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Hyptohetical - Possible Redundancy...

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Luddym, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Hey guys, a hypothetical.

    If you worked as a member of a small team, pretty much covering everything including Exchange, Switches/hubs, Legacy servers with Dumb terminal technology (Chase IO Lans and old Wyse's), VM ESX, etc etc etc etc, what would your reaction be if you are asked to create idiot proof 'how to guides' for pretty much everything that you do.

    Say for instance you pick up all backups, VMware ESX stuff, WSUS, Symantec Endpoint servers etc etc etc, and other staff pick up different stuff, but only you are asked to create documents that would basically mean that all the things you do, could theoretically be done by anyone, even without any IT skills.

    I know documentation is a good thing, but what if we are talking about step by step guides on how to ammend a backup job, or a guides on how to ammend the schedule, or a guide on how to turn off a VM within ESX, or even down to installing software. Remebering that this of course would be on top of your current workload.

    With redundancy on the books, (for instance if one IT staff member has already been made redundant and cuts still need to be made.) what would your reactions be.

    (PS - This really is hypothetical. :oops:)
     
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
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  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I'd get on with it. You have no idea how damn annoying it is for something to happen and only two people be able to fix it (one of which is on holiday).

    We had a situation a little while ago that involved just that. And when discussing it afterwards one of the people who could do it became obtuse in agreeing to document the process clearly, so that anyone can do it.

    Being difficult just makes you look like a dick. Its not your data, or your systems. The company are well within their rights to ask you to document what they pay you to do. Whether that is in preparation for redundancy or just to avoid red bus syndrome is irrelevant.
     
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  3. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm with Fergal on this one, even if I knew redundancy was damn near a certainty I'd get on with it and write the guide. Even apart from it being a pain in the ass working with people desperately trying to make themselves indispensible, if I do get the chop I'd rather leave on the best terms possible having produced a whole load of quality documentation which helped the company keep functioning despite a crap economic situation. It makes for much better references later!
     
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  4. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Do your job. They pay you to document things - document them. Simple as. If they want to give you the pump they will - no amount of sodding around being awkward about things will prevent that - it'll just make it more likely that you'll get a shabby reference.

    I hate - HATE - people who keep four or five little bits of knowledge to themselves because they think that makes them unsackable. Its the sort of mindset that pervades the public sector. When I worked for the old bill, the force I worked for had three, maybe four people who knew what they were doing. The rest kept their jobs by Bogarting information. They might have kept their jobs, but it meant that no-one decent stayed there for any length of time because they realised that the reason they were having the piss taken out of them salary-wise was because the force was too pansified to go out and give five or six of these no-hope muppets in 'server support, or 'network support' - who couldn't get another job in IT as a helpdesk operative - the sack.

    PS: If they think that they can get rid of you and get some braindumping muppet in because 'everything's virtual now' (I've had a manager say this to me on a contract before) they'll be up **** creek when something goes wrong with virtual centre, or your hosts go bandy, or the san firmware needs updating, or your vlans need reconfiguring etc etc. Know your worth - and remind them of it.
     
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  5. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    hypothetically, say you give them the documentation, and they then make you redundant, be safe in the knowledge that documentation can only fix what is documented. Therefore when issues arise, and you only have peopl who can read those step by step guides, and the problem is something which has not been come across, then they will be up **** creek without a paddle if they haven't got people in who know what they are doing.
     
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  6. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    and then you can offer your services at consultancy rate of £100/hour :D
    and who better to do that job than..... YOU! :twisted:
     
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  7. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I'm inclined to agree with other comments.

    Look at it a different way - suppose you're the one with that knowledge and you were to die leaving no documentation (sorry to be morbid and I'm not wishing you ill :biggrin ).
     
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  8. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    I can see why some people would be nervous creating this type of documentation but at the same time companies do need to plan for the worst. As others have said if something were to happen to you the company would be in a really bad situation technically so it makes sense for them to try and reduce the risks.

    I’ve always been of the mind set that if you’re a permanent employee then you should do what you’re asked. They pay for your time so if they want you to spend it documenting the infrastructure so be it.

    The only time I've stood firm and refused to do this was when put in the position of actually training my replacement in New Delhi.
     
