Monday, September 1, 2014

Job opportunity: Technical BA with an IT Infrastructure background

Someone in my network is looking for a Technical BA with an IT Infrastructure background for an IT Solution Provider.  This role will be paying around $90k.  Would you know of anyone?

The candidate must be based in New Zealand and have the relevant rights to work etc. Please email me if you are interested

The Difference You Make
You will be responsible working partnering with multiple IT and business teams in order to define and document functional requirements necessary for IT systems development in support of business needs and goals.  You will evaluate and understand complex business problems, their technical implications and potential solutions.

How You Recognise if you are Successful
This area shows your Key Responsibilities – which are our expectations of you in this role.  We are a business of change, so these will be reviewed regularly and may change.  Because we are such a fast-moving and change orientated business, you may sometimes be asked to chip in with tasks or duties outside of the below.  We will always talk with you about any big changes. 

Key Result Area

Target or Goal
  Planning & Development
Elicit, identify and document functional requirements, impact analysis, designing the solution, use cases, and test scenarios and after care support
Advise and consult business leaders and relevant stakeholders in process change, projects and enhancements that benefit business outcome
Define business care for objectives of new projects, including identification of business needs and potential solutions
Conduct requirement gathering sessions and provide application and process subject matter expertise for business clients and technical resources
Develop and present customer technology roadmaps

Analysis and Process Management

Perform analysis of business processes to produce overall definitions of work-flow and identify improvement opportunities to increase capabilities and/or productivity
Critically evaluate information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile conflicts, decompose high-level information into details, abstract up from low-level information to a general understanding, and distinguish user requests from the underlying true needs
Review current state technology, architecture and data landscapes and design future state technology, architecture and data solutions and transitional roadmaps for clients
Participate in business process IT projects with an aim to continually improve the efficiency of the business.  Generate functional specifications and gain approval of stakeholders to ensure they meet business requirements
Run multiple projects efficiency within agreed timelines and agreed quality standards
Ensure continuous quality and progression of projects and actively contribute to process improvement initiatives.

Attend all relevant meetings to ensure up to date on all pipeline and current work and ensure effective communication is achieved across the business
Ensure that you maintain effective relationships both internally and externally so communication lines are open and well organised.
Ensure you are open to other points of view and take on board feedback constructively

Relationship Management
Work closely with the Professional Services Manager and other relevant stakeholders when required to ensure alignment with clients business strategy around network requirements
Liaise with staff across a broad range of levels to ensure required level of understanding of their requirements
Work with key customer stakeholders to understand and design accurate IT/IS solutions


Responsible for the overall provision of regular and ad hoc reports produced in a timely and effective manner at all times

Ensure all negotiations are conducted in accordance with internal policies and requirements
Contribute to ensuring that all  activities are conducted in accordance with internal policies and procedures, applicable legislation, rules and standards, including relevant Acts, and industry body requirements

Essential: is the absolute minimum the job requires

Preferred: is the level desired, but for which extensive experience could be a substitute

Industry based IT Technical qualification i.e. Business Analysis certificates, Computer Science degree

Formal Business Analysis training

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Training


Years and type of Skills/Attributes and Experience required:




Business Analyst in IT or related business environment
SOA design
High Analytical and detail focussed

Cloud design – IaaS, PaaS, NaaS
Strong documentation and communication skills

Enterprise Architecture

Man fires gun in Ashburton Work and Income office

Latest news from
A man has discharged a firearm in the Ashburton Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) office this morning.
The incident happened at the WINZ office on the corner of Cass and Moore streets.
Police said in a statement that the man left the scene on a push bike and should not be approached.
Locals were advised to take precautions and stay indoors.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Social Selling Tip: Use twitter to build strategic relationships

Imagine being in a crowd and shouting out news about your latest sales campaign. You'd struggle to be heard above all the other voices doing the same thing. There is a high chance that nobody would hear. That's how most people use twitter!

Now consider this, you're standing in the same crowd, you actively start talking one on one to someone. Even though the crowds are shouting all around you, the person you're talking to will lean in and listen carefully to what you have to say. Even more so if you let them do 80% of the talking.

I follow/unfollow a lot of people on twitter. When I look at my twitter feed, most of the tweets are of little interest to me. The tweets that interest me the most are the ones where someone has mentioned my twitter handle. I don't have the time to review all the other tweets.

Twitter has a great feature called 'lists'. Lists allow me to organise people into groups. When I view a list, I only see the tweets from people who belong in that list. I don't even have to follow the person.

Here's an example of one of my lists. I call it 'Sales Targets'. The list is marked private so that I am the only person who can see it. In this list are people who I would like to build a relationship for the purpose of making a sale.

Everyday, I am able to prioritise my time on social media by reviewing what is being said in my most important lists. I review my 'Sales Targets' list and I look for opportunities to engage with people. Notice the use of the word 'engage'? I look for things that we have in common so that I can join the conversation. Over time, we build a relationship.

Can you imagine what it is like when I pick up the phone to talk to a sales prospect for the first time? It's not a cold call neither is it a warm call. By this stage I'm calling a friend!

