Do Other Departments Know What You Do?

  • Ian Massi

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5931

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Do Other Departments Know What You Do?

  • Koen Verbeeck

    SSC Guru

    Points: 258965

    I currently work in a BICC (business intelligence compentence center) and there are still some people in the company who think BI is just for "reporting". All the other stuff, well, they will just try it themselves in Excel...

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at https://sqlkover.com.
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • Beatrix Kiddo

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 32407

    Well, we're a team of DBAs, so we just do

    select * from

    all day apparently ;-).

  • P Jones

    SSChampion

    Points: 12327

    We base our operation on the ITIL framework so the central IT helpdesk is the single point of contact - the front line for anything IT (or phones) related and they are professionals at user communication so even if it is something non-IT they will help and pass the caller to the correct place. The message to contact them is well published around the business which is split between a dozen sites scattered around Britain and it seems to work well.

    If people come to us directly or try a "drive-by" as we're passing their office, the standard line that we communicate to them as quickly as possible when they start talking is "Raise a helpdesk call first - we can't do anything without a call". This applies to internal work in the department (e.g. put the CUs on the test servers) as well as for the users.

    The calls system is a great way of managing the workload, showing management what we do and how long it is taking and also passing work around within the IT department as we too are spread across Britain.

    There are of course still those who develop their own spreadsheets or access databases on user drives for business use but the corporate strategy is increasingly to not accept data from non-standard reports and the senior business analysts are major players in upholding this. Getting the senior management of all areas aware of IT capabilities is important as they cascade the information down and ask why people are doing this work instead of using the IT team.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    P Jones (7/3/2014)


    We base our operation on the ITIL framework so the central IT helpdesk is the single point of contact - the front line for anything IT (or phones) related and they are professionals at user communication so even if it is something non-IT they will help and pass the caller to the correct place. The message to contact them is well published around the business which is split between a dozen sites scattered around Britain and it seems to work well.

    If people come to us directly or try a "drive-by" as we're passing their office, the standard line that we communicate to them as quickly as possible when they start talking is "Raise a helpdesk call first - we can't do anything without a call". This applies to internal work in the department (e.g. put the CUs on the test servers) as well as for the users.

    The calls system is a great way of managing the workload, showing management what we do and how long it is taking and also passing work around within the IT department as we too are spread across Britain.

    There are of course still those who develop their own spreadsheets or access databases on user drives for business use but the corporate strategy is increasingly to not accept data from non-standard reports and the senior business analysts are major players in upholding this. Getting the senior management of all areas aware of IT capabilities is important as they cascade the information down and ask why people are doing this work instead of using the IT team.

    I recently worked at a place where they use their PCs as phones as well (softphones?). My system wasn't setup so I raised an incident via an online system to ensure that the appropriate channels were used. The incident was changed, asking me to call the helpdesk. I updated the incident stating that there were no working phones near my desk so I was unable to do as they asked. They closed the incident and we are not allowed to contact the team directly.

    The helpdesk is on the same floor.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Koen Verbeeck

    SSC Guru

    Points: 258965

    Gary Varga (7/3/2014)


    P Jones (7/3/2014)


    We base our operation on the ITIL framework so the central IT helpdesk is the single point of contact - the front line for anything IT (or phones) related and they are professionals at user communication so even if it is something non-IT they will help and pass the caller to the correct place. The message to contact them is well published around the business which is split between a dozen sites scattered around Britain and it seems to work well.

    If people come to us directly or try a "drive-by" as we're passing their office, the standard line that we communicate to them as quickly as possible when they start talking is "Raise a helpdesk call first - we can't do anything without a call". This applies to internal work in the department (e.g. put the CUs on the test servers) as well as for the users.

    The calls system is a great way of managing the workload, showing management what we do and how long it is taking and also passing work around within the IT department as we too are spread across Britain.

    There are of course still those who develop their own spreadsheets or access databases on user drives for business use but the corporate strategy is increasingly to not accept data from non-standard reports and the senior business analysts are major players in upholding this. Getting the senior management of all areas aware of IT capabilities is important as they cascade the information down and ask why people are doing this work instead of using the IT team.

    I recently worked at a place where they use their PCs as phones as well (softphones?). My system wasn't setup so I raised an incident via an online system to ensure that the appropriate channels were used. The incident was changed, asking me to call the helpdesk. I updated the incident stating that there were no working phones near my desk so I was unable to do as they asked. They closed the incident and we are not allowed to contact the team directly.

    The helpdesk is on the same floor.

    Kafka is turning himself around in the grave.

