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  1. I think the dingo ate my Network…

    2 Comments

    This post was inspired by a person I have never met in real life, but have struck up conversations across the social web about relocationing and networking. [ilink url=”http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maryanne-shew/7/950/202″]Maryanne Shew[/ilink] and I have both moved to new cities at the same time.  Maryanne has moved to Salt Lake City and I have Virginia Beach, VA. We have been having conversations about our experiences over on facebook, so I decided to share some experiences and tips about how to establish a new network of people, organizations, and companies. Some of things that may work for me as a guy, may not work for woman and vice a versa.  More about this later in the post.

    Here is the conversation that inspired me to make this post:

       

    Keith Privette

    How to start over in a new city where you barely know anyone.  Let me tell you it is not easy. I lived in Minneapolis for 15 years. That is a long time to be in one place, right? Well it is for me since graduating college. So we picked up everything and moved to Virginia Beach, VA in July 2011. The reason my wife got a huge career opportunity here and we decided to take the risk and dig up the roots and plant them here in Virginia. From what I am told this is rather unique. I do believe in the next five to ten years this will become common place, so you fellas support your woman when they have this chance.

    Here are some tips at going about rebuilding a new network, while maintaining the one you have have already built. This is very important. Just because you are in a new city with new people does not mean you neglect the relationships you have built and cherished.

    1. Use your connecting skills on twitter

    Being that I have fully engaged on twitter since April, 2008 it has become second nature to find people on twitter for me.  I find twitter being the lowest barrier for connecting.  All you have to do is hit the follow button and bam you are partially connected already.  Now with the follow button has to come some organization of this noise or you will not effectively use it for reestablishing your network. Once the decision had been made that we were relocating I setup a Twitter List called Virginia Beach to start adding profiles to it as I found people that lived in this part of the country.

    This list contains people, companies, and news outlets for the region.  By following people and adding them to the list right away I was able to setup a column on my Seemic web and a short cut on my EVO to follow the conversations happening in this list. That is only 50% of the equation of this networking activity.  Then you have to start having conversations with people to truly make the connections. If you find interesting things people or companies are saying ReTweet them. If you find something to respond to, respond to it.  Start promoting things in the area events, conferences, and jobs.

    This helps to show commitment to helping out the area not just broadcasting.  Now the conversations may not happen right away, that is ok.  These new people have to get to know.  Have patiences the conversations will happen!

    2. Use searches on Meetup.com

    I have to admit I really forgot how much organizations and people use meetup.com!  I used to use this tool a lot a couple years ago, but like many tools if the communities you are involved are not using them, you tend to place them on the back burner.  Well when starting in a new city Meetup is a vital resource to finding out, engaging and getting involved in a new city or region.  There are a many many many organizations that use meetup to schedule events and organize communities.

    The first thing I did was update my profile to begin my searching and getting new information email to me based on my new city. After updating my profile I bagan searching for organizations that fit my professional and personal interests.  This can be many different things to many different people, so right size it to your needs.  I have been looking for recruiting organizations, social media organizations, project management organizations, and non-profits to get involved with here in Virginia Beach or Norfolk.

    I have already joined one meetup group and looking to join others real soon. The biggest step you will need to take is registering for events and showing up.  This will changer everything for you.  You can not play on the sidelines of this platform.  This tool is used to truly live the long-tail of the on and offline relationship.  Trust me you will be nervous, unsure about going and scared.  It is ok, everyone is, I know I am sometimes.

    3. Find events on Eventbrite.com

    Much like meetup.com Eventbrite.com is an events planning and community organization platform.   Once again update your profile so people know you live in the area.  Then start doing searches for events you want to attend.  Many of these events will be paid events, so break open the wallet.

    There will be return on the small investments you make.  Now what I have seen you will find all kinds of events to attend on eventbrite! So invest time is searching one time events and reoccurring events. This platform will get you involved very quickly.  Additionally if you don’t find what you are looking for create your own event!

    Yes you being new to a city can start your own events. I saw this a lot in Minneapolis and many of them have built quite a community of participation. So if you think your new city may be missing an organization or a monthly type of event CREATE IT!  This will for sure be a benefit to the community as well to yourself getting plugged in and engaged.

    4. Find new folks by their bio’s on twitter using Followerwonk.com

    This platform has proven to be my biggest asset in finding people in my new city! I was introduced to this tool by my very good friend Kary Delaria about a year and half ago! This platform let you find people based on their twitter bio’s.  Once again when I learned we were moving I started researching people’s twitter bio’s in the cities that I was going to be living in and by.

    Now I am not suggesting start following everyone that shows up in your search. Start with a plan and some criteria you would like to find people.  First search find people with the same city as you. You may already be following people in that city based on previous interaction. The platform shows the following relationship.

    Here is an example of how the tool shows the relationship: Followerwonk after searching Virginia Beach:

    5. Use Tweet.Grader.com to find top Tweeters in your new area!

    Hubspot has made a great free tool to find people and or companies in your new area.  You can read bio’s and view how the internet views people and companies in your new area.  To take the next step is follow these people and utilize suggestions #1. This will keep all these new people organized and actionable.  You will be able to reach out quicker if you add to list or you are just adding them to your following and hoping you see in your feed.  Here is an example of the search I used:

     

    These tools along with your online profiles should help you get started rebuilding your professional and personal connections in your area. Then it is up to you to start meeting people offline. None of these tools can help with that.  The platforms can help you organize, find, and lower the barriers for communication, but they will be all for naught if you don’t take it offline and let people get to know you IRL (In Real Life). This brings me to the the interesting point Maryanne brought up.

    I started making the above suggestions to make connections, then I mentioned to start asking people to meet for coffee or lunch. Which she promptly told me this is much different for woman than it is for men. Which I had to pause and think about this comment. My perspective was and has always remained “It is just coffee or lunch!”  For me making this suggestion did not matter to me whether you were a woman or a man.

