Thursday, May 2, 2013

One of my team members just put me in my place

We've all done it.  We've asked for support or reported a bug to development without enough details to help them and expect them to fix it. In some cases, we even get mad if they ask us clarifying questions.

I sent one such request to the programmer working on a project and he sent me the following picture with the caption "It's kind of like giving me this picture of your car and asking me to fix it."



What a great analogy and I quickly realized my mistake!

Diagnosing problems is a huge part the time spent by IT people.  The more information you provide them, the more likely they can fix the right problem and in less time.  This is true whether you are calling a help desk or reporting a programming bug.

The same is true in sales.  I'm sure you love when your client calls up and says "I need some promotional items for an upcoming trade show."  They might as well have sent you the picture of the parking lot.  You need to know their budget, the audience, time frame, etc.  Imagine all the time you could waste getting ideas together only to learn they had a very specific item in mind that they could have told you about.

So next time do yourself and a geek a favor, do not send them a picture of a parking lot with cars and tell them to fix yours.  Send them a picture of your car and exactly what you were doing, the results you expected, and the results you got.  Screen shots are a great way to do that (and snagit from Techsmith is the best screen shot tool around) along with online support systems like (Geiger helpdesk uses LogMeIn to support our remote users).

So kudos to Mike McFadden for setting me straight and not letting me get away with a picture of the parking lot.  He is a great and valued member of the Geiger IT team who wants to solve problems, not waste time and he has no problem pointing out my faults.