The Human Element of IT

What are some of the common scenarios where IT and the human element intersect? What do you do in these situations?

Scenario:

Bill was fired! Who is going to do X? He was the only one who knew how.

Solutions:

Require the person leaving the company to train their replacements in those few skills or procedures no one else is experienced. Document the process as the training takes place so that the information is available should others need it.

In the future, document all job tasks and processes so that they can be used by others in an online database. Try to have at least one backup for every job function or task, such as restarting servers or setting up users.

 

Scenario:

Jill has to go on medical leave. How do you handle her tasks for the interim?

Solutions:

Know how to delegate and/or reassign tasks in your task management system. And verify that delegates actually have the authority to perform those tasks, such as approve financial line items or promote drawings. Verify that they have accounts on all IT systems where these approvals or actions take place.

 

Scenario:

On-boarding of new talent takes forever, and we discover things they need access to weeks or even months later at the most inconvenient moment.

 

Solutions:

Create an online check list of everything new employees need, from accounts to access levels. For example, they need access to the HR system to input their time cards or access to the PDM system to search for drawings.

 

 

Scenario:

Boss announces the implementation will be delayed a month, and all vacation is cancelled until rollout. A key staffer says, “But I have non-refundable tickets.”

Solutions

Divide work where possible to avoid forcing someone to cancel a vacation. If that person is indispensable, delay the project two months. Avoid demanding that someone check email or respond to queries for two or three hours a day on vacation.

A final backup plan is enabling remote work for someone who was planning to be on PTO. However, making this demand dramatically increases the odds they will not be with the company for the next implementation.

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