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    There are books and Web sites that are already written that will show someone how to do those things. That said, they pay you to do what they ask, so I'd do the documentation.

    Personally, I like to show other people on the staff how to do the stuff I do. No reason for me to hoard knowledge and be the only "key" that opens certain locks!! I can be valuable enough in other ways... and if they can't see that, then I don't need to be there. And that mindset has served me well - I have yet to lose a job.
     
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  10. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    This is the other side of it, surely there needs to be a line drawn where you are merely documenting things to save someone the effort of learning soemthing for themselves?
     
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  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    IT is often run by the 'GateKeepers', sure its a pathetic, antiproductive, non-teamwork way of working, but yknow, nine times out of ten they do keep their jobs, and the person that went the extra mile to ensure easy transition could happen gets replaced.

    I've only heard of a GateKeeper getting fired once, and thats because one of my best bosses ever realised the guy was one. Most bosses simply don't have the balls to sack said people.

    Theres also a scary amount of 'clipboard holders', that want to get into IT, they've never produced anything of any worth, yet they want to apply corporate policies designed for production systems to develoment environments and gleefully watch you wrestle with red tape.
     
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  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    So, you've worked for a police force IT department too huh? :evil
     
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  13. MLP

    MLP Kilobyte Poster

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    I'd just go along and do the documentation. If the worst happens, and you are made redundant, the act of documenting what you do will help you put into words your skills, when you go for other jobs.

    A more positive spin is that by hoarding knowledge, you risk making yourself irreplaceable in that role. Therefore, moving you up becomes difficult.

    Hopefully, its just a typical upper management muscle flexing exercise.

    Best wishes

    Maria
     
    Certifications: HND Computing
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  14. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    It is actually a hypothetical that by no means is going to happen in my place, I just wanted to gauge the opinion.

    I personally document EVERYTHING in easy to follow instructions, (delusions of being an Author :biggrin) as you never know when you aren't going to be around, and vica versa.

    I have to think though, if you were to ask the same sort of question to people from many different occupations, the results would be far different.
     
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  15. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    what you don't want is lots of little hitlers running around who don't share information because they can end up screwing you over when it comes to the bosses deciding who they should get rid off.

    Always document everything you do and make sure your collegues know the procedures. Then you can't be accused of trying to be the man who isn't a team player or is somesort of power freak.

    This has happened at my place and I have had to say to IT director that the methods employed above are not good for the company as a whole and makes IT look like tossers.

    This has now been changed, yes it means more work but it makes it more efficient and productive.
     
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  16. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Just document it but in saying that it doesn’t really matter.

    The amount of networks I have taken on with no documentation whatsoever is a joke. There is a few weeks of pain but after that I can get to a decent level that I can actually start supporting the network before handing it onto the support guys.
     
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  17. jimmy_2k

    jimmy_2k Bit Poster

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    The thought of taking over someone elses network fills me with dread because you never know what little "surprises" your going to uncover!

    I have had experiences of this myself so in the end I spent my time researching our systems and creating help guides on our Sharepoint Server. Now we use Wiki which is much better, sadly as I never managed to get off my fixed term contract i'm being made redundant!
     
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  18. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    The way I see it, you should have already made these documents a long time ago. If they're not there, you're a liability to the company.
     
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  19. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

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    You may have the qualifications, but does that give you the right to say such a sweeping statement without knowing any proper background?

    By the way, the above quote was mine.
     
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  20. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    I saw your comment mate, my reply was just more pudding on the cake, i.e. if you're employed in an IT position and your job is to design, build and maintain systems, then you would have already made those documents when you initially setup the systems.

    The point I was trying to make was that if you haven't done the documents "back then", then most employers should (not necessarily "would") see you as a dangerous asset to their team.

    I wasn't talking about you precisely as you have done your work proper, and that's a good thing. Most people however don't realise that by telling themselves they can leave the documentation for a later time, they'll eventually keep pushing it off pretty much for ever (I've seen instances of this on numerous occasions). These type of people are a danger to the company as they alone know some tweak or method by which the system runs. All it takes is an accident (car, household, whatever), and this guy is dead leaving the company with no support and no documentation.

    Perhaps my wording was not very clear as I did make a pretty short and blunt initial sentence.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
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