I've been essentially handed a brand-new small helpdesk, which I'm supposed to manage. How do you delegate/fairly share out the constant interruptions in your workplace, or what tools do you use to help manage things, when *snowflake criteria* you don't have admin rights to install apps?
posted by Elysum to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Skip to end for my questions, marked *.
At the job interview - I think I misunderstood when they talked about a technical/team lead, and thought they wanted someone to solve the trickier technical issues, document fixes, and train my coworkers, with a separate manager, but actually, no, I'm the manager. It's all me.
I'm managing 3 fresh graduates (their first job even!), and getting 2-3 more people over the next couple of weeks. Currently it's a mess. No training. Every job is supposed to be picked up within 2 hours, and 80% completed within 2 days (no pausing, or ability to assign to external vendors). There are kind of 4 inboxes (2 email inboxes, 2 webpages) to check for these jobs.
Normally a support ticket/issue logging tool would be the answer, but that's currently the problem. It's awful, really hard to see what any job is, what progress has been made on it, and institutionally - because of the unrealistic deadlines, a lot of jobs get 'closed' but are still being worked on, or never even get into the ticket tool, because it'll run too long and bring upper management down on us. There is zero change I can change that in the short term.
I am not the sort of person who is great at being constantly interrupted, juggling too many tasks, or riding people about getting their jobs finished and closed.
So, long term, this type of management probably isn't for me. However, I might be just the person for the job at the moment, because I am pretty good at working out how to resolve a problem, or creating a new, clear process to resolve problems, even when everything is chaotic and no one knows what we should be doing.
Once I've got processes and systems in place, if I'm really not suited to the micro-managing thing, I'll leave in favor of someone more suited, but knowing I left things better than I found them.
I think of it as:
My teams job -> Everything we know how to do. My job -> Finding out how to do everything we don't.
We're only a few weeks in. My team started a week before me (it sounds like much happened in that week though), and they, our coworkers and managers actually seem impressed with what I've managed to get sorted so far. (But managers need [quite unrealistically] even more, even quicker, of course).
I threw a TiddlyWiki into an internal folder to use for basic documentation (people were emailing each other collections of notes and emails to get some kind of handle on things), and set up an email-templates folder in the shared mailbox, and people have latched onto those things with the relief of drowning people to a liferaft. I'm not kidding.
I need to know:
* How do you delegate work fairly? Best ways get those 4 inboxes checked at *least* hourly, while not leaving someone being constantly interrupted?
Use physical alarms/calendar? Roster one person to do it each day? Two people on alternate hours? One person to each different inbox?
* Tools I can use without admin install rights?
E.g. I'm already using the Tiddlywiki, and Firefox Portable for some of the websites we need to access.
I kind of want a ticket logging tool. My own one, so I can actually keep track of which emails I've sent have disappeared into the void, and not been responded to (an issue with a few vendors/people I need to contact), and which jobs are not-actually-closed, etc?
If only I could use Google Docs - I'm having to assign certain spreadsheets to be edited by one person only, so that nothing gets accidentally overwritten.
* Is there anyway to get Outlook to give me a notification that I've received an email in the Important Inbox, other than displaying a message that disappears in 10 seconds (staying on screen would be fine!), or playing a sound which goes to a headset?
* Is there some kind of webscraper or inbox checker that would actually just pop up a window for me if there has been an update to any of those 'inboxes', which I could actually view when I've finished concentrating on whatever task I'm on?
I've ordered a copy of Time Management for System Administrators, because it's no longer at the library. I'm counting the damn days til it arrives. I will take book recommendations, websites, what works at your office, or anecdotes about ways I definitely *shouldn't* delegate. Anything else that might help?
If you're thinking it is a little nightmarish, it kinda is, but the team is awesome, it'll look great on my CV, and to a limited extent, I am the person with the authority to fix things. I want to fix it!
(Seriously, wtf? I didn't realise I'd be a MANAGER)