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CHAPTER 7: BUSINESS SKILLS FOR TECHNICAL PROFESSIONALS A Guide to Customer Service Skills for the Service Desk Professional Third Edition.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 7: BUSINESS SKILLS FOR TECHNICAL PROFESSIONALS A Guide to Customer Service Skills for the Service Desk Professional Third Edition."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 7: BUSINESS SKILLS FOR TECHNICAL PROFESSIONALS A Guide to Customer Service Skills for the Service Desk Professional Third Edition

2 2 OBJECTIVES In this chapter students will learn: How to acquire and use business skills in the workplace How to acquire and use business skills in the workplace How to use business skills to identify and justify improvement opportunities How to use business skills to identify and justify improvement opportunities How to use presentation skills to communicate How to use presentation skills to communicate Advanced business skills for technical professionals Advanced business skills for technical professionals Ch. 7: Business Skills

3 3 BUSINESS SKILLS FOR TECHNICAL PROFESSIONALS Technical professionals are increasingly being challenged to ensure that a company’s technology enables its employees and customers to achieve their business goals Technical professionals are increasingly being challenged to ensure that a company’s technology enables its employees and customers to achieve their business goals To do this, technical professionals must acquire business skills To do this, technical professionals must acquire business skills Business skills are the skills people need to work successfully in the business world, such as: Business skills are the skills people need to work successfully in the business world, such as: The ability to understand and speak the language of business The ability to understand and speak the language of business The ability to analyze business problems and identify improvement opportunities The ability to analyze business problems and identify improvement opportunities Ch. 7: Business Skills

4 TOPIC 1: ACQUIRING AND USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE

5 5 USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 1 OF 8 Some business skills are useful and increasingly required for a number of reasons: Some business skills are useful and increasingly required for a number of reasons: The business world is extremely competitive The business world is extremely competitive Trends such as automation and outsourcing mean that companies have fewer job positions Trends such as automation and outsourcing mean that companies have fewer job positions People who have a mix of skills—including business, technical, soft, and self-management skills—create the greatest opportunities for themselves People who have a mix of skills—including business, technical, soft, and self-management skills—create the greatest opportunities for themselves Ch. 7: Business Skills

6 6 Some business skills are particularly relevant to technical professionals Some business skills are particularly relevant to technical professionals These skills are useful regardless of the profession you enter These skills are useful regardless of the profession you enter You can acquire some business skills by simply observing and inquiring about the activities that occur where you work You can acquire some business skills by simply observing and inquiring about the activities that occur where you work Your business skills will also grow as you acquire education and experience Your business skills will also grow as you acquire education and experience Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 2 OF

7 7 Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 3 OF Business Skills Relevant to Technical Professionals

8 8 Customer service Customer service Skills such as understanding the importance of meeting customers’ needs and knowing how to manage their expectations Skills such as understanding the importance of meeting customers’ needs and knowing how to manage their expectations Process management Process management The need for people who have experience developing, documenting, and continuously improving processes is increasing The need for people who have experience developing, documenting, and continuously improving processes is increasing Listening and communication Listening and communication Two of the most basic skills needed in today’s fast-paced business world Two of the most basic skills needed in today’s fast-paced business world Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 4 OF

9 9 Writing Writing Problem solving Problem solving Financial management Financial management Making presentations Making presentations Project management Project management Conflict management Conflict management Time management Time management Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 5 OF

10 10 Basic business skills can be learned on-the-job, through self-study, or in the classroom Basic business skills can be learned on-the-job, through self-study, or in the classroom Customer service, problem solving, project management, conflict management, time management Customer service, problem solving, project management, conflict management, time management Skills such as financial management and human resources management important as IT techs advance in their careers Skills such as financial management and human resources management important as IT techs advance in their careers Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 6 OF

