in reply to Re: OT: Getting people to use tools
in thread OT: Getting people to use tools

  1. The initial assignment came from a manager. Since her departure, 2 subsequent managers have weighed in saying they want this.
  2. The tool gets the exact same results, and gives the option for more (install the build, give option to populate the system, option to run automatic build acceptance testing). And, instead of 30-40 steps, it's one step.

Worse, this isn't an isolated instance. I've created dozens of tools, large and small, and I get the same thing every time. I don't think it's the technology that's an issue. I think it's attitude and mindset, which are far more difficult to change. Honestly, this isn't so much a perl question as a social engineering question, and I am both frustrated and baffled.

-Logan, turning into Wally
"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."

  • Comment on Re: Re: OT: Getting people to use tools

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Re: Re: Re: OT: Getting people to use tools
by Rich36 (Chaplain) on Apr 30, 2003 at 21:11 UTC

    I feel your pain. A lot of my job is project work/tools. While they are adopted and used some of the time, some of them just sit there.

    I think the key thing for tools like that is not only management buy-in, but a policy that says it must be done that way. If using your tools are optional, people will do things the same way just to avoid learning something new. Something that I find useful in getting people to adopt something new is documentation. If they've got a reference (especially a quick reference), it seems to help.

    It is a weird phenomena though... You hand somebody something that will make their lives much easier and they'd rather to do it manually.

      When I want to watch TV, I turn on 3 devices with different remote control units, and configure them to the current task.

      I bought a fancy omnipotint remote a few years ago, and never used it again after the batteries ran out.

      Why? Nice idea, but they missed a few issues. First of all, a touch-screen is pointless when I operate it by feel alone. Worse, I have to turn it to face me to read the LCD screen, but upon doing that the IR emitter is pointing upward; I have to locate the touch spot then turn it sideways to by vision then "push".

      I'm sure the designers went to great length to make it interface with a PC and download codes from everything and have macros that work properly and state-changes and all that good stuff. But it doesn't work at its basic task! And for reasons that are not related to any of the things mentioned on the box, or probably mentioned on their product requirements document.

        That reminds me of a couple of "univeral spanners" and "universal sockets" that family members have bought me for presents down the years. Often, they work just fine on a wide range of nuts...provided

        1. The nut stands proud of the surface it is clamping and isn't sunk into a hole that the universal sockets bulk doesn't allow it to descend into.
        2. The nut isn't adjacent to a surface, cross-member etc. that would prevent the uni-gadget to fit over it.
        3. The bolt doesn't protrude through the nut too far for the biting surface of the gadget to come into play.
        4. There is enough room above the nut for the invariably bulkier-than-the-standard-tool gadget to be manovoured.
        5. ...

              16. And in one case, requires me to dig out the engrish intruction manuel (long since lost) to work out how to use it.

        Similarly, I bought my father (a carpenter) an electric circular saw (sometimes called a skill saw in the US?) back when such tools where expensive. He rarely made use of it. Even when working at home, where availability of power wasn't a problem and he didn't have the burden of lugging its 20 lbs of weight to the job, he would still use his panel saw to halve an 8'x4' of 3/4" ply.

        The set up time simple outweighed the advantage. He was skilled enough that he could do just as accurate cut by hand anyway. And darn nearly as quickly.

        Examine what is said, not who speaks.
        1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
        2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible
        3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
        Arthur C. Clarke.