Articles in the Professional Skills Category
There is no question that client expectations and needs are changing. Internal and external clients are demanding more customized solutions that deliver more business value. They also expect projects to be executed more quickly than ever before. As a consultant required to recommend client solutions, you must be able to properly understand the client’s needs, which may be poorly defined – especially where innovation is involved. You must also be able to assess the client’s situation and recommend a solution that meets increasingly demanding expectations.
I was delivering an Effective Time Management class to a financial institution in North Carolina earlier this year. As we moved through the class material, we started talking about two of the most basic time savers (not really a good term to use because we cannot save time) — delegation and meetings.
Fights and arguments — two words that are used synonymously but could not be further apart. We all know that a fight is a disagreement based not on rational thought but rather on an emotional position. Fights, filled with gainsaying, fallacious thinking and emotional hijacking seldom do anyone any good. Argumentation, on the other hand, is reason giving. Argumentation, the gateway to effective reasoning, is an essential skill for any business-systems analyst. But what is argumentation?
Work is no longer defined by where you go — it is what you do. Research conducted by Gartner shows that remote and long-distance work will continue to increase in volume and intensity, with people spending more than 80 percent of their time working collaboratively at a distance by the end of 2015. In the U.S. Forrester predicts that U.S. telecommuting ranks will swell to 63 million by 2016.
Up until 10 years ago, I always ran my own businesses. In fact, I put myself through college that way. I justified the hard work and long hours of being a business owner as the way for me to pay for school, knowing that one day I’d work for a company with vacation days, insurance and benefits — luxuries I had to pay for myself at the time. Turns out, now that I’m an employee, I’m not basking in the sun and eating bonbons while working for “the man” like I thought I may be.
One time I sent in a helpdesk ticket and the helpdesk person would not answer it because I did not have anything in the subject line. I called him all upset but then he explained that they get so many e-mails they need to know quickly who to distribute them to. That same year I was having my yearly review and my manager at the time told me that one of the things I needed to work on was putting a topic in the subject line. I was telling a coworker about that and he said he has issues with me not doing that too. Wow! From then on I always made sure to write in the subject line, so much so that my husband pointed out that I write too much in there and sometimes my whole e-mail is in that line.
As organizations look to do more with fewer resources and leverage scarce knowledge better across their entire organization, we see lots of companies moving to matrix structures. A matrix structure can be defined as ‘a mixed organisational form in which normal hierarchy is overlaid by some form of lateral authority or influence resulting in two chains of command – one along functional lines and the other along project lines.’
Mobile marketing is marketing your product and or service on or with a mobile device. There are several methods a business can conduct mobile marketing. One method consists of utilizing SMS (text messaging). Another tool, though not quite as popular, uses QR codes (quick response codes). Very simply, if you scan a QR code, it should offer a mobile friendly web page, which may include a coupon that only has to be shown to the merchant on your smart phone.
Another option is Bluetooth, which enables users to access a promotion, a deal, or offer within proximity to a particular restaurant or coffee shop. Lastly, using geo-social applications. Geo-social applications allow a user to “check in” at a place based upon their phone’s GPS location (i.e. Foursquare, Facebook, and Yelp).