Taming the Help Desk
Taming the Help Desk by Taming the Help Desk by Geoffrey Sperl
This article is about a geek turned manager who is self-running the IT help desk at Wayne State University in Detroit, USA.
Often IT help desk staff who excel are promoted to managerial positions with no true thought as to how they will cope with their new-found roles. He talks about “self-taming” where it means that you must whip yourself into shape before you can start doing the same to all your team members.
He makes a good point about the casual norms in an IT workplace, especially one which is run by a geek! If you are mainly working with your peers then casual dress is considered fine, but any other occasion and you need to dress appropriately along with everyone else.
Geeks need to humanize themselves and draw themselves back to the real world. People need things explained to them in plain english, and the thoughts you have need to actually be spoke aloud (providing they are polite!)
Write things down and have a plan! If that is all you do. Things never recorded will never be accomplished.
Consider the resources you will need to operate the IT help desk and include things such as training. Even though you are now the manager don’t forget to include training for yourself, particualrly managerial training.
Train and hire effective staff. As before, have a solid plan to follow and be a leader! Take an active role with your position and lead people, don’t just hide behind your paperwork.
Only have meetings if needed and always have a plan, record the meetings and have an agenda. Meetings can be the biggest waste of time.