INFO 2 CH16 - People and ICT systems; Working in ICT

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Qualities/characteristics required of an ICT profe

Each job will have a specific skill and knowledge requirements. There are however personal qualities and gerenal characteristics that are revelent to many fields of work within ICT industry. It is often the possession of these that allows an individual to progress to a senior position. Personal characteristics needed by ICT professionals are:

  • Good communication
  •                   - Written communication
  •                   - Oral communication
  • Ability to listen
  • Integrity
  • Team working
  • getting on with a variety of people
  • Adaptability and the willingness to learn new skills
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Creative Flair
  • Problem Solving
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Willingness to work flexiable hours
  • Skills and knowledge
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Good Communication - Written

Written Communication

At all stages in the development of an ICT system, written reports are produced. These may include specifications, maintenance and end-user guides as well as progress reports for management. The ICT professional needs to be competent in writing a variety of documents in good clear language, in a suitable style and using a level of technical detail that is appropriate for the audience. Program developers need to produce written documentation for their programs so that, when a program needs to be modified at a later date, other developers can gain a clear understanding of what the program actually does. 

A software developer when investigating an end user’s requirements for a new ICT system need to be able to make clear notes of interviews and provide the user with clear documentation of the system to enable discussion. 

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Good Communication - Oral

Oral Communication

Need to be able to discuss problems with the user and provide clear instructions and solutions. This would be effective communication. If they don’t have good oral communication they are likely to confuse the user. You have to consider the type of language to use with different types of audiences. 

When working with end users of a system, ICT professionals need to be able to discuss problems with users and provide solutions in a clear and friendly way. This will enable efficient and effective communication. Considerable time may be spent in face-to-face discussion with end users who have little knowledge of the technicalities of ICT system. If an ICT support worker does not have good oral communication skills, they are likely to confuse a user when they try to help them solve their problems. Care must be taken in such circumstances not to use language that will antagonise, patronise or confuse users. 

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Ability to Listen+Integrity+Team Work

Ability to Listen

They need to be a good listener who concentrates fully so that they obtain a clear understanding of the user’s requirements. You need to listen and see what the user needs not what you think they want.  If you don’t listen to what they need then the user will become frustrated and won’t ask for help again. 


They must be trustworthy, a person might have access to sensitive information about a client and it is important that you don’t misuse it. 

Team Work

You need to work effectively in a team. Need to be sensitive to others, reliable, supportive and co-operative. In a strong team, ideas, views and information are freely shared and members build on their strengths of others.

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Getting on with a Variety of People

ICT professionals are likely to need to interact with a range of people in an open and non-threatening way. When a member of ICT support team goes to a user to help with a problem the user may be angry or frustrated. You must display patience and act politely and supportively to the client. You need to gain the users trust so they can tell you calmly what they need. If the user does not feel at ease it is unlikely that the developers will obtain all the information they need. 

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Adaptability and the Willingness to Learn New Skil

Nothing stays the same, the hardware and software changes rapidly. Skills regularly need updating and old ways of doing things are often abandoned. A successful ICT practitioner must be able to adapt easily to new working methods. Much work project based on ICT worker is likely to move between teams. As projects overlap, it is not unusual to be a member of more than one team at the same time. 

Most effective employee is one who is able to acquire new skills in a variety of ways.

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Attention to Detail + Creative Flair

Attention to Detail

Requires precision and a detailed approach, for example a programmer must follow certain steps otherwise it wouldn’t work the way they expected. A system tester must ensure that every test is carried out as specified and that results are accurately recorded. Those involved with entering data into a live computer system need to work with a high level of accuracy as incorrect data entry leads to incorrect information.

Creative Flair

The ability to think innovatively (creatively) and come up with new ideas. An outstanding programmer needs to have more than the necessary technical language skills.To solve problems you need to find as new way of finding a solution. To make something exciting and effective you need a strong visual sense and good spatial awareness.

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Problem Solving+Working under Pressure

Probelm Solving 

An ability to approach problem solving in a systematic and logical way is essential for many ICT roles.You need to stick at a problem and see it through until it is solved. 

