helping you master customer insight leadership

Agile working in practice, more tips to help Analytics teams transition

Agile working in practice

Continuing our series reviewing how data, analytics and insight teams can achieve Agile Working in practice.

In my first post on how to achieve Agile Working in practice, I focussed on four principles that were needed. Principles of attitude and culture, in order to have the right mindset and approach to working this way.

Continuing with this series has been driven by the feedback I have heard from a variety of data & analytics leaders. Those working in business today are telling me that this challenge is still very much a work in progress. Senior leaders want a more agile business, but it’s not a quick fix to achieve.

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Agile working for Analytics teams needs a cu​lture change

agile working

The term Agile Working is being used within more & more businesses. Although loosely defined, it generally refers to a more flexible and pacey way of working. In this series, I share what this means for data, analytics & insight teams who need to work this way.

Those businesses who have invested in formal training will likely be following one of the 5 most popular methodologies. Although sounding very professional, in reality, the application of Agile to non-IT teams is still in its infancy.

The top 5 Agile development methodologies are generally agreed to be:

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, to review your story

review your story

Is this the time of year when you review your story? Perhaps you expected me to say appraise your performance, or review your goals?

Under traditional performance management systems, end-of-year can be full of interpreting metrics. How can you present your performance this year in the most favourable light?

But I wasn’t talking about ‘spin‘, rather a different kind of review. Over recent years, my leadership coaching practice & CPD has taught me a great deal. Specialisms like Gestalt Coaching and Narrative Coaching have given me a fresh perspective. (more…)

Don’t neglect the political dimension of applying analytics or insight

political dimension

To complement recent advice from our guest bloggers, let’s consider the political dimension of applying analytics in business.

Annette & Peter have shared useful tips on applying analytics for both CX & Marketing. However, unlike the classroom, advancing such use of analytics in business always involves politics.

Over the years, as well as protecting technical stars from performance management systems, I have often had to mentor them on politics. There can be a tendency for analysts to be idealistic & naive when it comes to the political dimension of office life. (more…)

App recommendations, ones that help me be a productive leader

app recommendations

Building on our series sharing lessons learnt by leaders, I thought it might also help to share app recommendations.

Working with leaders, training, coaching or mentoring, I find they often reference apps that help them be more productive. I am no different.

Since launching my own business and blog, just over 4 years ago, apps have helped me. From managing sales to scheduling content, today there are a host of apps to help leaders. (more…)

Tips from experience: Protecting your less appreciated technical stars

technical stars

Having given plenty of airtime to the benefit of books & podcasts, I’d like to turn to tips from experience. These are lessons learnt by leaders from practical on-the-job experience. Often involving getting it wrong. In this post, I’ll share my advice on protecting your less appreciated technical stars.

Let me explain what I mean by a couple of those terms. By ‘less appreciated‘, I mean team members who may not be respected outside of your team. Those who might suffer during an annual performance management cycle. (more…)

Data Science collaboration between universities & businesses = Scotland

collaboration between universities & businesses

As a break from our focus on books, I want to return to the topic of Data Science collaboration between universities & businesses. When it works well, it can make such a difference to both students’ development & business talent pipelines.

In many ways the topics are not disconnected. Books, like collaboration between universities & businesses, are conduits to learning & mutual understanding. To be strategic, analytics leaders need to think about long-term people development plans, not just annual PDPs.

The prompt (to me sharing this plea), was the latest press release from MBN Solutions. I share it in full below (with my comments), as it shows what is being achieved in Scotland. We’ve mentioned before the positive progress being achieved by Data Lab, MBN and others. (more…)