Sunday, August 3, 2008

Keep up to date

As we move through our careers it's very easy to get funneled down a track and before you know it you're not where you want to be.

Regardless of your company and their performance management cycle keep your focus. Develop your personal roadmap of where you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and beyond.

I have found that I have become stale quickly working as a solution agnostic Business Analyst. I need to get and keep current with technology as well.

I decided that one asset I would like to build out is Microsoft Dynamics CRM experience. A quick walk around he web and I stumbled across the Wellington MS CRM 4.0 user group.

Don't forget to keep plugged in to existing skills and build out hooks into new skills that you have identified.

Tools at your finger tips:

  • Google Alerts
  • Podcasts
  • User Groups (physical and online)
  • White Papers available from vendors, distributors (TelecomAsia) and bodies (NGOSS, IIBA)

Keeping the CV current

One of the challenges as you get more experience and your broaden your skills is keeping your CV (resume) up to date for when you apply for new roles.

I find this particularly problematic as I have both a technical side, a functional side and a strategy/consulting side.

Keeping track of the various roles and for each role the main strength and achievement got me thinking about storing and re-building as and when I apply for a new role.

Over the next weeks the plan is to build a repository with appropriate tags/labels that will allow me to pull the information onto a dynamic CV. This will allow me to better match the keywords in the job posting with a tailored CV for that role. Should help me get the foot in the door.

Watch for updates.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Manager Tools: Getting the Basics right

I've said it before and I'll say it again Manager Tools is great. Mike and Mark have been providing fundamental advice for 2 years with their weekly podcast and I have tried to spread the word.

The problem that I experienced when I first found them was where to start. When I looked through the back catalogue I initially want to get the basics out. Since then I have been through and listened to everything and eagerly await Monday for the next installment.

The problem for MT Newbies is now addresses with the the core podcasts bundled up into the basics series.

This will lead you through the foundations of MT

  • One to Ones
  • Feedback
  • Coaching
  • Delegation
  • Running Effective Meetings
  • Solution to a Stalled Technical Career
A good introduction for newcomers to help build the context for many of the other podcasts and even a great refresher for those who have been listening for some time but would like to brush up their skills.

Friday, December 14, 2007

O3's - One to One's a tool for mobile managers

Being an avid listener to Manager Tools and having applied nearly all of the tools and techniques so well presented by Mark and Mike there is one catch with the One-2-One guidelines.

Go get the podcast

The suggestion is to document the session in a file for follow up week to week and for easy review come appraisal time. This causes a problem when you travel a lot.

The solution is to use some desktop available tools that allow for easy note taking and a more flexible structure. This means Mind Manager.

Having created a template for using in the O3 the next step was to incorporate another of the Manager Tools, retention tracking.

Go get the podcast

The result is the Mind Manager template that I am sharing here.

For those without Mind Manager, suggestion is to get it as the tool is very flexible, you can see an image of the layout

Take the time to go an register at Manager Tools. The podcast series is excellent and there is now the added bonus of Premium content.

Book: Peter Flock - Flawless Consulting

A good reference if you want to [re]learn about consulting methods and approaches. Equally useful for internal and external consultants and maps very well to line management. The discovery process and meeting guidelines described would certainly help a line manager understand and deal with conflict.

Books: Tom Markert

A good and short book from Tom Markert "You Can't Win a Fight With Your Boss and 55 other rules for success"

Very easy to read (143 pages in just over one hour)

Lots that sound familiar and more then it's fair share of ah ha moments.

DWYPYWD? read the book and find out.

Useful Excel Tools - Making Management Easier

I have been using little Excel tools that I have put together to help track holiday for myself and my directs.

Following on from the variations I have generated for David Seah's Compact Calendar there is a great use for the neat solution he has put together.

Over and above country specific version it would be very easy to generate employee specific versions that help you keep track of when and when they're in the office. The table used in the compact calendar can easily accommodate inserted rows to include personal vacation.

I started out with a different tracking spreadsheet which you can download from here.

The top bar is generated for the total amount of holiday each person (in their own tab) has. The bottom bar changes as you add the holiday record as people request the time off. Helped me keep track of how close people were to using their leave up. Also helps me remind people to plan as the year end approaches and the carry over limit from one year to the next is announced.

If there any comments or suggestions on improvements/other usage please feel free to contact me.