Reflections from the field – Tips for being a better consultant

Striving to be better at what you do is important for your development. Though, it typically translates into developing what you know rather than how you act. For consulting (or any job), there are two parts to the equation; Hard Skills & Soft skills. Balance is needed so you should learn to develop both.
I aim to help people develop their soft skills. They are typically harder to define and require more attention. Below are concepts I work on developing every day and hopefully you can take some away and start developing them for yourself.
[Keep reading] “Reflections from the field – Tips for being a better consultant”

User Psychology and Experience

Often times when designing a product or solution for a customer, in planning and concept development, we might consider the user experience to be one of two (or both) things:

  1. User feedback regarding their interaction with their technological environment/platforms
  2. The experience the user is likely to have with given technology based on various factors that contribute to delivering that technology to them; presentation, training, accessibility, necessity, intuitiveness, just to name a few.

These factors are not solely focused on the user and their role in the human – technology interaction process, but also their experience of dealing with us as solution providers.… [Keep reading] “User Psychology and Experience”

Provisioning complex Modern Sites with Azure Functions and Flow – Part 3 – Post Provisioning Site Configuration

In the previous two blogs part 1 and part 2, we looked at steps to create a Modern team site and apply a custom provisioning template to it. In this blog, we will have a look at the steps for the post provisioning process to implement site specific requirements. Some of them could be:

1. Apply default values to list fields
2. Create a bunch of default folders
3. Manage Security groups (SP level) and permission level.… [Keep reading] “Provisioning complex Modern Sites with Azure Functions and Flow – Part 3 – Post Provisioning Site Configuration”

Kicking Things Off – Writing the Right SOW

It’s one thing to convert a conversation around a broad scope of work into a well-defined and articulated, 3 to 4-page proposal (sometimes 20 +, depending on whose template you’re using), it’s another thing for a client or customer to read through this document, often, multiple times due to a review and response cycle, before finally agreeing to it.

Most don’t enjoy this process. Client stakeholders usually look for a few key things when it comes to the SOW: price, time (hours) and key dates.… [Keep reading] “Kicking Things Off – Writing the Right SOW”

Branding the Consultant: what can I do versus where can I add the most value?

Engaging new and potentially challenging clients can always be daunting, particularly when an expectation has been set as to what role you will play as a part of a team. Whether consulting and road-mapping potential outcomes and future work, to delivering a full project. In my time working with Kloud, the broader sense of the term ‘consultant’ appears to be at an all-time high in terms of what it means to the professional marketplace. I view today’s Business Consultant as someone who guides an individual stakeholder or group, based on engaging and understanding given circumstances or a proposed business case, to help make decisions on adopting a specific direction – one which is considered the most appropriate or in their best interest.… [Keep reading] “Branding the Consultant: what can I do versus where can I add the most value?”

ITSM – Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – All you need to know

Why Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is Required?

  • The goal of Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is to align and realign IT Services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to the IT services that support Business Processes.
  • The perspective of CSI on improvement is the business perspective of service quality, even though CSI aims to improve process effectiveness, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT processes through the whole life-cycle.
  • To manage improvement, CSI should clearly define what should be controlled and measured.
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Defining IT Strategy

Information Technology (IT) Strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals.

The following approach can be used to define your organisation’s IT Strategy.

Inputs:

  1. Organisational Business Priorities
  2. Organisational Key Behaviours
  3. How Business will be Supported by IT
  4. Technology Influences
  5. IT Strategic Principles
  6. IT Service Management Operating Principles

First of all, in order to define an IT Strategy, we need to obtain the above inputs (as much as possible).… [Keep reading] “Defining IT Strategy”

EU GDPR – is it relevant to Australian companies?

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the European Union (EU) imposes new rules on organisations that offer goods and services to the people in the EU, or collects and analyses data tied to EU residents, no matter where the organisations or the data processing is located. GDPR comes into force in May 2018.
If your customers reside in the EU, whether you have a presence in the EU or not, then GDPR applies to you.… [Keep reading] “EU GDPR – is it relevant to Australian companies?”

Continual Service Improvement Roadmap – Operations – How it can be done

Step 1: Current State Assessment – People, Process and Technology
Step 2: Gather Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
Step 3: Gap Analysis – Comparing with Target State/Aspirations
Step 4: Recommendation and Next Steps
Step 5: Continual Service Improvement Roadmap
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Example: Step 1 – Current State SWOT Analysis
Analyse the current state – SWOT, include all the data in the category below. This will help to compare the target state outcomes.
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Example: Step 2 – Target State
Obtain the target state outcomes and aspirations from the organisation/department that you are analysing.… [Keep reading] “Continual Service Improvement Roadmap – Operations – How it can be done”

What's a DEA?

In my last post I made a reference to a “Data Exchange Agreement” or DEA, and I’ve since been asked a couple of times about this. So I thought it would be worth while writing a post about what it is, why it’s of value to you and to your business.
So what’s a DEA? Well in simply terms it’s exactly what the name states, it’s an agreement that defines the parameters in which data is exchanged between Service A and Service B. … [Keep reading] “What's a DEA?”