What do you do if you inherit a ‘trainwreck’?

So we’ve all been there.. You’ve heard the rumours, there’s a project which has become a problem.. It’s become a ‘trainwreck’. I’ve used the term ‘trainwreck’ after reading such a post written by Steven in the SLAW website and I thought i’d add some comments.

Trainwrecks happen for many different reasons, whether that be poor requirements, poor project management, limited project resource, poor support from a vendor or incredibly short timescales to deliver. The important thing to realise is that they happen more regularly the people think. Continue reading

Is it the method or the people that complete projects?

It’s an interesting point raised very well by Dan Rockwell in his post titled ‘Refocusing on people.’

In the #legalIT world I often hear too much emphasis on methodologies, systems and processes and not enough about the people who are actually doing the work.

It’s simple, the more you feel part of a team and are involved the less you feel like a cog in a process and are willing to go the extra mile to get things done.

You can follow Dan on twitter through @Leadershipfreak

The business analysts ‘guiding principles’

It’s been a while since my last post but I am back…

A previous post was written in answer to a questions from a colleague wanting to understand more about what is required to become a business analyst. I talked about the tools of the trade. I was thinking about what should ‘part 2′ consist of, I was reminded of a post on the batimes website written by Cecilie Hoffman. She talks about her view on the essential competencies and skills (referencing BABok).

My list isn’t really skills or competencies but a blend of them both into a short list of ‘guiding principles’. It’s not designed to exhaustive but more of a conversation point, so please add yours to the comments below. In no order; Continue reading

Outlook 2010 – Two things I like already..

I have been beta testing a Win7 and Office 2010 desktop for over month now and I suddenly realised I haven’t mentioned some of the good features of Outlook.  I am running a 2003 desktop next to a 2010 one and the Outlook definitely performs better in 2010..

Two main ones that have caught my eye are; Continue reading

OneNote 2010 – Destined to be always outshone?

In my opinion OneNote has always been MS offices forgotten soul, with Microsoft not really pushing it and its potential value. It’s been easy for firms like mine to ignore it as a nice to have. 

I haven’t been using it for long but i like it. I think in the 2010 version it offers a good set of features and potential to enhance current working practices for those working in projects or collaborating who want a simple platform for sharing content and ideas.

Here’s a few things that I have used it for; Continue reading

A business analysts ‘tools of the trade’

I’ve been asked by a colleague how they can up-skill from their current position to become a business analyst. This is part 1 of the answer and it relates to the “tools of my trade”. I don’t anything too fancy with any of these but all play an important part in almost all the projects I’m involved in. The first four seem like obvious statements but tools don’t always mean technology..

  • Pen and Paper: Workshops and meetings
  • Whiteboards: Workshops and meetings
  • A3 sketchpads: Workshops and meetings
  • Post-it notes: Workshops and meetings

This next batch a core to all projects I have worked on; Continue reading

A business analysts career progression. Are you an innie or an outie…?

In the last 12 months it’s become very apparent about the changes law firms are having to make to streamline their processes. Whether that’s changes in the way they provide legal services to their clients or the changes in business support functions who provide support to facilitate the delivery of legal services. There’s no doubt things are changing.

So what’s your next job going to be and what options are available to you? My first post (ever) was about improving ones skills in this current climate. It got me thinking and I recalled a post by Kupe Kupersmith (Twitter @kupe) I read sometime ago on career progression and I thought I’d extend it and try to apply a legal perspective.

Kupe essentially talks about “in the box” and “out of the box” career progression. Continue reading

The #LegalIT outsourcing threat. Can we be more prepared as business analysts?

We see in the press that many large firms like A&O and Herbert Smith are actively engaged or looking at outsourcing some of their support or legal functions. Many firms of course have already dabbled in IT outsourcing as it seems the most common entry point, however the focus of these ventures have traditionally been things with the least, if any contact with the lawyers. However this trend is changing and with CMCK’s deal with Integreon is already happening.

This means business analysts, historically considered safe due to their knowledge of the people, knowledge of the culture and the processes are not. This progression is not surprising but still does pose the question, Can we be more prepared? and whilst it’s not inevitable (I know of a top 10 firm whose Director is a staunchly opposed to outsourcing) the trend is there for all to see. So what can you do? Continue reading