I.T. Management Truisms

IT Management Truisms
(as compiled by Rick DeVries, Calvin College, rickdv@calvin.edu)


  1. If it’s not easy, users will not do it. (Or: users follow the easiest path to their own end.)
  2. Users don’t care about security until it affects them.
  3. Our convenience should not be their inconvenience.
  4. Users will not back up their own data.
  5. Standards matter to us. Flexibility matters to them.
  6. Users don’t like change, but they expect us to keep them up to date.
  7. Today’s favor is tomorrow’s expectation.
  8. Users don’t want to know the details. They want to know how it affects them.
  9. I.T. is responsible for 80% of the problems people have with their systems.
  10. Vendors are responsible for 80% of the problems I.T. has with the systems.
  11. No plan survives intact after the first contact with users.
  12. A temporary solution should not be better than the permanent solution.
  13. Desktops are part of their office. Laptops are part of their life.
  14. Desktop performance degrades over time as a result of user activities and I.T.’s inability to effectively manage them.
  15. The only thing users read in pop-up message windows is "OK" and "Cancel." All other verbiage is ignored.
  16. The "P" in PC stands for personal." Users believe they have the right to control their own desktop as they choose.
  17. We are not in the "happiness business." Not everything we need to do will be well liked by our users.
  18. Most users don’t care what OS they have. They don’t even care what applications they have. They do care about getting their work done.
  19. Users resist change if they perceive it will impact them negatively. They will embrace change if they perceive it will impact them positively.
  20. Customer satisfaction is a matter of meeting user expectations. We can either raise service levels to meet expectations or lower expectations to meet service levels.
  21. A lack of information is better than wrong information.

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