Glass house is a term referring to centralized computing in a company. It originally came from glass windows that since the start of 1950s, companies began to build into their large central computer rooms to allow visitors to peer into their impressive rows of mainframes, storage device cabinets, and other hardware.

But the term glass house has another implication: a highly centralized, isolated, and autonomous IT department that excludes end users from active participation and that performs strange technical feats no one dares to understand or ask about.

If you want great relationships with your end users, you may want to consider eliminating these items from your daily IT practice.

1. Don’t lose your control

 

Today more than ever, IT is transforming itself into a service culture. This means treating users as if they were customers. It also means that the customer (user) is always right — even when he or she isn’t. This can be a difficult reality to accept, given the fact that some users are genuinely hard to deal with. The mark of a truly polished IT professional is the ability to remain calm, collected, and composed in the most trying circumstances, keeping the focus on the project and not on personalities.

2. Don’t fail to set limits and expectations on projects

Unless firm project deliverables and deadlines are agreed to by everyone, projects are susceptible to getting expanded with user enhancements while the project is in progress. This can jeopardize the quality and timeliness of projects. If projects fail because of quality or timeliness issues, it’s always the IT that gets the blame. No one remembers the many user enhancements that were added along the way.

Do not let this enhancement creep occur without pointing out the impact on project completion dates and deliverables. Instead, insist on negotiating new deadlines with the end users. An alternate approach is to suggest completion of the original project, with a follow-up phase that brings in the newly requested enhancements.

3. Don’t be arrogant or condescending

 

End users often have ideas of their own when it comes to applications and technology — and you’re going to hear them. When this happens, it is important to avoid coming across as arrogant or condescending. Welcome and take time to listen to the suggestions in the interest of open communications. Sometimes, these suggestions can actually become breakthroughs. In other cases, their suggestions won’t work. In that event, just explain alternative approaches clearly to your users using simple English terms to help them easily see the benefits.

4. Don’t use excessive technical jargon

Highly technical jargons does little to build healthy relationships with end users. In fact, users often get frustrated when they try to communicate with IT. What’s worse is that they may start thinking that you’re trying to impress them with what you know instead of helping them to address a business problem.

5. Don’t be inaccessible

Whenever users need IT support, IT should be reachable at all times. It is not acceptable to delay communications for hours or even days in today’s service culture.

6. Don’t go around users

If end users prove to be inaccessible or remiss in meeting their own project commitments, discuss it directly or with their managers — and demand accountability. You don’t want to work around uncooperative users. The risk is that you get frustrated and unilaterally build them a system that they ultimately don’t want.

 

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 6:21:00 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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