Sunday, 20 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
|Admit it: you want to punch each of them.|
The result is that such a "good corporate citizen" is rendered unable to react and, well before he knows it, the game is lost.Confusion is largely caused by the particular dialect of Management Speak which includes not only usual characteristics of powerpointese and management buzzwords, but also the IT metaphor. That is, along with the usual quick wins, low hanging fruit and granularity, you'll have to hack your way through flat files, APIs, C++ and unique identifiers.
The result is that such a "good corporate citizen" is rendered unable to react to the Business Analyst's opening gambit and, well before he knows it, the game is lost. A Business Analyst will thus invariably leave you and your immediate organisation worse off. It is vital therefore to employ defensive strategies:
Measured against its original terms of reference, there is no such thing as a complete or successful Banner IT Project. Usually they continue in perpetuity and, like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you just have to live with them. Occasionally they are (finally) implemented, but even then limp along unsatisfactorily without delivering a tenth of their original promise. A successful Banner IT Project is simply one that is not so catastrophic that it doesn't need to be immediately replaced (or worked around using excel spreadsheets, hand-filled forms and a scanner).
Invariably, the more ambitious an IT project is the worse it will be, the more poorly will its accompanying Business Analysts understand the project, the organisation or the basic tenets of human nature needed for the project to be a success, and the more it will cost the organisation in terms of direct expense (hiring Business Analysts and IT licence fees) and indirect expense (otherwise useful employees being diverted, distracted, disenfranchised and ultimately eaten by the project).
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Monday, 10 May 2010
Elsewhere, this has come as something of a let-down. Everything we were taught in school led us to believe that the strong silent types who were incredibly popular, handsome, captained the first XV, led mountaineering expeditions to K2, sang baritone in the Chapel Choir, won the inter-house Tae Kwon Do competition and relentlessly victimised the unfortunate weedy kids who hung out in the computer lab toting 7" floppies with hacked copies of Castle Wolfenstein, misappropriating their lunch money, were the ones in life destined to win, have glamorous wives, beautiful children, and swan about in late-model race-tuned BMW roadsters.
But no: a glance around a trading floor tells quite a different story. Losing a bit of pocket money in one's teens transpires to be quite the formative experience, it seems.
Sunday, 9 May 2010
- "To drill down".
- "To circle the wagons".
- "To sing from the same hymn sheet".
- "blue sky thinking".
- "To cut to the chase".
- Any sporting reference, eg, "we are approaching the end zone", or "who is going to quarterback the hiring process?"
- a legal clerk will mostly use Microsoft Word or Outlook.
- a financial structurer or trader will mostly use Microsoft Excel.
- a salesperson or a middle manager will learn their trade through the prism of Microsoft PowerPoint.
Adeptness at PowerPoint, the willingness to tinker around to get snappy slide transitions and the like, is a core skill of an aspiring middle manager (and a quick way to pick up the fundamental syntax of management speak). Those having a black belt in PowerPoint form one of the classic business worker archetypes - the lost tribes of Microsoft Office.
PowerPoint experts themselves fall into two clans: salespeople on one hand, and middle managers on the other. Their respective uses of PowerPoint are markedly different (though in both cases the chief objective is to obfuscate: Salespeople use PowerPoint to sell things; middle managers use PowerPoint to overwhelm, confuse, distract or otherwise simply justify their own existence.
In the business world, the sorts of people who belong to the "Microsoft word" tribe tend to reside in the legal department. They would never use Excel, even if their lives depended on it, and are innately (and correctly) suspicious of anyone bearing a PowerPoint presentation, and anything contained in it.
My name is Vega
I live on the second floor
I lives upstairs from you
Yes I think I've seen you before
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, especially vega and leveraged alpha.