Ability to work under pressure 

There are likely to be many situations when an ICT professional is under pressure: a deadline could be approaching, a program might not be performing as it should, a crucial hardware device could fail or a user could come up with unexpected and urgent demands. The pressure might mean that the employee has to work very long hours for a period of time.

Professionals have to be able to take orders and be responsible for their own job. You need to organise time effectively and to priorities tasks. Need to make sure all targets and deadlines are met

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Flexible Hours + Skills and Knowledge

Willingness to Work Flexible Hours

It is essential that the employee is able to work flexible hours. Many systems for multi-national organisations are worldwide and different offices are in very different time zones. An ICT support worker is often required to be available “on call” - This means that for certain hours, when the employee is not even when not in the office you should be contactable. This could mean working through office hours to finish your work. 

Skills and Knowledge 

Each job has its own technical skills requirements.These are not personal skills. Skills requirements might relate to the characteristics of specific hardware, the use of a range of facilities offered by particular software or perhaps the knowledge of a given programming language. Such skills are always changing and an ICT professional needs to regularly update their skills. 

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The use and Organisations of ICT teams

A team is a small group of people who work together on a common task or group of tasks. When a new system is to be implemented, a project team is acrefully selected with the aim of completing the project or subproject. 

Although each team member may be allocated a specific role, in a successful team the member work together rather than as individuals. Tasks are usually allocated according to the strengths of the team members; getting people to do what they are good at is usually approrpriate.

However there are times when a team members need to take on tasks usually undertaken by another person so flexibility and understanding of other people's roles are necessary.

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Successful Team

A successful team is likely to have most of the following characteristics:

  • Good leadership
  • An appropriate balance of skills and areas of expertise, with suitable allocation of tasks
  • Adequate planning and scheduling of tasks
  • Adherence to agreed standards
  • Good communication skills both with users and within the team

A project team will work to a specific goal and will only exist as a team for the suration of the project. A project team will need to have a member with the skills to monitor and control progress against the project plan, as well as control costs.

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A good team needs clear and consistent leadership. The team leader should have seniority to fulfil the role and should have adequate understanding of the job of the team and the ability to adequately and systematically monitor and control performance and costs.

The leader must be able to hold the team together. A good leader will bring the best out of the individual members and encourage cooperation and exchange of ideas. Tasks should be allocated to the members appropriately, so that every member is given work of which they are capable and which will help develop their individual skills. In this way, each task will be completed in the best way possible. 

Leadership is important because appropriate management will encourage the members of the team to work together in an organised manner and motivate them to ensure that all deadlines are met and task are performed to the highest standards. 

Much of a team leader’s time is spent managing other people. They need to arrange meetings, ensure that team members have the resources that they need, follow up on any problems that arise and ensure that all the necessary things are in place to ensure that the job can be done. 

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Balance Team

There should be a balance of skills between team members  who could have different backgrounds. This is particularly important for teams that are involved in planning.

On the other hand it is appropriate for teams to be made up of similar personnel, each of whom performs a small part of the whole. 

The teams often include members with a range of skill levels, from trainees up to highly experienced specialists. This allows for the development of less experienced team members who can be set tasks within their capabilities whilst receiving help and guidance from more experience people. While the most experienced team members are given the more complex tasks.

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In a successful team, tasks are planned and scheduled. The tasks will be allocated to team members and appropriate deadline will be set.

It is most important that work is planned and tasks are adequately scheduled to ensure that all taks are performed. Without planning some unpopular tasks might not get done. The time period for planning might be long, medium or short term.

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Adherence to Standards + Communication

Adherence to Standards

Standards are agreed, formal ways of carrying out tasks. They may be nationally agreed, published standards which many system developer use or standards that are agreed within an organisation or even within a project. Standards involve the use of formal methods for the development of information systems, rather than team members drawing up their own standards

One of the benefits of using standards methods is that they allow a team member to pick up another’s work easily in case of an unplanned absence. The use of established standards also ensures that a professional or methodical way of working is used. By following set procedures, the team will ensure that nothing is missed by mistake. 


Good oral communication is essential within a team as the member need to discuss ideas, work done and problems that habe been encountered

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