What are the 3 Ls of system administration and why should you care?

Have you ever tried to explain your job to a friend or family member and find that it makes complete sense to you, but their eyes glaze over?

“I’m a system administrator responsible for implementing, maintaining and governing a sophisticated content services platform.”

And then the deadpan response is, “Umm … what?”

Sys admin for the win

Luckily, you’re among friends here and we know the extremely important role you play. Without you, people wouldn’t be able to access systems and information. Basically, they wouldn’t be able to work.

As a system administrator, responsibilities can vary depending on your organization. You may also have experience implementing a solution that required ongoing conversations and planning with both stakeholders and end users to arrive at that go-live moment.

But after you’ve blazed that trail and the dust settles, how does the solution evolve as your organization changes?

Here’s an even better question: When was the last time you talked to your end users about something other than a support ticket?

This is one of the leading questions we ask in our strategic online workshops. We ask this question because it is likely that in the time since you launched an important system or solution, processes or circumstances have probably changed. Therefore, what you currently have in place may not meet new business requirements, which could lead to more support tickets.

So, how do you keep conversations going with end users to uncover new challenges, necessary solution improvements or new tool needs? And, how can you make those conversations as impactful as possible?

The 3 Ls

Here are three themes to consider to keep the conversations flowing.

1. Listening

Asking users the right questions and then truly listening to the answers not only helps identify issues, it also establishes trust. Meanwhile, you can better understand the implications if you do not implement a change.

Some of those important questions include:

  • What are your challenges?
  • Where are all the places you need to look for information to complete work?
  • What integrations does your department utilize?
  • Are there any compliance or regulation changes that are affecting your team?
  • What kinds of reports do you need to evaluate processes, work and exceptions?

I find that when I can talk with users, we are able to uncover processes and pain points that may not be accounted for in the current environment or setup.

2. Learning

Once you’ve had those meaningful conversations, take what you heard and learn. Armed with information, you can better evaluate prior efforts and compare that to what has changed. You actually may find the problem will not require a complete overhaul.

Meanwhile, as some people return to work, but others keep working from home, we need to continue learning and adapting.

If you’re a Hyland customer, I suggest checking our webinar series that helps you empower a remote workforce. Or you can connect and collaborate with peers and experts to solicit feedback from others who may be in a similar situation.

3. Leveraging

Take what you’ve learned and leverage it to create a dynamic solution to the problem, helping your organization and your end users. It’s this “L” that makes the big difference to your end users and your organization.

Using the 3 Ls

Listening, learning and leveraging … In the long run, when you’re meeting the needs of your organization by solving efficiency problems, everyone’s day gets a little bit brighter.

When you check in with end users to see how past solutions can evolve or improve, you are continuing to build on previous good work. This ongoing dialogue also builds your credibility because you’re demonstrating your commitment to their challenges and to keeping your organization on track for efficiency.

So, the next time someone asks you what your job is, just go ahead and say, “Fixer of all things!”

And if you’re still not sure how to have those conversations, get in touch with us.

Misty Bradley is an enterprise advisor with Hyland’s Global Services team. Before coming to Hyland, she spent 15-plus years in both the financial and software industries. As an enterprise advisor, she uses her IT, development management, project management background and strategic planning to lead workshops that help Hyland customers get the most value from their solution investment. She lives in San Diego and golfs as much as she can.
Misty Bradley

Misty Bradley

Misty Bradley is an enterprise advisor with Hyland’s Global Services team. Before coming to Hyland, she spent 15-plus years in both the financial and software industries. As an enterprise advisor,... read more about: Misty Bradley