    With Maryanne’s explanation that a single woman in a new city the opposite gender may get the wrong idea, which makes the next step of IRL in a one on one situation not as quick. A few group events may be the direction before this step is taken in most cases for woman. Which has now enlightened me to understand when making the request out of the blue to woman.

    Woman go through a different thought process about this request than I do. So thank you Maryanne for that suggestion. Don’t let this stop the connecting, I am suggesting just be aware of the situation, gender, and perspective when making the ask. Now go forth and rebuild that network!

    If there are other platforms or people I should be connecting with please leave a comment below! Oh and Maryanne and I have also discussed doing a co-written post about what does our networks and experiences look like 4 or 6 months later. Also I have asked Maryanne to make a guest post on my site (can not wait for her to do this, giddy actually!!!)

  2. Real Rahm vs Fake Rahm and Influence

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    We live in some interesting social dynamic times today!  People can become other people online, in less than 3 minutes (about how long it takes to setup a twitter account).  Case in point, the “little” scenario playing out in Chicago with Rahm Emanuel’s campaign to be the next mayor of that city.

    Now here is where it gets interesting check out their Klout Profiles:

    @MayorEmanuel




    @RahmEmanuel





























     

    Now at first glance and if you did not know any better you could start following and interacting with the fake Rahm Emanuel (do you know which is which?).  If you assumed the Real Rahm would have a better influence quotient, you would have been WRONG!   So there is a Real Rahm Emanuel account on twitter @rahmemanuel, there is also a fake Rahm Emanuel account on twitter@mayoremanuel.

    So if you started following the first account, you may be disappointed,  if trying to follow the real Rahm to discuss issues in the city of Chicago. You may not be disappointed if you found out you were following the fake account, because the influence thing did not matter to you that much. On a side note and personal opinion the person running the fake account is hilarious (I am sure Rahm’s campaign staff does not think so)!

    After thinking about this a little further, Klout may have themselves an interesting case study.  The case study would center around online vs offline influence and the combining of the two sets of data. The reason I include offline because this is a data points Klout is figuring out to include in their algorithm, which I am fascinated and tuning in to see how they are going to get this information (have a couple ideas myself, but really curious how they are going to measure this information). Clearly if offline influence was a factor in the quotient and most likely carried a higher weight there would be a clear line of site between these two accounts.

    So on face value the Fake Rahm Emanuel appears to have more influence, based on the current evaluation, but here is where it gets interesting! The Fake account has no offline influence (well it could, but we do not know who this person is yet!), but the Real Rahm Emanuel has tons of offline influence and if this was factored into the equation would that boost the score and by how much.  So this example shows how influence is way deeper than the score or reach you see in the pictures above.

    Just something to think about when using data points to help produce a execution strategies and operational plans for your business.  Klout can be very helpful in these categories, but your business should not use this as an exclusive path, which I am sure I am preaching to the choir on that. What do you think is this interesting?  It will be really interesting if @mayoremanuel takes @rahmemanuel up on his $5,000 offer!

  3. The Social Business Swirling in my head

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    This will be somewhat of a shorter post for me. I know the novels are getting to be a bit much! So I was chatting away on twitter the other day and Bruce Kneuer and I bumped into each other and we started talking about the Social Business.  Now we only have a 140 characters so this is how the conversation went:

    @BKneuer Question

    @BKneuer Question















    So after thinking about the context that was swirling around in my head I responded with this 140 characters:


    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer

    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer


    So then Bruce kindly puts this request into me:


    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram
    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram


    So I decided to visualize Bruce’s question into a model so I can understand what is swirling around in my head.  This is a visualization to represent how much over lap we have with people, technology, and processes to interact internally and externally at the same time.  Our customers have a much much much better idea of what our companies are, how they are ran, and who is running them.

    People are curating information across the internet and basing decisions of where they place their focus, money and their time and they are not getting this information from your website or press releases…..Well enough about that! That could be another post, but no more novels in 2011, I promised Nicole Harrison.

    Here is the model that represents the ideas and what action could be taken based on interconnecting within the Social Business constructs.


    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head
    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head


    So Bruce thank you for prompting with your very though provoking question.  This is what I have so far.  It is basically a model to get the people, technology, and processes working together to solve and innovate. There is a ton of details that need to be filled in and I know that.  Just thought it would be  fun and educating to share and fulfill a request for information at the same time. Open to any and all comments.

    Please leave a comment below about what is missing, what you like, what you don’t like, where there is flaws, why is technology as big as the business, your cracked and stop doing this, anything!


  4. Ooops forgot the WHY!

    552 Comments

    So the previous post talks about WHY in the title and after reviewing the post I did not even scratch the surface or even answer the question of Why.  So this post is the follow up to Why you need a Social Business Analyst.  The Business Analyst has evolved to be a very intragel part of the software development lifecycle and plays a major role (yes this is a biased opinion) in keeping the worlds of business and technology synthesized.  The role has evolved to be a skilled and well positioned professional for a company, thinking about how to integrate the business’ strategy, process, technology, and implementation of a its Social Business architecture and operations.

    Just check out a google search on Social Business Jobs, you will notice many of the skill sets this implementation needs, now look at what a good Business Analyst comes with, now integrate their personal and professional social profile and BOOM the Social Business Analyst.

    Here is a diagram of the dynamic skill set of the Business Analyst:


    The Social Business Analyst

    The Social Business Analyst



    Here are some criteria to answer the question Why:

    1. We know how businesses work better with technology

    The Social Business Analyst is well versed at understanding what the business processes are and how they are made more efficient within technology.  This understanding is critical to implementing the Social Business, because about 70% of your business is run with technology.  The other 30% is run by people making decisions about the information coming from those technologies.  Scary, hey….not really technology has freed us up to actually have more conversations and better data for making decisions.

