Tag: upgrade

Stories from my Past: Wearing someone down

I often wonder if change happens more because we wear someone down, than convince them of the truth of the argument.

I was in charge of upgrading peoples software at a company and it was easier to go around for the small number of people and manually install it. So one person I had problems with. He didn’t want to do it, and I just continued to return throughout the week asking for a good time to install it. He shot me down, over and over again. I kept asking. Eventually on Friday afternoon he let me do it, and I was thrilled to get him done.

I know that he just wanted me to stop showing up more than the benefit of the new software. Some people don’t care about new software which is fine, but when everyone has the same version of software it makes things easier in companies. So even though he might not find value in the new version, other people would in sharing information with him so he had to be upgraded.

What is interesting is how often people who hate change, grow to love the change. I told him that it would be faster and some people said it was easier to use. Of course he will be slower at first, but in time he will be faster. Its ok if a short term slowdown causes a long term benefit.

To me, new software is just part of life. It is just part of the cycle of the progress of technology. It seems crazy to me not to want new software, just like not wanting new technology. New things tend to be improved, and often you find easier ways of doing things.

For example, the Office 2016 software he got has a better way to share files with people with OneDrive. I am not crazy about OneDrive, but for people who have never used online file sharing, it is a good first step. I have suggested other and better things, but you have to start somewhere with people.

Wearing someone down can create progress, just do it respectfully and at their own pace.

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Stories from My Past: Be careful what you ask for

In IT you often find that when you give people exactly what they want, they are sorry they ever asked.

I helped one person who wanted a new version of Adobe rolled out to the entire company. They were working on a project and that project needed a new version of Adobe. Not an unreasonable request. I asked someone to test that new version and they tested it.

A week later that person had a different problem and I went to help them. It turns out that the fix was to upgrade their version of Adobe just like the other person who was testing it. However when I went to upgrade them they said “Maybe we shouldn’t upgrade this because it might break my other applications.” This was the same person who asked for the entire company to be upgraded the week before. I agreed that could happen, and upgraded him anyway. It worked fine. Problem solved.

Of course I went to my supervisor and told him what happened. The same person wanted the entire company to be upgraded, but not himself personally. You can’t have it both ways.

Often the quick and easy answer seems to be upgrading the software. Many times this is the correct one. I personally like using recent and supported software. However not every company believes in this. Many companies use very old software that is poorly supported or not at all. This is the main cause why they have problems as well.

To me, when you quickly want to make a major change and don’t consider the consequences you are just asking for problems. If I had upgraded everyone that day like it was my technical ability to do, I might have unleashed worse problems. Having someone test a change is so helpful, and so basic in giving the best IT experience for users.

If you want disaster make a quick change. If you want stability, think decisions through.