Day 1 – Futurex Conference 2007 – Jaco Viljoen on What makes Business Analysts tick?

Jaco Viljoen from Software Futures gave one of the most unusual presentations I’ve ever seen in the last 10 years. He spoke about what makes and business analyst tick? He proceeded to explore how our brain functions and also delve very deeply into personality and psychometrics.

When you try to understand what makes a car drive, you have to look underneath the bonnet of the a car – at the workhorse of a car – the engine. When trying to understand a human being and you look underneath the bonnet of an analyst you will find his brain. The key is actually to focus on one aspect, the temperament and forget about the personality. It’s the age old comparison of nature vs nurture to some extent.

With assistance from Professor Smith at University of Johannesburg Jaco has been using Smith’s Temperament Typology (STT): Temperament vs Personality, to analyse business analysts. What makes one better than the other. In terms of the whole brain person only 4% of the population has this level of balance.

Using this temperament typology other opportunities and application in recruitment, training and further development (mentoring) arise. Success as an Analyst implies more than good process and technology tools. STT is useful for understanding people, especially analysts.

Here’s my video podcast interview with Jaco Viljoen:

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Day 1 – Futurex Conference 2007 – Roger Layton on Project Failures

Topic: Project Failures Modes: Lessons from the Field

Roger Layton is a witty and inspirational speaker. The many years he spent lecturing and training comes through in the smooth delivery of his presentation. He is by far one of the best of the entire Futurex Conference speakers. In light of the eNatis failure people outside the Langlaagte Traffic Licensing stationed threatened to burn down the building. One of the major reasons is that the different stakeholders did not agree that there was a failure in the system. In that respect one could say that not communicating in itself is a failire.

So what is the basic premiss on project failures? Failure Avoidance!

Let us learn from other’s mistakes because this will improve our understanding of failure. Analysis of Google search on “Project Failure” identifies almost exclusively IT project failures. Engineering and other areas do not come up as frequently as IT project failures.

Roger’s definition of of “Failure” is the inability of the project to deliver the intended benefits to the identified stakeholders. Failure is also relative to project’s complexity. Looking at the track record of IT project the mainstream attitude or approach seems to be: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The fear of failure of new systems overrides the need or value that can be derived from replacing old systems.

Some major failures mentioned is: MacDonald’s, IRS, National Health Service (UK) each spending hundreds of millions of dollars and in some cases billions!

Here’s my video post interview with Roger Layton:

And you can view his presentation here:


For more information contact Roger Layton and Associates via his website.