Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Choices Made

While spending my 2nd week on site at a client interesting parallels have emerged between my last two hotels and how IT works.

Let me explain.

I have to abide by certain guidelines of the clients to book my travel. Not a problem, they don't want one to be in a dump but they do want their value. In both cases the hotels offer a free continental breakfast. Mostly equal which is fine. One thing which is interesting is the juice and coffee available. In both cases, coffee is available 24x7. However, juice is not.

As a person who does not drink coffee, this is odd to me. Yes, there is probably more expense in providing juice 24x7 but if it is already free, in place and not moving, why limit it? One can take apples, bananas or oranges, while they last, at any time of the day or night. But juice? No.

Parallel this to IT. They provide access to all kinds of products and services, but if you need a keyboard, monitor, some cable or a mouse, you have to sometimes go through a lot to get one. Why? shouldn't there be a stack on hand? A dozen or so just to make life easier on everyone? Our clients like that we have these available for them. It's a small price to pay but rewards IT with a better feeling from the employees and makes life easier.

Then there are the IT shops that lock everything down so much that the users can't even change their passwords by themselves. How does this help anyone? Make life easier not harder.

The hotels do not have a restaurant, they are suites, but one has a pantry with some items to purchase, the other does not. So what is one to do? Go out and fend for themselves? One would imagine the incremental money made with having some pantry on site makes some ROI, but also is one more thing to like about the hotel chain. The lack of one, is one more thing not to like about the other.

One chain upgraded their cable and TV and now you can only see a handful of channels of HD, everything else it is snowing on TV. When I asked if someone could fix it while i was at work, I was informed this is how it is since they upgraded the wiring. I kid you not. The other has a full selection of channels and perfect pictures on their TV. Which one got it right? The reverse of the previous paragraph! That's right, the one that has no pantry has better TV. If I cared to watch TV that much it might make a difference to me. But again this is an item that may sway someone to stay again at your chain.

Now look at IT. Did they get some project done properly and yet other issues plague you perpetually? Great they let you use your iPad now, but when will they resolve the printer that keeps going offline regularly for no reason and causes you to go down the other end of the floor to get a print out only to find there was no paper or ink and have to go back and forth to resend it?

The choices we make as owners, managers or leaders influence how everything else in our company walks or runs and in the long run whether or not the business or your job survives.