Users, Who is to Blame?
by Graham Parks
all have fun laughing at the dumber antics of our network users. We talk amongst
ourselves boasting that our users our dumber than anyone else's. There are even
web sites dedicated to these stories, see www.techtales.com
But who is to blame for this? I point the finger at the bosses and to a lesser
extent, government. There cannot be many businesses in the west that do not own
at least one computer. Many bosses will rightly claim that it is essential to
the success of their business. But when it comes to training, all too often it
is minimal and sometimes almost non-existent. I'm sure that I am not the only
one who has met users who have been taught by a colleague the bare minimum
required. Press button 1 to this, press button 2 to do that, now off you go you
are on your own. Hardly surprising that users become instant lusers.
Where training does occur it usually covers a single application, rarely any
aspect of the underlying OS. Hence you might find, as I have, users who although
reasonably competent in Word have no idea about building a directory structure
to file their documents in a sensible fashion. I have seen users who store every
document in a single directory. And that directory is the one set as the default
save path in Word.
do you store your documents?" I once asked.
"On my computer" was the answer.
kid you not, the user had no idea where the documents were stored.
course, it is the I.T. support people who eventually have to deal with this.
So, lean on the boss and try to get a course introduced to teach the basics.
This should cover logging in/out, password changing, password choosing, creating
directories, moving and copying files, renaming files etc. This course would
also be a good opportunity to introduce users to the organizations security
policy. You do have one, don't you?
Obviously there are costs involved to the business, but the benefits should be
obvious. Higher skill levels mean less calls to the Helpdesk, increased security
awareness and users able to to carry out simple tasks with ease. In
my experience many organizations have cut back on training in the last ten
years. I expect these organizations are the same ones that complain that they
cannot find suitably skilled new employees. But that is just me being cynical. I
have met many people who have to use a computer at work who have never had any
sort of formal training on one. Not good enough!
today want highly skilled new recruits, governments talk of lifetime learning,
but I do not see nearly enough evidence that either are doing that much about
it. Having said that I have just found this article, http://www.shout99.com/contractors/showarticle.pl?id=12591&n=210
which shows the British Government agrees that not enough is being done.
If you would like to contact Graham, you may
do so at GrahamParks@thenetworkadministrator.com