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at https://sqlkover.com.
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • P Jones

    SSChampion

    Points: 12327

    Gary Varga (7/3/2014)


    P Jones (7/3/2014)


    We base our operation on the ITIL framework so the central IT helpdesk is the single point of contact - the front line for anything IT (or phones) related and they are professionals at user communication so even if it is something non-IT they will help and pass the caller to the correct place. The message to contact them is well published around the business which is split between a dozen sites scattered around Britain and it seems to work well.

    If people come to us directly or try a "drive-by" as we're passing their office, the standard line that we communicate to them as quickly as possible when they start talking is "Raise a helpdesk call first - we can't do anything without a call". This applies to internal work in the department (e.g. put the CUs on the test servers) as well as for the users.

    The calls system is a great way of managing the workload, showing management what we do and how long it is taking and also passing work around within the IT department as we too are spread across Britain.

    There are of course still those who develop their own spreadsheets or access databases on user drives for business use but the corporate strategy is increasingly to not accept data from non-standard reports and the senior business analysts are major players in upholding this. Getting the senior management of all areas aware of IT capabilities is important as they cascade the information down and ask why people are doing this work instead of using the IT team.

    I recently worked at a place where they use their PCs as phones as well (softphones?). My system wasn't setup so I raised an incident via an online system to ensure that the appropriate channels were used. The incident was changed, asking me to call the helpdesk. I updated the incident stating that there were no working phones near my desk so I was unable to do as they asked. They closed the incident and we are not allowed to contact the team directly.

    The helpdesk is on the same floor.

    Yup, we have some staff in a workshop without landlines (can't get lines in) who regularly walk across the site and upstairs to the desk to raise their call in person rather than use a mobile!

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    P Jones (7/3/2014)


    Gary Varga (7/3/2014)


    P Jones (7/3/2014)


    We base our operation on the ITIL framework so the central IT helpdesk is the single point of contact - the front line for anything IT (or phones) related and they are professionals at user communication so even if it is something non-IT they will help and pass the caller to the correct place. The message to contact them is well published around the business which is split between a dozen sites scattered around Britain and it seems to work well.

    If people come to us directly or try a "drive-by" as we're passing their office, the standard line that we communicate to them as quickly as possible when they start talking is "Raise a helpdesk call first - we can't do anything without a call". This applies to internal work in the department (e.g. put the CUs on the test servers) as well as for the users.

    The calls system is a great way of managing the workload, showing management what we do and how long it is taking and also passing work around within the IT department as we too are spread across Britain.

    There are of course still those who develop their own spreadsheets or access databases on user drives for business use but the corporate strategy is increasingly to not accept data from non-standard reports and the senior business analysts are major players in upholding this. Getting the senior management of all areas aware of IT capabilities is important as they cascade the information down and ask why people are doing this work instead of using the IT team.

    I recently worked at a place where they use their PCs as phones as well (softphones?). My system wasn't setup so I raised an incident via an online system to ensure that the appropriate channels were used. The incident was changed, asking me to call the helpdesk. I updated the incident stating that there were no working phones near my desk so I was unable to do as they asked. They closed the incident and we are not allowed to contact the team directly.

    The helpdesk is on the same floor.

    Yup, we have some staff in a workshop without landlines (can't get lines in) who regularly walk across the site and upstairs to the desk to raise their call in person rather than use a mobile!

    For the record, I have no problem with helpdesk demanding an email/online/phone call incident raising requirement as long as they understand that there are exceptions when that is impossible e.g. if the phone is connected via a PC and you cannot login. The only caveat is understanding and excepting when situations arise when it is not viable to enforce such a rule. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the person raising the incident to go through defined channels wherever possible.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Neil Burton

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 22228

    Koen Verbeeck (7/3/2014)


    I currently work in a BICC (business intelligence compentence center) and there are still some people in the company who think BI is just for "reporting". All the other stuff, well, they will just try it themselves in Excel...

    I'm the same. I was poached from the operations side into BI because I was constantly asking the BI team if they could get rid of Excel stuff that was taking a long time to do. When I started over here, 12 or so months ago, my eyes were opened to what could really be done and I became evangelical about BI. I'm still being asked to improve spreadsheets for people and my stock response is 'we can automate that'. I'm actually quite annoyed about all the time I've wasted over the last few years because people don't know what is possible. There's a report that used to be completed by hand up to ten times a night at about twenty minutes a time that now runs in seconds from entering a six digit number into Report World.


    On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
    —Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

    How to post a question to get the most help http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537

  • shoestringdba

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6206

    When I was doing help desk and field support, a majority of people fell into one of two categories:

    1. Those that felt embarrassed because they didn't know how to explain the problem

    2. Those that felt they needed to have a solution for you instead of simply asking for help or explaining what they were trying to accomplish.

