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Thoughts on many things Posts

Understanding our metrics

Last week, I defined the three KPIs I believe are what you need to understand how well your support department is operating. Defining them, however, is just part of the job; if you don’t understand what they are telling you, you might as well not bother measuring at all. Let’s look at each in turn:

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Three dimensions of business

I hold that any successful business venture must operate on three levels; the operational, the tactical, and the strategic. These dimensions must also be kept in mind when making plans. There is nothing revolutionary in the underlying ideas, but I think it is worthwhile to define the terms, to bring about a (more or less) unified understanding of them.

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Hiring for attitude

I have previously written about my frustration with always requiring experience when hiring. Now, I’m not saying that requiring experience doesn’t have its place – it certainly does. What I am saying is that listing it as a requirement should be justified by the needs for what the successful candidate will be expected to deliver, and that employers need to think long and hard about what they must have from their new employee, and what they can take the time to teach.

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How to search effectively on Twitter

In the past year or so, I have been using Twitter a fair amount, and I have found that, despite all of the systemic issues of bullying and harassment, there are also plenty of communities from which to learn, exchange ideas, and commiserate. From time to time, I need to find a specific tweet, and have taken to using a few searches, filters, and operators to find what I need:

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Podcast subscriptions revisited

Since it’s been a few years since I wrote about my podcasting diet, and since easter is coming up at the end of the week, I thought I’d take a new look at what podcasts I subscribe to. I still use Downcast for podcasts; it’s been working well for me, and I see no need to replace it with something else. The podcasts I listen to has changed a fair bit over the years; some have been removed, and others have been added. Here’s the list as it currently stands:

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Permissions assigned to Domain Users do not propagate to members

When you work product support on a specific product, you need to have a solid grasp of how to set up the product, as well as the best practices for making things work as you want and expect. This was certainly the case for me when I worked for FotoWare. One of these best practices was not to use the Domain Users group to set permissions.

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The experience paradox

I am sure that I am not alone in making an effort to keep abreast of what jobs are being posted within what can largely be termed my field, and am struck by the paradox represented by requiring relevant experience for most jobs, even entry-level positions. For example, I have seen my share of highly educated people cycle through a support department on their way to the jobs they’ve educated themselves towards – usually software development – in an effort to gain “relevant experience”.

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Thoughts on SPOC and responsibility

An important principle of ITIL is that all requests should go through a single point of contact (abbreviated to SPOC). What this means, is that a single channel should be defined for the reception, classification, and distribution of a request or incident. Crucially, it does not mean that all contact with the customer should be done by tier one.

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Farewell Bear, hello … OneNote?

In December of 2016, I discovered Bear Writer. At the time, I had been using a number of different solutions for note-taking and organisation, none of which had really done the trick for me. That all changed with Bear. Arriving to critical acclaim, Bear is certainly a very pretty app, and its iCloud sync feature has served me well enough. There has just been one issue; it is only available on Apple devices.

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