    If you look at the Enterprise2.o & “Social Media” landscape, technology plays a huge part in your ability to execute your strategy and operations.  People will say “It’s not about the technology, blah, blah, blah!”  I disagree!  It is about technology and technology from the perspective it helps make your Social Business run efficiently, effectively and in the most cost effective way.  A Social Business analyst must know how this ever changing world of social technologies (Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Jive, SocialText, Crimson Hexagon, Radian6,  and operational technologies (SAP, PeopleSoft, Concur, Salesforce.com, SAS, POS, Sterling Commerce) must integrate to make the Social Business work.


    2. Organic nature of requirements gathering

    Yes, you heard me right requirements come to a project or initiative in very organic and dynamic nature.  There may be methodologies methodologies step by step processes, structured traceability, but how to get and gather requirements can be rather  organic.  This typically is the best way to design solutions that people will actually use.  When you become to robotic or “order takerish” with going to meeting, gather, document, ask questions, going to another meeting, gather, document, send email, meeting…..can you see how fast collaboration, organics, and innovation gets stifled in this process.  A good Social Business Analysts does not have to think “Oh what is my next step in this methodology”, we just think this way, to easily get, analyze, model, document, use, and communicate information for the betterment of the business.



    3. Document and model everything

    Yes almost to a fault….but isn’t this what is going on all over consumer technologies these days.  The Social Business Analyst document requirements in an organized fashion so people can actually use the information to make decisions.  You will never see me produce a laundry list of requirements!  We make pictures for all of our words in the form of process models, state change digrams, user interface process models, conceptual data models, and wireframes (yeah we like to mock up screens to get people talking).  This helps the widest audience use information to make decisions.  Managing this information in well architected, maintained, and open tools makes a project or initiative run soooooo much smoother.  If you run projects devoid of these tools or run your organization like the “cobbler that never provides his\her children with no shoes” it will be a painful thorn in your side. I have seen both and thorns hurt!



    4. We are  precocious 5 year olds when it comes to asking questions

    Why do you do that?  Why is that free form text?  Why is there so many hand offs?  Why don’t you make that required?  Why not a drop down there?  Why did you change for two days ago?  Why would a customer do that? What questions do you want to ask of your information? What market-share would you like to capture? What do you want to capture from the customer engagement? How many users will you have? How will you service these requests? Who will use this?  What do you think?

    See this is what we continually do when we receive information or produce it for people to talk about.  Typically the highlighted question is the one we use when we bring information to the table to discuss.  The questions we use come from a place of curiosity, fill in the blanks, connect the dots, validate the dots we have connected, and always wanting to make the business more efficient for their customers, employees, investors, and communities.



    5. We love figuring out how the ecosystem works together

    There are no silver bullets! We understand that to solve most business problems an ecosystem must be developed and implemented to help support the ecosystem that is the business.  Being that social, enterprise2.0, and cloud technologies are maturing everyday, businesses need people that have been maturing along with them, hence the need for the Social Business Analyst.  With the world of clouds, API’s, sharable on just about everything, consumer technology outpacing corp technology and most businesses needing to work internally and externally, a Social Business Analyst help gather, present, and make recommendations on a platform basis, not a silver bullet.



    6. We like data and finding new conversations for improving

    Yes based on using the information above you achieve good data in and good data out.  We continually think about the questions a business is going to have along the way once the information is being populated.  We understand the value of good data architecture, good information management, what a required field does to the process, what free form text fields vs structured data in drop downs gets you down the road.

    I personally love “geeking out” with data architectes to understand how we structure the data to get it back out to make good business decisions.  Once did a project in Mexico City where every data field was in english and in spanish behind the scenes so you could run reports in spanish and english.  This skill set comes in very handy with working with monitoring tools of the social landscape.  Having a solid understanding and the ability to speak with data and information geeks will make a Social Business Analyst vital to your team.



    7. Connecting the dots quickly is our DNA

    The dot connecting is really evident when you go back up and look at the Social Business Analyst cube.  See the solid and dotted lines intersecting all over the place.  Those are just the dots to connect the resources together.  Now image all the dots that need to be connected across your organization…..now think about the dots connecting the internal to the external…..now lets go really big the dots that are connecting all your costumers.  Got it mapped out? Well if not a Social Business Analyst kinda sees the language of the matrix when it comes to this.  The good part, with the skills above we model, decompose the information, organize it, and “bucketize” it for easier consumption and decision making.

    There is the WHY of putting this job description on the docket for 2011.   The WHY on hiring a Social Business Analyst in 2011, if you are heading down the “social” path (eventually it is the path, but that is another discussion). I do believe a the Social Business Analyst plays well in the Marketing, Advertising, Communication, Digital, Customer Service Call Center, Sales, and HR sandboxes.

    What are your thoughts?  What is missing?  What were your perceptions going into this information and now what are they? Look forward to hearing from you in the comments!  I want to thank Jessi Howard for emailing some feedback on the  Social Business Analyst Job Description post (see email is not dead!) and encouraging me to explain the WHY in a little more detail.  Thank you Jessi!

  5. What is a Social Business Analyst and why YOU need one!

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    I have been kicking around this idea about what I want to do next and thought “It is a New Year, right!”  So I thought to myself “Hey if you write a job description so people can understand the role, skills, and projects I would be looking for!”  Additionally, people kept asking “What the hell is a Social Business Analyst?”

    A Social Business Analyst is a role, skill set is deeply rooted in understanding how businesses run and applying how that business can run within technology.  With the ever growing maturity of the Social Business architecture and operations, a Social Business Analyst comes with the above mentioned DNA, they also have infused not only living in the social business community, they know how to apply skills and techniques to build, document, test, and implement what it means for the business and it’s people.

    There are some similar architectural principles, processes, and tools, but every business, culture, and business DNA is different.  One size does not fit all and a great Social Business Analyst will be a huge asset to the team and company in making the shift to becoming a Social Business.

