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

Yammer… Organic growth or a little bit of structure? Or a bit of both?

There are lots of arguments for and against each side however it is my view that it should be a blend of both. My firm has been using Yammer for 3 years now and it’s never really taken off at all.. It was always limited to a small group of central knowledge workers with smatterings of IT, trainers and comm’s specialists.

A new Yammer drive in my firm has started which is good, 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

Should Legal IT departments be innovative?

I was thinking the other day about Legal IT and who was going to define its future? It got me thinking about innovation in LegalIT and what our 3 main customers expect. They are each with their own requirements and needs, so do law firms, the lawyers and the law firms clients expect IT departments to be innovative?

A broad definition of what innovation is; “Innovation is the improving of an existing product, service, system or process and the introduction of something better.”

Continue reading

If I were a manager, i’d……

If I were ever directly responsible for a team (pls rescue them now) I would strive for the following leadership qualities and not just during periodic reviews and appraisals.

1 – Provide specific feedback and solutions balancing both the -ve and +ve
2 – Not to micro manage but also not seem too stand off-ish. Provide a balance between the two
3 – Show interest in the person not just the person doing the job
4 – Communicate fairly and listen to everyone’s ideas and concerns
5 – Assist with career advice and development
6 – Have a clear vision and strategy
7 – Have key technical skills to help the team when necessary

There are probably many others so are there any others you can think of?

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

Word 2010 – Legal Document co authoring… Close but not quite yet.

It’s on many firms horizon and a Win7 desktop with Office 2010 is a great project to get your teeth into. Especially considering all of the good stuff Microsoft have put into both. Considering how poorly Vista was received in the business world there seems to have been a great deal of effort on the part of Microsoft to re-engage with the corporate world.

From a legal perspective we are generally not too fussy about the bells and whistles (so we say) and our business output is traditionally a ‘document’. Our internal document collaboration is normally hindered by parallel accessibility, so I was really interested to read more about co-authoring of documents. This ultimately prompted me to write this very high level take on the functionality. 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