or LinkedIn here uk.linkedin.com/pub/tony-smith-bsc-hons-acih/a/979/351/
Have you ever worked on a technical support desk? You will have certainly had to deal with or log calls on one at some stage, I am sure. They can be very irritating to work with and it's got to be said, dealing with it from the other side of the fence, as irritating too.
I have worked on a couple of helpdesks at two different software organisations, so I have been around the block on this one. You experience people meddling with data, doing unauthorised raw updates, breaking stuff and also find some of the most obvious bugs, that you would have expected any half decent QA or system testing would have revealed.
On the former, often users are not aware of their contract which pretty comprehensively will forbade them doing those raw updates. That's not suppliers being peevish, its protection for them and the client. If you scramble your data making it corrupt or unloadable in the application, your contract does not support it. Consequently, a charge will be certainly quoted to sort it out.
Equally, if your users do something slightly crazy, like run the annual/quarterly leaseholder debit twice, that's not technical support either and its unlikely that your software supplier will clean up all the transactions, from your accounts for free. Maybe for something like that, reach for last nights' system backup, restore and lose some up-time. It all depends on the severity of the mistake. Perhaps getting admin to manually reverse out (or mitigate the) changes, is the best way.
One example recently I heard about was a large RSL accidently raising 1,200 gas service works orders, when they were not required. The housing system had not error-ed, it had done exactly as designed & instructed. It was far cheaper to have an admin resource chew through them all to cancel, than ask the system supplier to automate a one off fix to do the same task. it is often costly for the supplier to bespoke something like this, as one cancellation may impact eight or more tables and other related contextual updates.
All types of things can be done to make systems more foolproof, however in my experience, fools can be pretty damned ingenious!
If you have never worked on a technical support helpdesk, here's a useful snapshot, in the event your system supplier offers you a job on one. Something I am told that can happen a lot in the social housing system sector.
Related Post: What sort of waste do you generate & tolorate inside your organisation?
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Gary Numan - We Have A Technical.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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