IT is a very important function for a business organization, especially because it enhances the operations of all the other departments. With the advancement of technology, almost every department in an organization today runs on IT. This could be accounting, project management, sales and marketing, customer service and even human resource management. They all run on information technology. Following this knowledge, there is need for IT to ensure satisfaction with all the end users. How will they do that? By setting expectations with the end users of their systems.
What will you get by setting expectations?
1. There are many benefits, but the chief one is that you will understand what drives satisfaction and you will work to enhance that as opposed to dealing with everything at a go, haphazardly.
2. At the end of the IT project, maybe it was a website development, a system installation and deployment or any other project, you can do a survey to find out whether the expectations you had set out for the users have been met. Ask them!
3. You will know what every department needs most. IT cannot go buying equipment wholesale and uniformly for every department. That is not right. Different users need different items. For example, a team of road salesmen, if such still exists would be most suited to using mobile devices while the customer care team would be best suited to using desktop computers and so on.
4. By meeting the other departments to set expectations, IT gets a good opportunity to educate the other users about the important role that they (IT) play in the business. Many people in a business organization have very distorted views about IT.
5. By setting expectations with different departments, IT gets a good opportunity to educate the people about what they can expect from the systems being installed. That way, if the end users notice that the system does not perform as they were told, they can contact IT immediately and let them know.
6. There should be no surprises in IT. Thus, if the team has been developing an application, they should discuss it with everyone who is supposed to use it in advance such that the end users are not caught by nasty surprises.
How to set the user expectations
You need to communicate with the people for whom the system is intended and do a few things, as I will show you below:
Provide them with a structure of the system
This is very important. Most likely, this is an IT system that they have never seen or used before. Thus, the users need to know a rough structure of what the system will help them accomplish, how they are supposed to use it and what will be expected of them in return, regarding their productivity and so on. Simply put, it is as if you will be giving them a rough orientation.
Give them user guidelines
Yes, this is also very important. You cannot just unroll a new system and expect the users to get on with it right away and give results immediately. You must give the user guidelines. With a new system, the user guidelines could be in-built, in form of video manuals, slides and so on. You could also give face-to-face training, or you could use the super-users (people who are good at using the system to such an extent where they can train their colleagues).
Get feedback and give feedback
How will you know whether the user expectations and your expectations as an IT team have been met? Establish communication channels through which you can receive user feedback. Act on the feedback immediately. Complaints? Act on them! Is it possible to satisfy the users of a system? Yes it is very possible if you follow the tips given herein in this short post.