    Here is what a Social Business Analyst Job description would look like:

     

     

     

     

    Purpose:

    Business Analyst plays an important role in a lot of aspects of a company. A business analyst’s job involves a lot of research, data analysis and to some extent problem solving.  The BA is responsible for the success of the Requirements Definition (RD) Process including system requirement definition, business scenario development, conceptual and logical modeling, class diagramming, conceptual wireframing, and tools used to make information processing more efficient for initiative team.  The BA supports application development in the Systems Domain.

    The BA must understand the social landscape from an internal and external context. They must have participated in different online communities and technologies and be proficient at understanding the context and potential.  The BA must be a facilitator of training, coaching, and mentoring the utilization of new tools and cultures that develop based on people utilizing these new tools.  The BA works closely with tool vendors, social business consultants and other firms to ensure the business scenarios and technologies fit the Enterprise as well as individual units responsible for owning the context of the business execution.  The BA must navigate and integrate the ecosystem of people, processes, and technologies from a culture and community aspect for planning and execution for operational success.

    The BA understands the technology and business environments, application and process capabilities, and architectural constraints, and is capable of leveraging and successfully applying this information to bring the best solution forward.  The BA works closely with Business Representatives (Supply Chain, Distribution, Marketing, HR, Communications, Customer Service, Product Development, and any other Business Unit you have for executing the Business), Application Architects, Data Analysts and Software Developers to provide analytical support to ensure system and business requirements are clearly documented and understood during the design and development of the application.  The BA owns and manages system and business requirements definition. The BA participates in a supporting role in the overall design and development of the technology solutions.  The BA must be able to resolve conflicts in non-threatening manner.  The BA must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and written requirements.

    Job Duties:

    The job of a Social Business Analyst involves many aspects that span from business operations to technology implementation. It requires them to have constant interaction with the clients / customers and for them to be able to provide appropriate solutions in a timely manner. A Social Business Analyst will need to have good understanding of Business, Technology, and Culture of Social (eventually it will be the way a business is run, but must mature just like other business organizations like HR, Marketing, or Legal).  Here is a visual representation of where the job duties will fall:

    Social Business Analyst - Current

    Social Business Analyst - Current

    Social Business Analyst - Future

    Social Business Analyst - Future

    A summary of the job duties of a Social Business Analyst are given below.  Many of the job duties fall within each one of the specific spheres above and can be applied to Business, Technology and Social.  A Social Business Analyst is going to need to perform many of these duties simultaneously, which is part of BA’s DNA.  Many of these job duties can be spotted on a resume based on project work, but can only be assessed by interacting online and or face to face interviews.


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Opportunity Analysis

     

    • Identifies cause-and-effect relationships and implementing solutions to address causes.
    • Selects the most appropriate course of action.
    • Develops initiates or leads an effort to improve procedures or implement new approaches for supporting solutions to problems or opportunities.
    • Modifies their own behavior with the need, priorities and goals of the organization’s changing circumstances.
    • Comprehends appropriate channels to quickly expedite customer services and deliverables.
    • Demonstrates knowledge of the IT organization’s customers, policies and practices.
    • Demonstrates a sufficient overall knowledge of technology to use internal and external resources of technology assistance effectively.
    • Formulates specifications for complex systems or application programs.
    • Stays abreast of new developments and attends professional development activities.
    • To be able to understand and collect all the business requirements of the clients as well as partners a part of the initiative
    • Making of proposals and interacting with the client to ensure that the solutions that are being suggested are what he or she want and that they are viable enough to be implemented.
    • Conducting basic analysis and research of the industry that the customer belongs to.
    • Prepare and define the scope of the project.
    • Determining the effort and the cost of the project.
    • Drafting business requirements.
    • Interacting and working with a team to ensure that they understand the project requirements and deliver solutions accordingly.
    • Sets an example by behaving in ways that are consistent with company vision and values.
    • Creates an environment in which employees have ownership of their jobs and area able to achieve job expectations.
    • Assumes ownership and accountability for own performance management.
    • Projects personal and company high standards and develops constructive, trusting relationships in all interactions.
    • Assesses one’s own strengths and weaknesses and takes actions to improve.

     

    Requirements Analysis

     

    • Translates pure business elements and functions as well as technological concepts into language that is understandable to the audiences receiving the information.
    • Identifies and analyzes problems and opportunities based on business and IT strategic and tactical goals, objectives, and visions.
    • Analyzes business processes problems and opportunities based on business strategic and tactical goals, objectives, and visions.
    • Works at one’s own discretion, independently of outside influence or control, contributing to high morale and group commitment that supports goals and objectives.
    • Originates action to achieve goals or influence events beyond what is mandatory.
    • Restates the content and feelings expressed in information received from the spoken communication of others accurately.
    • Communicates effectively, in both verbal and written form, with diverse groups, regardless of level or function.
    • Sensitive to hierarchical structures of groups and organizations.
    • Seeks ways of going beyond the limits set by structure to help bring out the best in individuals and groups.
    • Encourages highly energized, productive, inclusive and meaningful participation and knows how to engage people in planning and decision making.
    • Conducts meetings to obtain, qualify and evaluate information to support the definition and clarification of requirements and needs.
    • Understands what customers really want and then measures actions and improvements against that vision.
    • Provides friendly, caring service and handles any customer situation with confidence and a sense of urgency.
    • Develops rapport, mutual trust and understanding of customers overall business and related computing needs.
    • Produces and communicates the meaning of business process and domain models.
    • Creates business cases to provide support or definition to the strategic direction of a business area
    • Studies situations and actions, separating them into parts, and identifying common elements, themes, and risks.
    • Seeks growth of knowledge an understanding of customers, business, industries, technologies, processes and systems.
    • Identifies and analyzes system objects and presents the findings in a manner that supports facilitation to differing audiences.
    • Gathers, organizes and evaluates information in a logical systematic fashion, recognizes patterns and similarities between past and present and across customers and industries.
    • Produces and communicates the meaning of system process and domain models.
    • Understands the relationship of business processes and domain models to system models.
    • Identifies the specific data elements and their attributes as they relate to business needs for returning and reporting information.
    • Identifies the sources of data and how the data is used and interacts with systems and applications.
    • Identifies the specific data structures as they relate to the sources and targets in order to facilitate collection, storage, and extraction of data.