11 11 The business skills required for a service desk job vary based on: The business skills required for a service desk job vary based on: The industry in which the company is engaged The industry in which the company is engaged The job category The job category The specific skills a company requires are determined by the company’s job description The specific skills a company requires are determined by the company’s job description Some basic knowledge, such as service industry knowledge, and a willingness to learn are viewed as a positive. Some basic knowledge, such as service industry knowledge, and a willingness to learn are viewed as a positive. Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 7 OF

12 12 Managers are increasingly requiring technical professionals who want to advance in their careers to hone and use business skills Managers are increasingly requiring technical professionals who want to advance in their careers to hone and use business skills Developing and demonstrating business skills is an effective way to differentiate yourself from the competition and increase your opportunities Developing and demonstrating business skills is an effective way to differentiate yourself from the competition and increase your opportunities If you are looking to advance your career, business skills are essential If you are looking to advance your career, business skills are essential Ch. 7: Business Skills USING BUSINESS SKILLS IN THE WORKPLACE PART 8 OF

13 13 THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS PART 1 OF 4 Business - A commercial enterprise or establishment Business - A commercial enterprise or establishment The term may also be used to describe a person’s occupation, work, or trade The term may also be used to describe a person’s occupation, work, or trade Nonprofit – A company established for charitable, educational, or humanitarian purposes rather than for making money; also known as not-for-profit Nonprofit – A company established for charitable, educational, or humanitarian purposes rather than for making money; also known as not-for-profit The business skills required to work for nonprofit and for-profit companies are similar The business skills required to work for nonprofit and for-profit companies are similar Ch. 7: Business Skills

14 14 Learn about your company (or a company where you want to work) Learn about your company (or a company where you want to work) Its mission Its mission The industry that it is in The industry that it is in Its competitors Its competitors Study the words that are used to describe your company, its mission, and its goals Study the words that are used to describe your company, its mission, and its goals A “big picture” perspective will help you understand why certain technologies or data are viewed as highly important (strategic) A “big picture” perspective will help you understand why certain technologies or data are viewed as highly important (strategic) Ch. 7: Business Skills THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS PART 2 OF

15 15 IT and business alignment – A process aimed at ensuring that information technologies support corporate goals and objectives IT and business alignment – A process aimed at ensuring that information technologies support corporate goals and objectives Technical professionals who understand business can: Technical professionals who understand business can: Help business people understand available technologies and how best to use them Help business people understand available technologies and how best to use them Ensure that new technologies, when introduced, offer real value to the business Ensure that new technologies, when introduced, offer real value to the business Ch. 7: Business Skills THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS PART 2 OF

16 TOPIC 2: USING BUSINESS SKILLS TO IDENTIFY AND JUSTIFY IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

17 17 IDENTIFY AND JUSTIFY IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES PART 1 OF 4 People working in a service desk hear day-in and day-out from customers who are having trouble using technology People working in a service desk hear day-in and day-out from customers who are having trouble using technology They have a unique opportunity to support the goals of business by working hard to: They have a unique opportunity to support the goals of business by working hard to: Eliminate or minimize the impact of business problems Eliminate or minimize the impact of business problems Identify improvement opportunities Identify improvement opportunities Ch. 7: Business Skills

18 18 Service desk tools and technologies are useless if they do not provide and produce meaningful information Service desk tools and technologies are useless if they do not provide and produce meaningful information Analysts play an important role by collecting data on a daily basis that becomes information Analysts play an important role by collecting data on a daily basis that becomes information Failing to record events and activities accurately and completely can have very negative results for the company, the service desk, and the service desk employee Failing to record events and activities accurately and completely can have very negative results for the company, the service desk, and the service desk employee Ch. 7: Business Skills IDENTIFY AND JUSTIFY IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES PART 2 OF

19 19 Ch. 7: Business Skills IDENTIFY AND JUSTIFY IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES PART 3 OF

20 20 Forward-thinking companies use data to spot trends and discover the root cause of incidents Forward-thinking companies use data to spot trends and discover the root cause of incidents People working in a service desk can continuously capture the data and information needed to determine customers’ wants and needs People working in a service desk can continuously capture the data and information needed to determine customers’ wants and needs People interested in a support-industry career must learn how to interpret data and share and add value to information People interested in a support-industry career must learn how to interpret data and share and add value to information Ch. 7: Business Skills IDENTIFY AND JUSTIFY IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES PART 4 OF

