Helpful guideines for dealing with your IT peoplefrom Ulla de Stricker [http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/sla_lmd/2008/12/dear-ulla.html]:
“…Job 1 is to build collegial relationships – possibly through jobs 2-3 below if there arent opportunities to build “coffee bridges” – with IT staff members (not just the IT manager). Common areas of interest such as social networking and personal identity security could be conversation starters.
Job2 is to ensure IT team members understand the role of the library or information centre as being similar to their own: “Just as you providethe indispensable tools and data by which business is carried out, so do we provide access to resourcesto support employees decision making.” Arranging a lunch presentation to IT – showing how employees use and depend on the information supplied by the library – could be a good way to begin the orientationprocess. In this job, it is important to signal to the IT team that we are well aware of their current work focus, work load, and enterprise contribution.
Job3 is to cast any request for support into an enterprise business case: The knowledge workers are asking for X and we have done Y but now need the support of IT to accomplish Z. Under no circumstances should a request for support be interpretable as a “request from the library”. Under all circumstances should such a request be presented (for example) as “employees are in need of… so they can perform their jobs to meet [organizational goals]; while the required content is indeed available, IT support is required to now present it to the desktop”.
Job4 is to (a) describe our requirements in language IT professionals can translate to what it means they need to do and to (b) detail what we have already done and will/could be doing. A table of tasks with desired delivery for the IT manager planning out resources. Such a table is most likely to result from prior consultation with IT personnel, which presupposes job 1 was achieved and is constantly attended to.
The bottom line is … make the case with a view to organizational gain. Its not about what the library wants (do discard any library lingo). Its about what the organization needs in order to succeed.”