     

    Requirements Management

     

    • Identifies and determines the impact to changing requirements on scope and development effort.
    • Traces requirements to understand dependencies.
    • Utilizes people effectively by allocating responsibilities and authority to them as appropriate.
    • Mentors for knowledge, skill and behavior development.
    • Identifies and offers opportunities to learn and develop.
    • Participates in cross-functional teams to work on problems or opportunities.
    • Works cooperatively with other team members to accomplish goals.
    • Develops effective work relationships on all levels of the organization.
    • Plan, tracks, and manages the components required to support successful completion of projects.
    • Adheres to project management methodology to staff and projects or significant assignments.
    • Follows current enterprise standards and methods to provide consistency in the environment using preferred tools and techniques.
    • Identifies the need for new or improved standards and methods to provide better communication and stability within the technology and business areas.
    • Assigns resources, ideas, time and people to accomplish a goal.
    • Uses criteria to determine the relative importance of problems/goals/options.

     

     

    Knowledge and Skills

    • An understanding of .NET/J2EE/HTML/PHP/JS/HTML5/FBML
    • Understanding or working knowledge of API’s, Integration Technologies, Mobile, Data Modeling
    • An understanding of Social Technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Youtube, Disqus, Pluck, WordPress, Posterous, Sharable Widgets, JIVE, Newsgator, Sharepoint, RSS Readers and Socialtext.  Must have an understanding of integrating these tools and technologies internally and or externally or both
    • An understanding of Social Monitoring Tools configurations, implementation, and reporting such as  Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, Lithium, Google Analytics, and Google Alerts.  Must have an understanding of what is needed and how to use working knowledge is a must.
    • An understanding of applications for managing customers, employees, and businesses management information such as Siebel, MS Dynamics, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Peoplsoft, SAP, Kenexa, Taleo
    • An understanding of analysis concepts, database design, SQL, UML and software engineering is an added advantage.
    • Excellent presentation, written and oral skills.
    • Working knowledge of Software Development Lifecycles and methodologies and tools to get technology.  These would include Visio, Quality Center, Jira, Caliber, MSTFS, BluePrint, Sharepoint, Clarity, Basecamp

     

    Educational Qualifications and Experience

      • B.A. or B.S. degree in Information Systems, Computer Science, Marketing, Communication, Journalism, or related field, or equivalent work experience
      • 10+ years of systems and/ or business analysis or design experience in a systems or technical type role (e.g., application development, use of SDLC)
      • 5+ years of personal experience with utilizing and participating with Social Technologies and Online Communities
      • 10+ years of Business experience within Retail, Healthcare, Financial Services, Product Management, Software, Government, and or Non-Profit
      • Works on extremely complex problems; assignments involve new technologies or new applications; recognized as enterprise-wide resource
      • Assist in the definition of objectives to support project success, review and track the completion
      • Mentor other associates within the IT and Business disciplines.
      • Assigned projects of critical importance to support of key customers, development of new projects of strategic importance
      • Exercises independent judgment in developing methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
      • Prior experience in dealing with technical teams.
      • Prior experience working on rapid technical development and collaborative project environments.
      • Experience in drafting proposals.

     

    So this is the job description I am looking for in 2011.  Does this job description exist yet?  No it does not?! That is why I am proposing it so the folks figuring out their 2011 plans and budgets may take this into consideration.  If companies have these types of questions going into 2011; “What do we need to infuse Social into our company?” “What types of jobs and people do we need to hire?” “Do we have the job descriptions for hiring new types of roles at our company?” Hopefully this job description would answer some of those questions.

    What do you think? Would you add to this job description?  Please feel free to use this within your companies it can only further my chances of landing this career path somewhere in the near future!  Happy planning and budgeting for 2011 and make sure to make room for me, my skills, and my job description!

     

     

  6. Want your Social Business Group to succeed, report to the C-Suite

    3 Comments

    We have begun the era of businesses turning the corner of complete change in the way they are managed internally to be more affectively run externally for their customers, investors, and communities.  There are many blog posts, articles, and conferences being dedicated to this very topic.  Since it is relatively new on the business management landscape, people and companies are trying to figure out what works, what does not, and what does the future hold.

    I decided to take a stab at the actual organizational setup, roles and types of people that will strategize, plan, operationalize, and support the social business structure.  The one common sentiment that appears quite often is “how do we get buy-in from senior leaders and the c-suite”  I think the best way to get buy-in is to have direct reporting and governance over the organization, people, goals, objectives and measurement of success.  This gives the senior leaders direct line of site to the people and structure for it to succeed.


    Wikipedia Definition of a Social Business:

    social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective. The profits are used to expand the company’s reach and improve the product/service. This model has grown from the work of Muhammad Yunus and others.  Social business is a cause-driven business. In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. Purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company, no personal gain is desired by the investors.

    I really like this approach to the definition of a Social Business!  It seems a more practical and applicable to most business settings today, whether it is a private, public or non-profit type of organization.

    Peter Kim of Dachis Group

    Its goal: helping organizations improve value exchange among constituents.  Social Business Design uses a framework of four mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive archetypes: ecosystem, hivemind, dynamic signal, and metafilter. This model can be applied to improve customer participation, workforce collaboration, and business partner optimization. Doing so provides insight to help measure and manage business to produce improved and emergent outcomes.  To learn more, I encourage you to read our complete thinking behind the concept of Social Business Design.