Here is a video clip that shows some details about using lists.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Social Selling Tip: Understand the pain before trying to fix the problem

For a sales person, that first meeting or interaction with a new buyer is critical. It is important to know who you're talking to, what drives them and what motivates them. While these factors will differ depending on their job role and position in the corporate hierarchy, we often try to solve problems that have nothing to do with their job role.

Recently, I have taken on a new sales role. I am providing Time & Attendance solutions to enable businesses to manage workforce costs. My buyer could be a LoB Manager (Line of Business), Payroll Manager or an Operations Manager. Each of these people have different requirements.

So, I've been doing research into what drives a Payroll Manager. By connecting with people on LinkedIn, I've been able to meet with several people to talk about some of their key motivators. These are easy to identify with more mature businesses as Payroll Manager's deliver to a set of KPI's (Key Performance Indicators).

This got me thinking a bit more about how to identify specific pain points for an organisation. I managed to find a great source of information that often lists the pain/problems in a bullet point format. 

If I need to talk to someone in Payroll, I begin by going to a job website and searching for Payroll positions that may be available. Most of them list the key requirements for that role. Requirements, obviously relate to the business goals that the applicant is going to be tasked with meeting. My job is to work out how I can help.

Another thing you can do is to review LinkedIn profiles. Do a search for a particular job role or function. When you read someone's profile, you will notice that they may have outlined their roles and responsibilities. However, some people will have listed their achievements. Achievements are great! By considering their achievements, you'll be able to work out what their initial problem was.

With this basic research you should be able to formulate a basic understanding of what drives and motivates someone in a particular job role. This is especially important when you don't have a good understanding of the role.  

Make a list of the key issues and work out what the questions are that you need to ask that are relevant to the person you're talking to. By asking these questions you will be able to determine the best way for you to be able to "help". Notice I use the word "help", that's the job of a sales person.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Social selling tip: Targeting your customers is not the best strategy

It's easy to find a prospect on LinkedIn and to think that your job is half done. Learn a little bit about their interests and hobbies, pick up the phone and call them. The social salesperson's whole mentality has moved from cold calling to warm calling. In my opinion it is still a cold call and now you're not just an annoying sales person, you're also a stalker!

We all know that the best way to make a sale is through a referral. This could be through a customer or a friend. Either way, a referral gives you credibility and that is what turns a cold call into a warm call.

Don't get me wrong, using social media to identify sales suspects/prospects is a good place to start. The question you need to ask is "How do I get a referral?"

LinkedIn is a great tool for enabling us to identify people who may know your suspect. Again, the natural inclination would be to call someone you know and ask them to make a referral. However, just because they seem to be connected on social media, doesn't mean there is a trusted relationship.

Let's face it, if you are having to ask for a referral, there is a problem. You have to earn a referral. Sounds a bit like real world selling, right? 'Social Selling' is about using social media tools to improve real world selling.

Over the past few days, I have identified a number of suspects. There are about 200 of them in total. I have been through each profile and kept a tally of the people in my network who are connect to them. My goal has been to identify the top 10 people who are connected to my list of suspects.

This list seems to contain people I know well as well as others who I am yet to meet. They are potentially people with the ability to influence a number of my known suspects. Which relationship is of more value to me, the influencer or the customer? The influencer!

Having identified these people, I am going through the process of earning (not asking for) a referral. I am frantically setting up meetings with these influencers. I need to understand how I can help them. Sooner or later, if they will be interacting with my sales suspects. If they like me, then they will make an unsolicited referral. 

Here are your next steps:

  1. Search LinkedIn for potential sales suspects
  2. Bookmark each suspect as you will want to refer back to them
  3. Search each profile for people within your network who are connected to the suspect (I use a spreadsheet to track this information)
  4. Identify the top 10 influencers
  5. Focus on spending time with your top 10 influencers

Friday, August 22, 2014

Using gaming to change employee behaviour

Gaming changes employee behavour
Mark Sumner (ASB) & Vaughan Rivett (Social Biz Guy)
have gamification in their sights
The Auckland Social Media Club packed out the venue to hear from a panel of gamification experts. A variety of people shared stories about using gaming to engage people for marketing, health and education purposes.

With the New Zealand elections being held in just a few weeks, a new game has been launched for young mobile device users. Using swipe Yes/No techniques, young people can learn about political parties. The goal being to educate young people so that they will vote.

This got me thinking about how gamification was a key part of the way business was done when I was at IBM. A simple process of earning badges provided over 440,000 employees with challenges and rewards to help them learn new strategies. The goal was to improve productivity and knowledge sharing.

One thing I have discovered with Time and Attendance solutions is that a number of them have a capability for 'points'. Points can be used to modify employee behaviours. For instance, employees often call in sick on a Friday or Monday, it's often known as a 'long weekend'. This has a direct cost to the business as sick leave entitlement is awarded.

To help address this problem, a gaming system could be put in place where employees are awarded points for being present and not claiming sick leave on a Monday or Friday. A leaderboard could be provided so that the team could see who held the top scores.

With any gaming system, there needs to be some sort of reward. Believe it or not, a leaderboard is often enough. However, other rewards could be offered. If absenteeism is an issue for your workforce, then the financial benefit may mean that a substantial reward could be awarded to top performers. I'm sure that an additional week of paid time off would appeal to most employees.
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