Monday, January 08, 2007

Defining the SuperUser

In an attempt to get our end-users something resembling support during the upgrade process, the organization has given us a set of SuperUsers to work with.

These SuperUsers are going to perform the following roles:

- 1st level support - answering really basic questions.

- Liason between their clinic and the IT department.

- Test our upgrade.

One of our divisions have had people serving in this capacity since the last upgrade. The other divisions - despite our prodding - let the ball drop after the immediate upgrade period. As a result, we have a wide range of technical savvy among the identified Super Users on our list.

Some of them have barely even used the program we are going to support.

Even better - the organization has, thus far, provided little incentive for these SuperUsers to do the extra work. Those of us in the training group are still working on upper management to try to get something resembling an incentive for these folks.

In the meantime, we are going to spend the meetings between the time we get the upgrade in our test servers and the time we have developed something resembling a final configuration getting all of the SuperUsers on the same technical page.

Task for the first meeting: showing all of the SuperUsers how to enter an IT Helpdesk ticket.

Some have done this before, many have not. Help, to this point, has consisted of people calling whoever they can reach with vague requests requiring 15 minutes of conversation and VNC time before being able to solve their problem.

Because the IT department has so many people to support (2000) and so few people in the department (15), we have to have a consistent process. And lots of help from the departments.

We also hope to get more detailed information than "the doctor can't log in." This could mean anything. Which program? Is it a password problem, an application problem, or a computer problem? Somehow, we have to encourage the SuperUsers to start asking these questions. If only so everyone is served faster.

Gesine, Arlene and I are building pre-assessments for each class and post-assessments to see how things went. Hopefully, the SuperUsers will come in knowing more than I think they will......

I figure that if we can get the helpdesk call time down to 5 minutes per call, it will be a small victory.

1 comment:

Karyn Romeis said...

I am particularly familiar with the issue of lack of incentive for superusers. When you are fatuously told that the kudos is enough,you want to strangle somebody. One of the reasons I found for the dropped ball scenario is that the superusers were often drawn from the support staff and junior to many of the people they would be supporting. When the line manager is one of said people and suffers from insecurity issues... well that's not a very promising cocktail!

One measure I have tried in the past was to generate a superuser community. The first port of call for everyone else was the superuser. The superuser's first point of escalation was to the superuser community before going to the IT helpdesk.

One small suggestion (forgive me if I'm stepping out of line, here): when you do the demos in your superusers workshop, how about getting some of the proficient ones to do the demo to small groups within the class? This will help them not to be bored by a process they already know, while generating a nice ratio for each demo group.