Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When the Admin becomes the User

Many of us are in management of IT or admins of some system. It's a great thing, to be lord over your manor so to speak. Just be benevolent. But what are you like when you become one of the users and not the manager?

While sub contracting some work I find myself with these amusing ideas:

  • Why am I unable to even edit my phone details in my NAB/Directory? 
  • Why MUST (policy set) I use single sign-on to my Windows Domain? What if I never set foot in the home office of the Client? (I got around this of course) If I want to type an extra password, is that so bad?
  • Support tickets on the bright side go to some one else and now I get to request all the silly things like where do you change your password in the app or how does one find the correct VPN client for my OS?
  • What do you mean some preferences are blocked? these are USER side preferences, why can't I use them?
  • Luckily no quotas are set, those drive me crazy that in 2011 someone still uses them to control the people instead of training them better to handle attachments or archiving. 
  • And I am unable to replace my design of the mail template. Will play with that one more to see if it restores back when Design runs at night.
There is no IMAP or POP3 access, only Traveler. Thank you but given I support numerous customers, our own Traveler is priority. Yes, I set a mail rule to autosend me any emails to my Traveler account. More than one way to skin a SMTP missive.
Policies are good, really good, but finding a good balance between security/configuration uniformity and user difficulties should be struck else your help desk gets more work needlessly. These are just the obvious ones I ran into while setting up my client.

It was pointed out to me that 95% the user base never questions it, it is always the techies. Well is everyone else sheep?

So once again, I learn something new every day and as they say, take a walk in someone else's shoes before you complain about them. So when was the last time you logged in as a user? Disney sends their execs out to work the parks a few times a year because that is what you need to remember, your job is based on letting them get their job done.


  1. "It was pointed out to me that 95% the user base never questions it, it is always the techies. Well is everyone else sheep?" After being a Domino admin in manufacturing and transportation industries, I can answer that one: Everyone else is too busy doing their job to even consider that there might be a feature in their mail program that they do not know about. Training helps, if you can get mgmt to agree to it, and if the students are paying attention and not overwhelmed/intimidated. Being available and on the floor IS the answer. The Disney example is a good one. Not just that you should be walk the floor, but if you can sit alongside some users - maybe one in each department - and see the things THEY are doing every day/week. Then show them features that can help them specifically.

  2. Maria,
    Thanks for that example. While I don't always have the luxury of spending time with all users, I do try to spend time with the AA's of the execs because they are the gate keepers and the ones execs hear/see the most. making their lives easier pays many dividends because they in turn teach the execs.
    If only companies could afford an IT person per group or floor, but that just is not how it works these days.