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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taking Time For Yourself

One thing I learned while doing self reflection at the end of last year is the importance of taking time out for self. I am excited about taking a family vacation over spring break this year to visit family and just get reengerized. It's so important to do this to avoid burn out. I know it's sometimes easier than said, but it's so important. There are benefits of doing this and consequences of not.

1. Gives you down time to just relax and reenergize
2. Makes you more productive as you come back fresh to work and a better attitude
3. Allows you to do self reflection on things that are going well and things that are not
4. Allows you to just sit back and enjoy life. All work and no play can make for a journey through life where you don't enjoy it
5. Increases better health in that you are taking time to rejuvenate the body

1. Potential health issues for not taking time
2. Bad attitude because of constant work
3. Lower productivity
4. Fatigue
5. Life passing you by

The consequences are definitely not worth it. Especially since those can be controlled. It's worth taking time for yourself. Whether its a day dedicated to yourself monthly, a quarterly vacation or a bi-monthly vacation, it's doesn't matter, just take time out for yourself.

I am and so should you See you in two weeks.


Paula Bell

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Expanding Your Role

I have had the opportunity to be in a Requirements Manager role on quite a few multimillion dollar projects. I have learned a lot about not only managing requirements but also working with people. I have been the "go to" person for multiple business analysts who are writing requirements on said projects.  I have found that in order for me to be successful in this role I needed to be very strong in the following:
  1. Strategic Thinking - making calculated decisions that will align with the overall company strategy. Ensuring I understand the organization's strategy.
  2. Holistic Thinking - understanding how the project fits with the overall company goals objectives and strategies.  Not being siloed in just my own area but understanding the impacts of other areas.
  3. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - other business analysts are depending on me to help solve problems that are escalated to me.  I need to be sharp in solving problems and thinking critically to question assumptions.  
  4. Time Management - ensuring I manage my time to provide support to the business analysts that are working on the project in which I am the Requirements Manager as well as making sure I get my work done as well.
  5. Resource Allocation - I have to understand each resources' strength, area of opportunity, domain knowledge, personality and more to determine what task to assign to what resource. I always need to understand their resource capacity to ensure I don't over allocate a resource which in turn could result in the resource not being as successful as he/she could be and in that instance I may need to roll up my sleeves to help with the workload.  I'm not going to assign anyone anything I would not do.  We are a TEAM!!!!
  6. Negotiation Skills - there are many times during the gathering of requirements items need to be negotiated. I have found this negotiation occurs a lot when requirements need to be prioritized but it does occur through the entire life cycle. 
  7. Communication Skills - I have to be very effective in communicating out tasks, expectations and timelines. I have to know the communication style of each resource to ensure what I'm communicating is being understood.
I am very happy I've had the opportunity to be in this role as this role has sharpened my skills in so many areas and so many critical areas. If you have a chance to expand the role you are in to learn more things I suggest you welcome that opportunity. There is so much to be gained and learned.


Paula Bell