Learn your tools

It is unfortunate that most organizations see IT as a cost with very little benefit. Even though IT is the internal lubricant of business. This applies triple to Support teams. In my many decades in Support, most teams are under staffed, over worked, and suffering from deep deep deep knowledge debt.

If your Support team is like most, then you don’t have weekly time set a side for learning your tools and/or learning in features/issues of the products you are supporting. So, you will need to take the time yourself … on the clock of course.

Why?

Lets say you have to search a ticket/patch system and right now, it takes you an average of five searches to find (or verify that its a new issue) and each search (with reading through the results) takes five minutes. You just burned 25mins … it might not seem like a long time not when that happens multiple times a day … day in and day out.

How?

Make a list of the tools that you use every day. Make a few notes of your most common actions. Take an hour a week to research how to improve those actions. Could mean learning up on your search system’s SQL. Could mean learning how your tool dashboard(s) work and how to craft the proper query to pull the data you want out and displaying in a way that you understand.

But But But …

I just don’t have the time … make the time.

If I work more efficiently, Management will just give me more work … this is Support, there is always more work. This is to control your own sanity and create more time for yourself, to improve and learn.

If I work more efficiently, Management won’t hire more staff like we need to! … This is the double edge sword of the situation. You need to improve your skills, for your sanity. If Management is not giving you the support (staff or training wise) that you need, then you need to improve your skills so you can go some where that does.

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