How We Communicate

Communication is key.

I don’t think anyone is going to argue with such an obnoxiously vague statement like that. It’s kind of like saying “murdering kittens is bad”. Not a brave stance, but technically, it is correct.

A major part of what tech support is, is training. Someone does something that doesn’t work out the way they expected. If the support person is doing their job properly, they will look for any opportunity to teach the user a better way to do it. (Yes, I understand that sometimes this is not feasible. Let’s say, for example, the PC is on fire. There is no amount of training to help a user work past that. Just put the fire out.)

it has been my experience that if one user is having problems with something, there is at least one more who is having the same problem, OR, in the future there is another user who will have the same problem.

We work hard to share information about these little issues with everyone here at the firm. And since there are many different ways that people assimilate information, we have several different ways of sharing that information internally. (I also use this blog to share many of them externally – most of the “Quick Tips” are inspired directly by a question that popped up)

First and foremost, is one-on-one communication. Sitting down with a user, or remoting into their PC to step them through the issue is probably the most effective, but obviously not the most efficient when we need to let a large group of people know about the issue.

For long term documentation, we have two areas on our company intranet that we use: we have a BIM Manual, and we have a “news” section where we post “Revit Reminders”, and any major standards and content updates. The Reminders are small nuggets, again picked up from an actual user issue that occurred recently. The BIM Manual has more in depth instructions for topics that fit there, but it also has a section that collects all the reminders.

The third main avenue of communication is meeting for Revit issues. Once a month we have a meeting in our main office that we broadcast to all the other offices. We also try to record them and post on the intranet for folks who miss. Here we cover any of the little tips we picked up, major Revit related news, content updates, etc.

Finally, we have the old standby of email. This is for time critical items, and is usually limited to a specific team: “Get out of your model NOW! IT’S GONNA EXPLODE!!!”

So, we have multiple ways that we try to communicate with the end user, and we try to ensure that we have shared any tips through at least two of those channels, if not all of them.

Again, not everyone learns the same way, and not everyone can take in data the same way. It is NOT my job to force people to consume information in one specific way that I like the best. It is my job to try to get everyone in the firm to work better and smarter.

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