that it's a dumb attitude to have, because there WILL inevitably be some fallout.
I hate the fact that when MS released 2007, it made the default document format XLSX instead of the more standard XLS....wtf?!! Now people can't open things and they are only doing this to try to force people to upgrade to the newer version, paying LOTS of dosh!
Bottom line, management decisions made without consultation are the problems, as if nobody doing the REAL work actually didn't already know that!
"Now people can't open things and they are only doing this to try to force people to upgrade to the newer version, paying LOTS of dosh!"
all you need to be able to read the new formats on office 2003 is a download from microsoft. The fact that so many companies don't have this installed staggers me
that being said, _BECAUSE_ so many companies are inept, then yes, when sending stuff to other people I make use it's in the old format. but it's still an epic fail on their part
We're still using Office 2003 here
Works fine, does everything we need it to do. Aside form MS eventually deciding not to support it any longer, why would we ever stop using it?
Yeah, 2003 still works. So does Windows 2000 - using that too?
Security, stability, intergration with other products (3rd party plug-ins), SharePoint and other server-side improvements, x64 edition for finance with their appitite for HUGE Excel spreadsheets, vast improvements to PowerPoint animations (finally on-par with Apple's Front Row) that Marketing love - and of course the fact that in another 5 years all new starters under the age of 25 will only be used to the new ribon interface.
And if you took out software assurance (about another 15% ontop of the licence cost) then you get new versions for free. (As well as free training vouchers, telephone support from MS and a shit load of other extras).
You sound like the "one guy"
As in, there's "one guy" in IT who knows what he's doing. That's been my experience, and I've been getting work done for 25+ years in various small- to mid-size companies. Most of the IT drones I've dealt with have been paper MCSEs or even out-and-out Mordacs (see Dilbert); neither of those types are going to give two tin toots about what the users want or need. [Obviously, there are also plenty of BOFHs in these departments who know their stuff but are usually kept well away from the "public" so they can keep critical services (e.g. PeopleSoft) running.]
«If you think your IT department will dismiss your problems, it's probably a symptom of inept past - or current - user experience management. And if you expect that computers are always slow and unreliable it is a reflection of the industry's pervasive lack of user experience management.»
I don't expect my problems to be dismissed by IT, simply because I've learned that depending on IT when you need stuff done is a mug's game. I don't take my problems to them, I just get stuff done and share the results with the rest of the department. I don't expect computers to be slow and unreliable because I've gotten used to making them do what I want them to do (and I don't depend on whatever version of Windows that IT is forcing on everyone else). Being able to do the work of three people gives me that luxury. :-)
I wonder, though, why your office is "standardizing" on Office 2010 if you're not using docx — hey, if you're using the old formats, one version is good as the other, right? In broader terms, I think homogeneity is far overrated. It's all well and good when everything is running right, but one problem can have the entire office dead in the water.
Anon for obvious reasons.
Trevor - you have heard of wink?
The screen cap software?
"User experience management" indeed
"And if you expect that computers are always slow and unreliable it is a reflection of the industry's pervasive lack of user experience management."
If by that you mean that most software is clunky and unreliable, then yes. This is often not fixable by "managing the user experience" though, whatever that is. I bet you use the word "perception" at your users alot, too.
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