    Here is my diagram of an approach to structuring your social business group organizationally. This will be the basis of the ideas below:

     

    Org Chart Social Business Group

    Org Chart of the Social Business Group


    There are some main components for this structure to be affective and effectively run. The following will be discussed in this post:

    1. Planning

    2. Business Metrics

    3. Get the People out there

    4. Eclectic Group of Roles and People

    5. Solid Line and Dotted Line Management

    6. Reverse Mentoring


    1. Planning

    The planning is a critical function of the Social Business.  The planning has to have an understanding of the collective needs and wants of the organization.  A centralized function around planning will provide an enterprise view of all the competing needs and wants of the organization. What the Social Business Group will have the ability to do is collectively prioritize all of these competing needs of all your organizations.  One of the byproducts of this centralized planning of the internal and external social business is that silo’d organizations start to share goals, objectives, and measurements of success.

    The planning also leads a more collaborative effort to tactical and operational execution of these needs and wants.  The Social Business Group will have the ability to flow work back and forth between their group and organizations that will more than likely have the people to execute the tactics.  Depending on the needs and wants the Social Business Group can execute for an organization, which allows organizations within the enterprise to expand and contract based on the needs and wants.  This cuts down on hiring for duplicate resources for tactical execution.  The Social Business Group can synthesize organizations inside the enterprise to leverage one resource for these execution tactics, instead of 4 organizations hire 4 people and they end up all doing the same thing and costing the company four times as much.  This group ensures the planning and execution of the social business both internally and externally.


    2. Business Metrics

    The Social Business Group is driven by Financial and Non-Financial metrics.  This group will be responsible for continually monitoring the effectiveness of the needs and wants based on pure financial returns, non-financial activities that will help drive financial return, and reviewing short and long term course correcting success.  The Social Business Group will be held responsible for reporting the success and or failures of executing needs and wants.  This group will be held to review activities in the future.

    So if the need or want has a business case of a return of financial investment in 3 years, when that 3rd year rolls around the group will be responsible for reporting on these numbers.  If the numbers are not reached there will be accountabilities and responsibilities that will need to be explained and corrected to find a new program to find that return or documented so history does not repeat itself.  There will be a repository built for keeping track of these programs.  The following areas below could be some areas that the Social Business Group will be responsible for planning, executing and supporting on an ongoing basis

    a. The hiring and retention of employees

    b. Finding leads to and tracking the success of closing for financial success

    c. Increasing customer satisfaction

    d. Increasing market-share for a product or service

    e. Increasing spend within the current loyal customer base.

    f. Decreasing expensive Call Center phones and leverage more online customer service channels

    g. Drive purchasing on niche markets with niche ways of marketing and advertising.

    h. Decrease operating costs by reducing duplication of efforts across the silo’d organizations.

    These are just some of the financial and non-financial accountabilities and responsibilities the people, processes, projects and technologies will have in this group.  To achieve any of these metrics the Social Business Group must be sharing, collaborating and ensuring people and technologies are working together to achieve.  The days of silo’d achievement metrics are over if you want to succeed.  Success is NOT derived in silos anymore.  Unless there is a group fully dedicated to ensure shared metrics are achieved then they really are never achieved.  Look at your goals and objectives for 2011 see any shared goals with other silos and your bonus tied to if achieved or not…….didn’t think so.


    3. Get the People out there

    The Social Business Group does not sit in cubes all day long taking orders or waiting for the next project come in.  They are fully integrated with all business functions throughout the organization.  They need to seek out the individuals that want to energize the company using new collaborative processes and technologies internally and externally.  Most businesses are operating outside their firewall with business partners as well as consumers and investors.  This group is always seeking ways to understand the flow of information for decision making and moving the organization and its people forward.

    This group is responsible for making sure there are seamless leveraging of the processes and technologies. This group is held to a make sure groups are interacting sharing and collaborating to ensure shareable metrics achievement, sharing of successes and failures, and reusing as much process, information and technology as possible.  This cuts down on 8 monitoring tools for 6 different organizations and 6 different groups managing their business and people in a silo.  This is complicated and not much costly.  The organizations cannot honestly report if they are being successful for the organization as a whole without the infusion of the group ensuring cross collaboration and initiative completion.

    About 60 to 70% of these folks will have community management in their DNA.  They will always be seeking out people, technologies, and paths to succeed.  They will continually look to help, but within helping discovering new ways the organization or people can achieve success.  This group of folks will be involved and engaged behind the firewall as well as beyond it.


    4. Eclectic Group of Roles and People

    The Social Business Group looks very different than most traditional organizations within the enterprise.  Since the group will need to be proactive as well as reactive when it comes to technology, people, problems, issues, and solutions, they need to have this eclectic look, feel and interaction, mainly between the people and technology.  Organizations will no longer have the ability to isolate the process from the technology or the people that asks for technology and the people that deliver technology.  This group will be a reflection of the mantra “Business is IT and IT is Business”

    This group will have marketing, business technologists, subject matter experts, project managers, art directors, call center operations leaders, interactive technologists, “infrastructurists”…..This will be an eclectic group of individuals working together to make the group be efficient and the enterprise to be efficient in the execution of needs and wants.  This group will be responsible for blending all things traditional with new,  this silo and that silo and business and technology in specifically in the areas of:

    • Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Public Relations
    • Customer Service
    • Knowledge Sharing
    • Communication
    • Initiative Management and Metrics
    • Product\Service Management


    This group will keep the ecosystem of internal and external in balance and understand when it is not in balance.  They will have the ability to understand and react because the relationships of trust have been built with key partner groups and issues or innovations can help efficiently because the time and people were involved all along the way.  The only way to achieve this balance is to have an eclectic team working for the betterment of the organization as well as themselves.


