Pencils are still popular tools. Everybody knows how to handle them and what they are for. Everybody know, that there is graphite in the inside and wood on the outside, and people know what to do, when a pencil does not work anymore. They can sharpen them on their own, and they can even handle workarounds (using another pencils, writing with a pen).
They don’t call the support.
They don’t blame the pencil-vendor for producing pencils that have to be sharpened.
And they don’t ask for the sharpening-free permanent pencil
Everybody is a master of the pencil, a black belt bearer and a certified pencil engineer. – Pencils are not business critical.
When something on the computer, internet or, even worse, the intranet breaks, users call the support hotline. They don’t know what it is that does not work, they don’t know what’s in the inside, and they often don’t care if what they consider to be a problem is one at all – maybe the application was just designed like that, maybe they just have to use another feature to get the desired effect, maybe they are just asking for something that was never intended and is just not a feature of online application. – Black belt intranet users are a very rare species. Hardly anybody is capable of selfhelp. By that I don’t mean technical competencies, but just the guts to step back, take a deep breath and think.
Instead, users tend to complain, to blame vendors and application developers and to build myths around nonfunctional stuff – they act as if they were trying to write with the wrong end of the pencil.
But intranets often are business critical. What do we have to do create more black belt users, to give users confidence not only in the application but in their own skills? – Sounds like a lot of training effort on many levels…