There is a great quote I like. It has meaning in most things and goes like this, , ,
I didn’t know who David Allen was when I first came across this quote years ago, so I looked him up. I still don’t really know him but he appears to have done some things in personal organization and productivity areas, something I’m always interested in. He has written several books including his best seller titled, Getting Things Done. It is worth reading.
I’ve used a similar quote in my IT organizations for as long as I can remember, so this “hit home” when I first saw it. Let me give you a couple of examples.
First, IT organizations usually have more demand for support work than they can deliver. This is a normal occurrence and something that is probably not going to go away, , , sorry about that, but it’s not.
What I explain to my staff and to my business clients is that, “We have to manage the business of IT support.” Having more need than capability and capacity to deliver is normal and occurs in almost every IT support organization in the world.
We will never get everything done as quickly as our client wants it completed.
Given the manpower and money, we can do virtually anything, , , yes, anything if we have the resources and money.
But, , , and this is a BIG BUT, , , our companies can’t afford to write IT a “blank check”. Companies don’t have endless amounts of capital to spend on IT. So, what this says is that we have to prioritize and manage the business of IT support, , , not just assume we can do anything and everything.
My company is a small company, , , essentially it is “me”. My biggest challenge is deciding “what I will do” and “what I won’t do”. My natural desire is to do everything, , , that’s right, to tackle every opportunity that comes along.
The problem is that when you are a small company like mine, time is your single limiting factor. Capital can be as well, , , of course, , , but the biggest bottleneck for a small company is available time to do all that you want to do.
So what this says is that you need to be selective in what you decide to work on. In a small company, you aren’t afforded too many mistakes, , , even little mistakes can have major consequences. This is especially true if you target an “opportunity” and spend lots of time and it turns into a “bust”.
Using up valuable time for something that does not provide a good return on your investment will put you out of business, so you have to weigh the risks associated with every new project. What looks like an opportunity can be misleading at times, , , the same is true in your IT support function.
It is imperative that you manage your client’s expectations and help them realize that, “even if you could do everything, , , the company can’t afford it and the users probably couldn’t absorb that much change so quickly”, , , so even though certain requests are not delivered as quickly as the client would like, there are legitimate reasons why this occurs.
In fact, this little quote applies to most things in life if you think about it, , , you may have to manage your own expectations a little.