    The following picture shows the different roles or titles that will reside inside the Social Business Group for the enterprise:

    titles in social business group
    titles in social business group



    5. Solid Line and Dotted Line Management

    The solid and dotted line organizational structure is the most interesting of organizational design.  The solid line gives you control and dotted gives you influence or responsible for execution.  Both of these relationships are completely necessary for this organizational structure to work.  It essentially boils down to top down and bottoms up meeting up for organizational success and execution.  The dotted line provides visibility and shared responsibility in making sure each organization is successful on its own as well as part of the whole organization.

    Having the dotted line to these organizational units shows solidarity with these organizations as well as a shared responsibility that if this organization needs to be working with another organization or an organization could use another organizations resources or help; this group ensures and communicates these actions.

    With the solid line in place to c-suite this group is responsible and accountable for organization goals, objectives, mission, metrics and return. There is no red tape, there are no trickle down or roll ups, there are just direct line of site of investment and return for the whole organization. This essentially becomes an strategy, planning, operations and tactical execution area for the executive office and officers.  Being that most Executive Offices represent the whole organization, they should have a group dedicated to making this a reality.  A SWAT Team for the Executive Office of real hard core business and technology planners and executors that are flexible and adaptable  for real return for the organization.


    6. Reverse Mentoring

    The senior leaders of most companies need to be brought up the digital and community interaction landscape. By leveraging the solid line organizational structure the Social Business Group is responsible for training and educating of the people they are reporting to. This will help with vision, business direction, business decisions, and investment.  I have found once you unlock the navigation and using the tools within internal and external communities, senior leaders feel a part and then take the responsibility for furthering the execution and success of the Social Business structure for their organization.  Once the senior leaders can see how shared goals, responsibility, and information are used for true financial returns they cannot get enough of the interactions with the people and tools.

    This is for the betterment of the organization and the people.  The one thing I would caution against doing is isolating this group from the rest of their people while they “get up to speed”.  Building “walled gardens” for them to play to learn will have adverse affects when trying to integrate back into the fold of the whole company.  In their “walled gardens” the senior executive WILL NOT get the sense of all perspectives from top to bottom, because they are only learning from their peers.  The public learning together does a lot for building trust and relationships in an organization at all levels.

    So what do you think?  Will this work in your organization?  Do you see any other benefits to this centrally located organization? Please let me know in the comments.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be easy.  This one won’t be just snap together a org. chart on a powerpoint and it happens.  This one takes into account the people and behaviors that will need to change along with this.

    Like I infamously put it at a #jmu612 event here in Minneapolis “We are fundamentally changing the way business has been done for the last 50 years,  if you try and take this on yourself or within one silo’d organization, it’s like climbing Mt Everest in your boxer shorts, you’re never going to make it!” You need a team, you need buy-in, you need technology and you need new ways.  Without it,  good luck….

  7. A Business Analyst on a Social Media Team….Blasphemy!

    5 Comments

    Well that seems to be the general feeling I get discussing this topic with marketing, communications, pr, and leadership in those groups. So I am going to present why this role is highly suited for being part of the social team. The core skills and specialties of this role make integrating social strategies, processes, and technologies for problem solving and innovation essential to be apart of these newly forming teams. The following are my reasons to challenge the blasphemy or heresy perspective and rhetoric!

    A Business Analyst………


    1. Looks at problems and assesses viable solutions using people, process & technology

    Yes the Business Analyst realizes there is no silver bullet. You need all three aspects of people, process, and technology to problem solve or innovate. The Business Analyst is aware the solutions will work these things as an ecosystem. The Business Analyst will ask the right questions, document the information gathered, analyze that information and have the ability to put that information into readable content for business and technology disciplines to understand. Business Analysts helps the social media project teams co-create these solutions in a rapid fashion because we understand how and what the ecosystem needs for execution. One of the biggest soft skills we use is curiosity to discover information. With every problem or potential idea to innovation we turn into a 5 year old kid discovery their world around them…..we all know a 5 year old right?

    2. Diggs for information to get solutions

    Business Analysts are tenacious to find, illicit, document, and fix information for a solid solution for a problem or innovation. We are good at asking questions for clarification, we will admit when we don’t understand or don’t know, but with that admission we will educate, find, and ask again if need be. This is all done from a place of curiosity, wanting the people, project, and organization to succeed. We explore the possibilities of where it could be or what it could be. All along the way we keep documenting with content to ensure we have words, pictures, and prototypes to make better fact based decisions. Well on occasion a little leap of faith based on experience is needed to be worked in also. The question why comes up a lot, but in a curious manner. That is the best way to spot a good business analyst! How do they ask the question Why?

    3. Documents for review, clarity, and decision making

    Documentation, Documentation, Documentation……yes I know what you are thinking. Good Business Analysts make this documentation flexible, dynamic, and not set in stone. Every hour on a project or a team the information you need to make good decisions changes. Now with social we see this information changing every minute. You need a role that can absorb information and categorize and reproduce in a rapid fashion. Now think about all the disciplines operating on a social media team: interactive designers, creatives, lawyers, HR, marketing, advertising, technical architect, infrastructure architect, testers, project managers, customers, call center reps, PR, Communications, etc etc. Yes I take the approach the social media\social business team internal and external are one team (future post on social business, enterprise2.0, and social media is much larger and more dynamic than what I have seen at any company today). Think about all the information that is being created that needs to be curated and reproduced for decision making and impact analysis.

    4. Presents information for diverse audiences

    Business Analysts are smack dab right in the middle of the ecosystem. Being that we have functioned within the Business culture and Technology cultures we have to take all the information above and synthesize this information for non-business people understand businesses and non-techie people understand the worlds of technology. With this skill set comes the ability to fashion a presentation around 1 screen or one process model or one requirements traceability diagram. Oh there is that word Requirements. Those silly little information snippets that cause most projects headaches and heartburn, if not gathered, managed, and traced to other forms of requirements to ensure connectability and workability of the solution or innovation. All your business, test, project, and technical information should plug into the requirements traceability hierarchy…..another blog post hey? Oh and the presentation does not mean powerpoint, most good Business Analysts want to present diagrams or working prototypes based on the requirement statements.

