Leveraging Good User Mojo
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Leveraging Good User Mojo

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Computers are easy. People are hard. In this slide deck, I talk about some best practices I've discovered, borrowed, or stolen to help manage the trickiest aspect of our infrastructures - the users. ...

Computers are easy. People are hard. In this slide deck, I talk about some best practices I've discovered, borrowed, or stolen to help manage the trickiest aspect of our infrastructures - the users.

Lean the shocking facts about how users are people, too, and that there may be more of them than you thought. Learn how to deal with them to make themselves, and by extension, yourself, happier.

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Leveraging Good User Mojo Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Welcome to LOPSA-RI hosted by
  • 2. ! Good User Mojo to Simplify Your IT Day to Day Leveraging
  • 3. Customers are Everywhere
  • 4. Identifying Customers • Lines on an org chart • Service consumers • People who ask you for things
  • 5. Users == Customers All of the things I said about customers apply to users, too
  • 6. “Customer Service” Isn’t just a job title • Having customers isn’t an insult • Treating them well isn’t demeaning • Establishing positive relationships with them will pay off for years • You can be the difference between a great experience and misery
  • 7. The Basics
  • 8. Use a Ticketing System • Email aliases are easiest • internalsupport@company.com • Encourage users & get management buy-in • Even if your users won’t use it, you should
  • 9. Have a Self-Service Portal • Make it helpful & informative • Automate IT processes if possible • Use off-the-shell software if you can • Pre-link to it on users’ desktop shortcuts
  • 10. Keep Communicating • Maintain a status page • Make it automatic if possible • Make service window updates part of your process • Send Update and Completion Emails • Request Feedback
  • 11. Be Active • Doctors make rounds. Why shouldn’t you? • Take an interest in what your users are doing with your machines • Anticipate their needs • It doesn’t hurt to be sociable. Much, anyway.
  • 12. Computers are Easy People are Hard
  • 13. Establish Relationships • Get to know your users • At the very least, get to know what they do • Encourage them to let you know when things are broken • Reward them when they do.
  • 14. Build Two-Way Trust • Don’t dictate policy from on high. • Explain reasoning, even if you don’t think they’ll understand it. • When someone exhibits responsibility, give them more. • Work to earn your users’ trust by being honest. • Even if it makes you look bad. • If you let them down, make sure they know you know
  • 15. Allocate Resources Without Breaking Yourself
  • 16. The Canary • Contrast with: the squeaky wheel • The importance of people who work by rote
  • 17. Ignorance and Stupidity
  • 18. Ignorance • Is NOT stupidity • IS a temporary state of being • Should not be punished or mocked • You were (and are) ignorant, too. So am I.
  • 19. Stupidity • Should be criminalized • Until that happens: • Route around it • Avoid it • Don’t get it on you
  • 20. Egos They’re GREAT! Have one today!
  • 21. Egos • They’re great! Have one! • Sorry, I meant Eggos. • Eggos are great. Have one of those instead.
  • 22. Egos • WILL get you into trouble • Impede progress • Lead to the Dark Side
  • 23. But…can’t I take pride in my work? • Absolutely • People are irrational meatbags • Disassociate your sense of worth from your work
  • 24. Dealing with complaints • Don’t read the comments • Differentiate between constructive and deconstructive criticism • They are criticizing your work, not you • Unless they are
  • 25. Treat Problems Once • Learn from Aviation and Medicine • Documentation Shall Set You Free • Automate, Automate, Automate
  • 26. Engineer for (Human) Failure • People (and the machines they make) are imperfect • People (and the machines they make) fail • Assuming things have worked right is wrong • Failure is inevitable, so don’t treat it as exceptional
  • 27. Documentation • Common Questions: • Who am I documenting for? • One set of docs, or two? • How to maintain up-to-date documentation • More importantly: Just do it.
  • 28. Never do today… • Users love automation • Admins love automation • You don’t have to be an amazing programmer …what you could have a machine do tomorrow
  • 29. Programmers -vs- SysAdmins • Effective System Administrators aren’t necessarily programmers; they are people who can program. • Advantages to automation: • Time savings, reproducibility, & repeatability • Hate yourself less
  • 30. Avoid unnecessary technical debt • Technical debt pays compound interest • The longer it sits, the more there is (obviously?), but the increase is exponential, rather than linear
  • 31. Technical Debt Suggestions • The easiest work is the work you don’t do • Know when to cut a project loose • Identify the priority of your boss and users • See if that can mesh with your priorities • If not, convince your boss that you’re right • Establish a timeline for your users • Stick to it
  • 32. Use Technical Debt as a Tool -Borrow against it- • Don’t leave your users without a solution • Establish a timeline • Build in parallel • Test with one, some, many • Provide rollback for user data, but roll-forward with the migration • Shoot the engineer and ship • The borrowed debt is your new highest priority
  • 33. Time Management