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  • Identify business issues/values


  • Remove political roadblocks
  • Demonstrate behaviors

While champions fill an informal support role, there is a team dedicated to providing support for changes in any change effort.  When champions don’t have time, the employees don’t know a champion, or the employee feels like they need an immediate answer, they call support.  Support professionals may not jump out of helicopters, but they do jump into user problems and try to resolve them.

One of the worst experiences for a support person is to have a user calling who has something the support professional themselves doesn’t have access to and hasn’t seen.  That’s why the best way to engage support professionals is to ensure that they’ve got early access to the changes.  They need the ability to encounter problems, ask questions, and familiarize themselves with the changes, so they can form a mental model of what the employee is seeing when they call in.

Support team members tend to love education of any kind, particularly searchable documentation that they can use to research a user’s problem and try to provide solutions.  They often help drive the documentation and detailed communications that go out to the organization, because they can look at it with a critical eye to see what employees aren’t likely to understand.

One frustrating but essential part of the support role is the need to escalate issues.  Support will attempt to resolve the problem on their own, but if they’re not well-resourced, there will be a large number of escalations.  Those escalations will cost the project team time that may have been allocated to push forward the next set of features.

These escalations surface where additional training, documentation, or resilience in the system is needed.  The escalations and the number of calls that the support desk is fielding are good metrics for the health of the how-to information being provided and the stability of the systems.  More calls and escalations means it might be time to focus on stability and support before launching into the next wave of features.