Monday, March 21, 2011

Do What's Hard

Any IT professional who serves any type of end user could benefit from reading this post by DBA Survivor.

I'm not a DBA, just a lowly Business Analyst supporting corporate business systems. Support is a reactive role. We're only needed when there's a problem. And one thing I've learned is that responding to a problem is often as important as solving a problem. It's important to let the user know I'm trying, whether the problem is in my area of expertise or it's something I know I'll have to hand off to someone else. A quick phone call, email, visit to the user's desk--any of these responses communicates to the user that someone hears them, and is trying to help. People like to be heard.

And if I fail to respond promptly, or if I fail to follow through, or if my solution doesn't work, the best medicine for everyone is to take responsibility. Owning up lets me get back to the problem at hand instead of wasting my energy dancing around some failure or oversight that's in the past and can't be undone anyway. Taking responsibility for failure is hard, people know it's hard, and people appreciate it when they see it.

So check out Responsive Versus Responsible. It's a quick read, and worth it.