Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Heart IT Folks

I love working with IT folks.

Big reason: I can bounce ideas off of most of them. My favorites love problem solving. And if my idea is too danged crazy, they are upfront about it - giving me careful explanations as to WHY I am crazy and what other options may be available.

Over the past couple of weeks, one of the IT guys and I have been sharing ideas on an application we know only the basics about. The work is for a project that will either a) explode quickly and create a great deal of work in a very short period of time or b) get cancelled. We are all planning for the former and, if nothing else, what we learn from the preparation can carry over into the replacement project.

We have a pretty good process going.

The IT guy sends me a solution to a problem an end-user is having.

I attempt to translate the instructions into "end-user-eze" - often finding more variables for the success / failure of the solution.

We work back and forth until we find a manageable workflow.

I document it into a quick reference.

A little more back and forth to make sure it all makes sense.

Quick reference goes to the help desk folks and the end users.

This process is proving to be surprisingly productive.

One day, we have a grand idea for a wiki to house all of this information and allow the trainers to crib information for public consumption. This will probably happen once the project becomes formal.

I work with awesome people.


Carrie said...

I'm a big fan of self-help guides and tutorials.
Add this to your project: when a request comes in, don't just send a link to the existing help sheet - review the sheet, check to see if changes have been made to any part of it.
Nothing worse than finding a self-help guide only to find out that it was written two years ago, for a different version of the software (or whatever).
This is why wikis are good, and you have that on the table, so go for the wiki.

: )

Wendy said...

Wiki is on the table. Big issue we run into is implementation - finding server space, figuring out whether we can get it into an existing wiki or have to install a new one, permissions. All of the stuff corporate environments insist on.... We'll get there.

You are absolutely right about having outdated guides. I know that on any project I am involved in - review of pre-existing material is step #2, after learning about the upgrade. I'm shocked that more organizations don't do this important step.