    Information Integration with a Social Business Analyst

    5. Talk business and tech languages and dialects

    Yes we speak that foreign language called “techie”, but we do speak a special dialect of “techie” called “biz techie”. Yes that is right we understand how technology makes businesses work and how businesses make technology work. I do believe this is probably most crucial part of being apart of the social media team. Majority of the execution of the social media\business plan and strategy will be done through technologies or technologies will be apart of most of the activities. Business Analysts can quickly and effectively put together the tools and processes necessary for social media execution and operationalization for long term success.

    The Social Business Analyst

    The Social Business Analyst

    So there you have it the blasphemic reasons why you need to really start looking at this role, skill, and people with the Business Analyst title to be apart of your social media\business team. Now a word of warning some folks are walking around with just the t-shirt that says they are a Business Analyst. It is a little like me wearing a professional baseball teams uniform and calling myself a professional baseball player.

    So what do you think sound advice or blasphemy? Need to hire or heresy? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

     

  8. What does the C-Suite and other Senior Leaders value about a Business Analyst

    1 Comment

    Being that the Business Analysis discipline and role is becoming more standardized and consistent with the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®) and a Certification called the CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional™). What do senior executives and leadership feel about this discipline and role?   There is no right or wrong answers just starting a dialogue to find out the views and opinions that are out there within the Social Platforms community.

    Would also like to know how Business Analysts can play a vital role in the era of companies moving towards Social Business Architecture, Enterprise 2.0, Social Media, and Social Technology Platforms.

    I obviously have my biased opinions and views on the subject, but would really like to know other views.  Especially from the people that make strategic decisions about an organization.   They ultimately sign off on spending money on this discipline. I would love to get a cross section of senior leaders from the C-Suite to the Rank and File (which is where I am at on the ladder) to weigh in on this often overlooked or generalized role in most companies (believe me I have worked at many).

    The one main stereotype I am trying to break most of all is “Well anyone can be a BA, so just give them the title” Additionally, I am always interested in new ideas.

  9. Social Networking Tips from a Regular Guy

    Comments Off on Social Networking Tips from a Regular Guy

    This will be an ongoing list of networking tips from a regular guy making his way through this wacky wacky world of reality and social networking. Hope you enjoy and please comment and let me know what you think:

    Networking Tip #1: Just ask people to meet once you establish a good foundation. Don’t be afraid many people want to meet face to face!  Jokingly I told people a while back I had a 98% success rate on my asking, but went back and looked at numbers and yes since Jan 2010 I have met with 67 people face to face many asks on my part.  Only one in a round about way turned me down.  Not bad hey.

    Networking Tip #2: Be yourself when meeting with experienced professionals. they want to know the whole you. Don’t let titles scare you!

    Networking Tip #3: If I ask I pay or if this is the first time me and this individual have met.  Additionally,  if the meeting goes well you will get a second meeting!  We are a pretty “keep it socially equal” type society which is awesome to social networking.  The “Hey I owe you lunch or coffee” subject is awesome from my perspective.

    Networking Tip #4: Build a connection hub for yourself and own your online presence!  Where your at is mine.  All my other profiles point back to this one and I point this to my most prominent digital landscape.  This way people can explore everything about me, but they get the 3D personality in real life

    Networking Tip #5: Set up Google Alerts for your email addresses and name to be notified when it is used online.

    Networking Tip #6: Use Twitter to connect with really interesting, action oriented, passionate people.  Even better if you do not know them. Start a conversation and engage to build that relationship.  I find this community has the lowest barrier to connect and start a conversation, which is key when finding people from your industry vertical or not.

    Networking Tip #7: In the course of meeting someone live or online (encourage both as a strategy) they offer up a name you should talk with or meet, politely ask for an introduction.  When this social capital exchange happens, good indicator it is going well or it did go well!

    Networking Tip #8: Call people when you have not connected in a while. Call them for no reason at all. Facebook.com has a darn nice Phonebook (you should go check it out).  Maybe call to line up schedules for that first meet up.  Personally I have been doing more of this especially with DM’s on twitter or @replies with questions.

    Networking Tip #9: Put some time into profile Bio within all your accounts you have established. This is your 30sec commercial for yourself. It also helps people know who you are.  Make sure to follow have the link back to #4.

    Networking Tip #10: Organize your Facebook contacts into groups that make sense to you. This makes for targeted communications fast. If you have not started start today and keep up while you add new contacts.

    Networking Tip #11: Find the Fan Pages you are passionate about and invite others to join these fan pages.  It is right under the logo on the Fan Page.  This creates the “Like” in the News Feed and people start making connections this way.

    Networking Tip #12: Use your Lists for organizing your signal on twitter!  Especially useful on a mobile app to be able to go to a certain list and scroll and scan the information to engage and make connections with.

    Networking Tip #13: There are plenty of events to go to in any town, start going to them!  Regardless of membership or being in your industry.  When you sign up for these events tell everyone you are going.  Then when at an event meet at least 2 new people.  I know this sounds corny, but if you talk to the same people online as well as offline, I feel you are missing out.

    Networking Tip #14: My last tip and this one I think is the best one and love doing this all the time.  When you see two, three or even four people you know that don’t know each other and should (of course insert biased opinion here) introduce them!  Or if people want to meet some one you know you use the reverse of #7.  I personally do this all the time and for me it feels good to connect people!

    So I hope this helps it you were wondering how to make the book you just read become reality.  My best advice for social networking is that it is an on going experiment.  Being curious, wanting to connect, wanting to learn, wanting to create, wanting to improve and wanting help will be key behaviors to an on going successful experiment within social networking.

    Oh and one final thought “Go forth and Cross Pollinate those Verticals” – @keithprivette

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