How to avoid the “IT black hole”

How to avoid the "IT black hole"

Going all the way back to my days as an association staffer (more than 30 years ago) I've encountered what I call the "IT black hole." The IT black hole is where technology issues go to die. Perhaps you've experienced this. You report an issue to your technology staff and you never hear another word about it.

My clients often compliment me on my responsiveness and I've come to realize that this is partly because they've all lived with the IT black hole.

So for those of you in IT (or anyone who receives "issue reports" from others), here is my simple three-step process for avoiding the IT black hole:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of the issue. You would be amazed how far a simple email saying "Confirming receipt" goes!
  2. Tell the person submitting the issue what will happen next. Be as specific as possible, e.g., "I'll review this issue and get back to you within the next three days with a solution or next steps."
  3. FOLLOW THROUGH on your promise! If you've promised a response in three days, provide a response within three days! Even if the response is "I haven't had a chance to review this yet," or "We've looked at this and we're going to need more time to dig deeper and learn more."

I'd estimate that 80% of the complaints about an IT department's ability to do their job are related to the black hole issue. When staff doesn't know what the IT department is doing with their issues, they'll likely assume the worst. Communicating what you're doing will help to avoid that.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Consultants bring perspective

November 28, 2018

Consultants bring perspective At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked what I think is …

Consultants bring perspective Read More »

Garbage in, gospel out

November 22, 2018

Garbage in, gospel out We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out.” If the …

Garbage in, gospel out Read More »

Dramatic change does not happen overnight

November 15, 2018

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Like most things in life, dramatic change does not …

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Read More »

Implementation Intention

November 8, 2018

Implementation Intention Editor’s note: I have a new email newsletter, sent weekly, called Wes’s Wednesday …

Implementation Intention Read More »

Scroll to Top