Bad day at the office? You’re fired.

Microsoft’s UK national technology officer Jerry Fishenden has recently gone on record as saying that IT project managers who churn out rubbish should be ousted in line with other industries which strike off constant poor performers.

I tried to resist a dig about people living in glass houses, but we can’t avoid the fact that however painful Fishenden’s words are, there is some true to them. We’ve known for a long time that IT can’t continue to exist in techie-isolationist bliss, and this is an example of the function being held up for daily scrutiny just like every other poor soul within the organsiation.

This inevitably changing dynamic is yet further exacerbated by the actions of IT in the past. I think we would all agree that there is certainly a pervading arrogance and aloofness to some IT staff, in a classic “I know more about computers than you school playground manner. Well, the other kids, and the teachers, are tired of this showing off and getting away with it, and so will for once work together to ensure that IT gets the clip round the ear they believe it readily deserves.

No, I know most of you reading this will be saying “don’t tar me with the same brush as these aloof types”, and I’m not. From my experience of dealing with people in the ITSM space, people are professional, hard-working and intelligent with a hell of a lot to offer. What we continuely need to do is make a real effort to conform to the needs of the business like most other departments have been doing for a good few years and help bridge the technical divide between ‘us’ and the ‘rest’.

Acting more humanely towards our colleagues will help. Support staff feeling aggrieved at answering the same, sometimes stupid, user questions over and over again is natural, but we must learn to ensure we encourage empathy and reward our support staff for performing the simple tasks well. We hear lots of talk about lofty goals in terms of aligning IT to the business, but what could be more important than helping Ann in accounts fix her printer so that she can get the invoices sent out in time for the last post? Not much, so lets get to it

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