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ITSM consulting experiences - part 1 - Dual monitors

Sep 13 2015

I do a lot of on-site ITSM consulting - it's my business.

I'm a big believer in the idea that any business that invests in purchasing an ITSM product (or any business-critical system) should also invest in training, consulting and other professional services for  that system.

It makes sense, right?  If you’ve invested in a product that is designed to assist with the improvement of business operations, why wouldn’t you also invest in the services surrounding that product?

The reality however is quite often different.  It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “I’m sure we’re not using the product to its potential”, or similar.  This sentiment isn’t just related to big enterprise systems either – you can sense this feeling when people speak of all sorts of software and systems that they use in their business.  All too often though, nothing is done about this.  Poorly configured, or mis-understood systems continue to be used, and the business continues operating in the way it always has, never really getting out of 2nd gear.

What a pleasure it is to work with a business who realizes their need to improve their systems, educate their staff, and then acts upon it by investing in professional services.

This past week I spent some time with such an organization.  We achieved a lot.

Apart from the willingness to learn, to re-configure and to train, the following things made my life so much easier.

  1. I was allocated a dedicated desk, computer (with dual monitors)
  2. All of the required access permission to do my job 
    1. This included domain access (a dedicated login)
    2. SQL Server database
    3. Active Directory
    4. Remote services account and full network
  3. Proper access to the physical site and its amenities.
These things sound basic, but the amount of times that I’ve been on-site and have not had these things is frustratingly all too often.

There is nothing worse than having to share a person’s regular computer and desk for the week, constantly reaching across the desk for the keyboard, or mouse, or awkwardly half-trying to operate software with both people attempting it.  

It’s frustrating and a huge time-waster.

Businesses, please, if you’re going to get a consultant in, give them the physical space and resources to do their job.

The other thing that makes such a difference in productivity, is access.  Domain access, network access, database access, the ability to remote into other machines (dual monitors!).  Not having sufficient access just slows everything down and interrupts people who have better things to do than having to stop what they were doing, in order to track down and grant appropriate permissions.

To that end, I always ensure that I send through a check-list of all of the permissions that will be required beforehand.

What a difference in productivity and non-frustration for all this brings.

Oh, and a big whiteboard, with markers and magnets doesn’t go astray either!

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