21 21 Performing Trend Analysis: Trend analysis - A methodical way of determining and, when possible, forecasting service trends Trend analysis - A methodical way of determining and, when possible, forecasting service trends Trends can be positive or negative Trends can be positive or negative Trend reports provide service desk management and staff the information needed to Trend reports provide service desk management and staff the information needed to Formulate improvement plans Formulate improvement plans Communicate achievements Communicate achievements Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 1 OF

22 22 Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 2 OF

23 23 Trend analysis involves looking at a set of data and viewing it from different angles in an effort to identify a trend Trend analysis involves looking at a set of data and viewing it from different angles in an effort to identify a trend Trend reports make it possible to: Trend reports make it possible to: Determine the most common and frequently occurring incidents Determine the most common and frequently occurring incidents Identify anomalies Identify anomalies Anomaly - A deviation or departure from the average or the norm Anomaly - A deviation or departure from the average or the norm Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 3 OF

24 24 Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 4 OF

25 25 Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 5 OF

26 26 Performing Root Cause Analysis: Used to determine why incidents are occurring so the company can take steps to prevent incidents in the future Used to determine why incidents are occurring so the company can take steps to prevent incidents in the future Determining the root cause requires analysts to look beyond the obvious and seek an answer to the question, “Why?” Determining the root cause requires analysts to look beyond the obvious and seek an answer to the question, “Why?” Root cause is not always related specifically to hardware products or software systems Root cause is not always related specifically to hardware products or software systems It is often related to how people are implementing or using technology It is often related to how people are implementing or using technology Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 6 OF

27 27 Trend and root cause analysis work hand-in-hand Trend and root cause analysis work hand-in-hand Root cause analysis is the more difficult of the two disciplines Root cause analysis is the more difficult of the two disciplines Companies that fail to capture and then eliminate root cause put themselves at risk for incidents to happen again Companies that fail to capture and then eliminate root cause put themselves at risk for incidents to happen again Ultimately, customers would prefer that incidents be prevented Ultimately, customers would prefer that incidents be prevented Ch. 7: Business Skills PERFORMING TREND AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS PART 7 OF

28 28 COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 1 OF 9 Service desk managers are under pressure to: Service desk managers are under pressure to: Demonstrate the value of service desk services Demonstrate the value of service desk services Justify the funds and resources the team needs to deliver those services Justify the funds and resources the team needs to deliver those services Members of the service desk team must learn to: Members of the service desk team must learn to: Justify and quantify the benefits of their ideas in financial terms Justify and quantify the benefits of their ideas in financial terms Budget - The total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose (such as a project) or period of time (such as a year) Budget - The total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose (such as a project) or period of time (such as a year) Ch. 7: Business Skills

29 29 To justify improvement initiatives: To justify improvement initiatives: State the expected benefits in the form of goals State the expected benefits in the form of goals Express those goals as metrics Express those goals as metrics Metrics typically assess characteristics such as: Metrics typically assess characteristics such as: Cost Cost Customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction Efficiency Efficiency Effectiveness Effectiveness Employee satisfaction Employee satisfaction Quality Quality Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 2 OF

30 30 Some characteristics are tangible, or capable of being measured precisely Some characteristics are tangible, or capable of being measured precisely Cost, efficiency Cost, efficiency Other characteristics are intangible, or more difficult to measure precisely Other characteristics are intangible, or more difficult to measure precisely Customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, quality Customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, quality Intangible characteristics reflect perception and are therefore more subjective Intangible characteristics reflect perception and are therefore more subjective Both tangible and intangible goals are important Both tangible and intangible goals are important Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 3 OF

31 31 By establishing both tangible and intangible goals with goals such as quality and customer satisfaction as primary objectives, companies can achieve a balanced, customer-oriented result Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 4 OF

