In last week’s blog post, we discussed the importance of understanding the business processes within the organizations where we work. As IT professionals, we are responsible for supporting successful communication and collaboration between the people in our workplace. We are responsible for helping our sisters and brothers in every department work together more creatively, effectively, and efficiently across the entire organization. Our jobs may be technical in their description, but we must always remember the human aspect of what we do. Our jobs are to provide creative technical solutions to perplexing human problems in the workplace. In order to do that, we must understand the basic business processes in each of the departments we support. Only when we gain a basic understanding of the business problems faced in each department do we start to understand the frustrations and challenges faced by the people in each department. Do you really understand what each department does, what the acronyms mean, what each department contributes to the organization as a whole, what the qualifications are for the various jobs, what the challenges are for each department.

Ways to Better Understand the Business

Here are some ideas on how to gain a better understanding of the overall business:

  • If you’ve never taken a business course, find a book or website that teaches business basics for non-managers. In fact, if you do an Internet search on the term “business basics for non-managers”, you’ll find a wealth of resources to help you understand the basics of business. If you’re really inspired, take a business course at a community college or online.
  • Do a similar search on terms related to your particular business. For example, if your company specializes in producing baked goods, do a search on terms related to baked goods, especially those that are similar to your company’s products.
  • Research the history of your company. Many companies have a fascinating history, think of Apple Computer starting in a garage or Continental Mills, which was started by a group of Seattle women in a bridge club who wanted to create an easy-to-use pie crust mix.
  • Ask questions of the people you support about their jobs, their biggest challenges, their frustrations, and their accomplishments.

The idea is to gain a comprehensive, overall understanding of the organization for which you work and the people with whom you work.

What Our Jobs Are Really About

When we gain an overall understanding of the business processes where we work, whether we work for a large corporation, a small business, a non-profit, education, government, or anywhere else, we are better able to tailor our technical solutions to address real world problems and to better enhance the human experience in the workplace. After all, our jobs are not really about technology, they’re about using technology to help our end users work more creatively, effectively, and efficiently.

For More Ideas on How to Improve Communication and Customer Service Skills

Bring my IT customer service training seminar onsite to your location for your group, small or large. Click here for the course description and outline.

Customer service book for IT staffPick up a copy of my IT customer service book The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master Human Relations Skills to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service, available through Amazon and other resellers.

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