December 2012

Aspirin tablets

How to Help Project Stakeholders Avoid the Aspirin

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 2 min read

I’m pleased to say that one of my recent blog articles has been published on “Techwell.com”, where I have contributed as a guest author. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take a look and add a comment on the site.   Excerpt: “Kent McDonald recently wrote an excellent article encouraging project teams to… 

SWOT Analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Picture of SWOT on a blackboard

Make a New Year’s resolution to re-visit your PESTLE and SWOT

As another year draws to a close, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on what your business or organization has achieved this year.  It’s also the perfect time to consider your organisational goals for 2013: What products will you develop?  What projects will you run?  What new markets will you explore?  And, of equal importance, what risks and threats must you mitigate against just to stay in business?

 

There are two excellent, simple and intuitive techniques that can really help.  Due to their simplicity, these techniques are often overlooked and in fact these techniques are often seen as perhaps a little “passé” and out of fashion.  Don’t be fooled—when used correctly, they can yield excellent insight and can provoke innovation.  These techniques are suitable for businesses of all sizes, whether small, multi-national or mid-sized.  The two techniques are PESTLE and SWOT.

 

Is the UK Government Jeopardizing Its Major Projects?

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 2 min read

I’m pleased to say that one of my recent blog articles has been published on “Techwell.com”, where I have contributed as a guest author. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take a look and add a comment on the site.   Excerpt: “The United Kingdom government has reportedly saved £490 million (approximately 788 million… 

Businessman giving thumbs up

Two techniques to help define organisational success and help you avoid drowning in data

Businessman giving thumbs up

Defining success

I was fascinated to read that the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, is apparently using a specially defined dashboard on his iPad to keep track of real-time insight into what is happening in the UK.  Although we’re left to imagine exactly what is on the dashboard, reports speculate that it aggregates data from a number of public sources including Google, Twitter and Facebook.  Perhaps the prime minister is using this to keep track of political topics within the blogosphere, so that he can stay on top of likely public priorities.

 

Ascribing meaning to large amounts of structured, semi-structured and completely un-structured data is a challenge, and it would be extremely interesting to know what kind of underlying analytical capabilities are being used to serve up the Prime Ministers dashboard.  If it is wading through a myriad of social networks for key words, it’s likely to need quite some analytical muscle indeed!  With such a large and expanding data-set, and so many potential dimensions that could be explored, analysing and making the link between patterns and cause/effect must be difficult.

 

This got me thinking about metrics and indicators that are useful for business.  A real challenge for organisations of all sizes – especially small and mid-size – can be how to measure success.  If you read my blog regularly, you may remember that I’ve written previously on how measuring the wrong thing can lead to unexpected outcomes.  As organisations grow, so many data-sets might be available for analysis – how should an organisation decide which data to focus on?  How can an organisation see “the wood for the trees”?  There are two readily available, free and straightforward techniques that can really help:

Tray of sushi

Sushi, mental models and expectation management…

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 3 min read

Tray of sushiI’m a big fan of Sushi.   I’m aware that the thought of eating raw fish isn’t to everybody’s taste, but over the years, I have grown to really, really enjoy a nice relaxing Sushi lunch away from the office.  The other day I had a rather unusual experience which led me to draw a parallel between sushi and business analysis (and no, I haven’t been drinking ‘Saki‘, before you ask!).  Let me explain…

Shadow of a human head

7 tips for virtual requirements workshops

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 3 min read
Shadow of a human head

Virtual facilitation can be tricky…

Increasingly, projects teams are dispersed and may be working not only in different cities, but potentially different countries, continents and time zones.  Working in a dispersed team undoubtedly creates additional challenges when facilitating requirements elicitation sessions. In fact, people may even have an initial reluctance to attend virtual meetings.  These challenges certainly aren’t surmountable, and here are some concrete tips that can help: