I am, for the fourth year running, writing a retrospective article for the summer. These are meant to be the summer counterpart to my end-of-year roundup series, which means that some information will be duplicated across the two series of posts.
As you may or may not know, I graduated from the Open University with a B.Sc. last year, and attended a frankly pretty amazing graduation ceremony in March. In a conversation just after that, someone asked me “So, who is the typical OU student?” When I simply answered “Yes”, they were a bit confused, and asked me to expand on that.
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:
Metrics – often referred to as “Key Performance Indicators” or simply “KPIs” – are a necessity, regardless of your field. If nothing else, it’s nigh impossible to say anything meaningful about performance without them, and improving the performance is turned from something quite achievable. to a Sisyphean task.
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.
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.
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:
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”.
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.
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.