    I've spent 4 years educating everyone where I work now to just let me know what they want to do instead of can we purchase x, y, or z. My job is to make sure they have the data and information systems they need to succeed. "Let me do my job and I'll do my best to make sure you can succeed at yours." They're getting it (slowly).

    Just to tilt the mirror a bit, it's also important to inform people of the limits of what is possible (otherwise known as "managing expectations").

    I'm always joking with people:

    "Sure, I can print any amount of data you want on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Whether or not you can read it when I'm done is an entirely different question."

    "That'll work, but it's like trying to drive a tractor-trailer uphill with a four-cylinder engine. You'll get there VERY SLOWLY."

    "I don't care if you break it. I'll fix it (or replace it). Getting your data back is a different issue."

    They usually crack up laughing but they get the point.

    ____________
    Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.

  • Ian Massi

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5931

    BWFC (7/3/2014)


    Koen Verbeeck (7/3/2014)


    I currently work in a BICC (business intelligence compentence center) and there are still some people in the company who think BI is just for "reporting". All the other stuff, well, they will just try it themselves in Excel...

    I'm the same. I was poached from the operations side into BI because I was constantly asking the BI team if they could get rid of Excel stuff that was taking a long time to do. When I started over here, 12 or so months ago, my eyes were opened to what could really be done and I became evangelical about BI. I'm still being asked to improve spreadsheets for people and my stock response is 'we can automate that'. I'm actually quite annoyed about all the time I've wasted over the last few years because people don't know what is possible. There's a report that used to be completed by hand up to ten times a night at about twenty minutes a time that now runs in seconds from entering a six digit number into Report World.

    This is exactly the kind of stuff that gave me the idea to write the editorial. Hammering together existing reports in Excel when something can easily be automated. Mind you, when you look to replace an existing Excel report, at least the users tend to have a very good understanding of the business logic required so that's a huge plus.

  • Ian Massi

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5931

    lshanahan (7/3/2014)


    When I was doing help desk and field support, a majority of people fell into one of two categories:

    1. Those that felt embarrassed because they didn't know how to explain the problem

    2. Those that felt they needed to have a solution for you instead of simply asking for help or explaining what they were trying to accomplish.

    I've spent 4 years educating everyone where I work now to just let me know what they want to do instead of can we purchase x, y, or z. My job is to make sure they have the data and information systems they need to succeed. "Let me do my job and I'll do my best to make sure you can succeed at yours." They're getting it (slowly).

    Just to tilt the mirror a bit, it's also important to inform people of the limits of what is possible (otherwise known as "managing expectations").

    I'm always joking with people:

    "Sure, I can print any amount of data you want on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Whether or not you can read it when I'm done is an entirely different question."

    "That'll work, but it's like trying to drive a tractor-trailer uphill with a four-cylinder engine. You'll get there VERY SLOWLY."

    "I don't care if you break it. I'll fix it (or replace it). Getting your data back is a different issue."

    They usually crack up laughing but they get the point.

    Excellent example. I'm sure it was quite a bit of work to change the mindsets of your coworkers. I know where I am, there's some turnover and people changing roles so it's a job that's never quite done. But, it allows us to add value and at the end of the day, that's why we're here.

  • shoestringdba

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6206

    Ian Massi (7/3/2014)


    This is exactly the kind of stuff that gave me the idea to write the editorial. Hammering together existing reports in Excel when something can easily be automated. Mind you, when you look to replace an existing Excel report, at least the users tend to have a very good understanding of the business logic required so that's a huge plus.

    Or leveraging existing technology to centralize data and reporting.

    When I arrived where I work now, I was surprised (to say the least) that essential labor data was being captured in 40-odd separate Excel spreadsheets - one per employee - when we had two instances of SQL Server 2005 on the servers.

    No one had ever had the time to scale it up. Now we have a centralized client-server solution (created by yours truly) that has revolutionized our ability to capture and leverage labor data.

    ____________
    Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.

  • Craigmeister

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1075

    I thought this article was going to be about making sure the other teams that you work with, upstream and downstream, and your manager's manager ('s manager?) are aware of what you do and how you contribute so they can go to bat for you when its time to cull the herd.

  • Ian Massi

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5931

    Craigmeister (7/3/2014)


    I thought this article was going to be about making sure the other teams that you work with, upstream and downstream, and your manager's manager ('s manager?) are aware of what you do and how you contribute so they can go to bat for you when its time to cull the herd.

    Building relationships and helping people at work understand how you can help them succeed in their objectives will have an additional benefit of making sure that they go to bat for you if there's a downsizing. I hadn't considered that when I wrote this. Thank you for pointing it out. After all, if they lose you, then who would be able to help them? Mind you if the team is bigger and requests are handled from a central location and there isn't as much opportunity for one on one then a bit of self-marketing or "hustle" would be required.

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