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The One Constant .....Change!

Written by John A G Smith – Fri 26 Aug 2016

Every business needs to make changes but problems arise when there is no one in place to manage those changes...... our writer John A G Smith helps explain how important Change Management is:

Harry studied the paperwork for a few minutes and then looked up. 

“You’re absolutely right,” he said, “the change is essential and urgent.  I’ll give you access to the Live Library.  You and your team go ahead and build the change.  When you you’ve tested it I’ll give you the password and you can put it into live.”

I was stunned.  He was right about the urgency but this was way out of line.  Here I was, just a subcontractor, being given the keys to the kingdom.

“What about Change Management?” I asked.  “And doesn’t it have to go through the Change Advisory Board?  Doesn’t anyone have to sign it off?”

Traffic light tree

“Nah.”  He leaned back in his chair, legs straight and thrust his hands deep in his pockets.  “The problem here is that our systems are too dynamic.  We’ve got so many urgent changes going on that any sort of Change Management system will just get in the way.  It would slow the whole thing up and be too much of a drag on everything.”

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What's the target?

Written by John A G Smith – Fri 12 Aug 2016

We are each set a myriad of targets throughout our lives, by ourselves and by others. How can a leader ensure that the right targets are set to achieve the best from their workers? Learn how to motivate your team and strengthen your techniques but joining one of our Leadership courses.

Line of ducks following each other

Leadership by Pedro  Ribeiro Simões

I was waiting for the Number 7 bus that would transport me in comfort to the delights of Brighton Marina when I noticed the sign on the side that proudly boasted, “Up to every 7 minutes” and this puzzled me.  A quick check on the timetable confirmed my suspicion that, in fact, seven minutes was the shortest time one would have to wait for this hybrid drive, low energy, environmentally friendly behemoth.

Now if someone promised to do a job, say clean your car, you might ask for an estimate of the price. 

“Up to seven quid, gov’nor,” he might proclaim so, on that basis, you give him the work. 

How would you feel if, job done, he now held out his mitt for a tenner?

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To the edge - what's it all about?

Written by John A G Smith – Fri 05 Aug 2016

There are many different ways to manage something and the methodologies of PRINCE2®, Agile, SCRUM and ITIL® help. In this post our expert John A G Smith explains how a system or 2  can keep our world spinning on the correct axis!

It’s all about systems.  Whether you’re looking at something as small as an individual business task or as large as a whole company, they’re all systems.  We’re surrounded by the things.  We live on a planet within the solar system.  Our shower is supplied by a hot water system.  I’m writing this on a computer system.  Indeed we are each our own individual system: the human body.

Panel 6 Solar System

Image - Panel 6 Solar Systemm,  Ralph Buckley 

So what, I hear you say, is a system?  And what qualifies each mentioned above as one of them?

It is generally accepted that a system has five components: Inputs, outputs, processes, stores and a boundary.

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Learn Facilitation Skills not B A Ping Pong!

Written by John A G Smith – Tue 12 Jul 2016

Facilitation is a skill crucial in guiding a meeting to make a decision or think of a solution without providing it. Our writer John A G Smith uses his experience to explain why learning Facilitation Skills  is so much better than 'B.A. Ping Pong'?!

The Rules of B. A. Ping Pong

It’s a game that every Business Analyst has played.  Many do not even have a name for it and, of those that do, it’s usually unrepeatable in polite company.  I call it ‘B. A. Ping Pong’ … although maybe that should be ‘wiff waff’?

Table Tennis Rio 2007

Image courtesy of Wikimedia 

The rules are very simple and any Business Analyst can play.  Here’s how it works:

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Time Management learn to Work Smarter

Written by John A G Smith – Fri 01 Jul 2016

“If I want the job done properly then I have to do it myself.”

How often have you heard that one … probably said by a manager, frustrated by the lack of expertise of some staff member?  

Canadian soldiers peeling potatoes - Canadian Official War Photographs

Image courtesey of Wikimedia Commons

Why, you may wonder, has the worker not got the expertise?  Why must the harassed manager carry so much of the burden?

Several years ago I was working for a major international financial organisation when they offered a Time Management course for senior executives.  All agreed the course would probably be useful.  But attendance was optional and when the day arrived only four, of over forty, of these senior people turned up.  The reason?  Go on, you know already, don’t you?  Yes, they couldn’t spare the time to attend!

Why are staff at all levels – from the most junior to the most senior – so ‘time poor’ in today’s business environment?   

Where, it appears, too many people seem to be taking on an inordinate workload … and not handling it well.  Could it be that, to use a common modern phrase, rather than working harder they need to work smarter?

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