Presentation on theme: "ATS 4 - 1 The Art of Tech Support John Abbott College How to Work in a Tech Support Team M. E. Kabay, PhD, CISSP Director of Education, NCSA President,"— Presentation transcript:
ATS How to Work in a Technical Support Team l Know your user community l Keep up your technical knowledge l Follow the redundancy rule l Assign responsibilities clearly l Beware the unbridled ego l Use tech support software l Learn to escalate problems
ATS The User Community Who are your users? l Organizationally – in Data Processing / Information Systems department? – same company? – same corporation?
ATS The User Community Who are your users? l Functionally – clerks? – managers? – executives? – DP/IS professionals?
ATS The User Community Why do your users choose your service? l Captive users? l Discretionary? l Locus of control – noisy work environment study – geranium-care study
ATS Locus of Control Locus of Control Group 1
ATS Locus of Control Locus of Control Group 2 STOP
ATS Locus of Control
ATS The User Community Identify what to optimize l Response time? l Program development? l Maintenance? l Costs? l Human relations? l Client services? l Problem avoidance? l Learning new techniques for better work?
ATS Technical Training l Vendors l Other external training l In-house training l Training on the Net l Training never stops
ATS Technical Training Vendors l Everyone should have basic introduction to features of the operating system l Operators benefit from OP course l SM must have course to talk to vendor l Crash Recovery course for larger shops l Product-specific training is valuable
ATS Technical Training Other External Training l Product seminars from vendors l Trade-shows l Regional platform-specific user groups l Software-specific user groups & Special Interest Groups (SIGs) l National/international meetings l Industry trade associations l Community college courses l Universities l Commercial training
ATS Technical Training In-House Training l Local standards for Job Control Language, etc. l Special user-defined command catalogs for operations l Computer Assisted Instruction / Computer Based Training (CAI/CBT) packages l Developing CAI l Seminars for/by staff l Distribution of readings l Freely-available logon IDs
ATS Technical Training Training on the Net l Courses by – some are free – receive a few short readings a week – e.g., Cyberspace Law for Non-Lawyers l Courses on WWW pages – range from simple text + pictures... –... to sophisticated multimedia shows – may include tests and exercises
ATS Technical Training Training Never Stops l Integrate face-to-face training every day – Part of internal communications needed for good working environment l Training encourages personnel to share knowledge – Set aside fixed periods for peer-to-peer cross- training l Properly done, training enhances self- confidence – Discourage punitive responses to errors or questions – Admit ignorance cheerfully and naturally and find answers
ATS The Redundancy Rule No Information Shall Be Known To Only One Member Of The Team
ATS The Redundancy Rule l Prevents indispensibility – handle sick days, holidays, overload – respond to peak demands without blowup – should increase use of documentation – basis for career planning l Provides different perspectives on problems l Builds team spirit l Enhances self-respect
ATS Define Responsibilities Clearly Check Understanding of Responsibilities l List all tasks and personnel l Primary and backup responsibilities l Sign forms Mainframe parms LAN software LAN hardware PC software PC hardware. Able Baker Charlie
ATS Define Responsibilities Clearly Collate results and evaluate collectively l Empty rows l No primary at all l No one admits to being primary l Multiple primaries/secondaries l Conflicting primaries/secondaries l Full columns vs empty columns
ATS Beware the Unbridled Ego Nobody is the centre of the universe l Dont assume everyone else knows your thoughts – write instructions down (giving and receiving) – repeat what you think are your assignments – avoid pronouns (it, he, she, they) in tech talk l Take criticisms as helpful – everyone makes mistakes – everyone can improve – dont assume youre under attack l Total quality depends on team commitment
ATS Use Tech Support Software l Easy data entry for client identification l Notes on problems l Scheduling future calls l Flag urgency l Call-tracking statistics – how many calls in period? – how long to first answer? – rank calls by urgency
ATS Escalation Procedures l Define time limits for unsolved calls; e.g., l Call for help as appropriate Normal Specialist Senior Labs Author
ATS Homework: Readings in Wilsons text l Reread pp in Chapter 5, Information Techniques and Tools and submit notes on the critical points in this section at start of Lecture 5 l Pretend that an employer has asked you to list the advantages of using technical support software; write out brief answers showing that you understand the issues of managing technical support. l Read Chapter 4, Handling Support Calls l Prepare and answer 10 questions covering the entire chapter -- remember to focus on what might be discussed in a job interview. l Answer review questions and submit printed questions and answers for credit. l Submit all your homework after the quiz at the start of Lecture 5.