32 32 Calculating a Labor Savings: “Time is money” - Labor often represents a company’s single greatest expense “Time is money” - Labor often represents a company’s single greatest expense Labor and benefits usually represent 60% to 80% of a service desk’s overall costs Labor and benefits usually represent 60% to 80% of a service desk’s overall costs Saving time, will in turn, save money Saving time, will in turn, save money To calculate an hourly rate: To calculate an hourly rate: $39,046 / 2,080 = $18.77 $39,046 / 2,080 = $18.77 Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 5 OF

33 33 Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 6 OF Labor Savings by Automating Password Resets

34 34 When actual data are not available, industry standard data (such as hourly rate) can be useful When actual data are not available, industry standard data (such as hourly rate) can be useful Cost per contact is a financial measure frequently used in the support industry Cost per contact is a financial measure frequently used in the support industry Cost per contact - The total cost of operating a service desk for a given time period (including salaries, benefits, facilities, and equipment) divided by the total number of contacts received during that period Cost per contact - The total cost of operating a service desk for a given time period (including salaries, benefits, facilities, and equipment) divided by the total number of contacts received during that period Contact volume - The total number of contacts received during a given period of time Contact volume - The total number of contacts received during a given period of time Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 7 OF

35 35 Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 8 OF

36 36 Cost per contact can be used to: Cost per contact can be used to: Benchmark a service desk’s services against other service desks or the industry average Benchmark a service desk’s services against other service desks or the industry average Compare the cost of operating a service desk to an external supplier (outsourcer) Compare the cost of operating a service desk to an external supplier (outsourcer) Benchmarking - The process of comparing the service desk’s performance metrics and practices to those of another service desk in an effort to identify improvement opportunities Benchmarking - The process of comparing the service desk’s performance metrics and practices to those of another service desk in an effort to identify improvement opportunities Ch. 7: Business Skills COMMUNICATING THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF IMPROVEMENTS PART 9 OF

37 TOPIC 3: USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE

38 38 USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 1 OF 8 Presentations are an important form of communication in today’s business world Presentations are an important form of communication in today’s business world They are used daily to: They are used daily to: Convey information Convey information Promote the benefits of ideas and opportunities Promote the benefits of ideas and opportunities Win approval for ideas and opportunities Win approval for ideas and opportunities For professionals, presentations are an important way to build credibility For professionals, presentations are an important way to build credibility The ability to make presentations can greatly influence a person’s standing in his or her company, community, and industry The ability to make presentations can greatly influence a person’s standing in his or her company, community, and industry Ch. 7: Business Skills

39 39 Audience members are being brought together for a reason Audience members are being brought together for a reason Their approval is needed to move forward on a project Their approval is needed to move forward on a project Their input is needed to formulate an action plan Their input is needed to formulate an action plan You need to make them aware of something or teach them something You need to make them aware of something or teach them something The main reason you are making the presentation is that You are the expert! The main reason you are making the presentation is that You are the expert! Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 2 OF

40 40 Step 1: State your objective Step 2: Know your audience Step 3: Design the presentation Step 4: Rehearse the presentation Step 5: Deliver the presentation Step 6: Learn from the experience Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 3 OF

41 41 Step 1. State Your Objective: A clearly stated objective helps you focus your thoughts and the thoughts of your audience A clearly stated objective helps you focus your thoughts and the thoughts of your audience Step 2. Know Your Audience: This step greatly influences all future steps This step greatly influences all future steps Determine what is important to your audience members Determine what is important to your audience members Understand the background of your audience Understand the background of your audience When in doubt, ask When in doubt, ask Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 4 OF

42 42 Step 3. Design the Presentation: Designing a presentation is like writing a story Designing a presentation is like writing a story Begin with an outline Begin with an outline Research your topic and collect facts that support your objective Research your topic and collect facts that support your objective Develop visual aids that support and communicate your ideas Develop visual aids that support and communicate your ideas Anticipate the questions your audience may ask and use visual aids to answer those questions Anticipate the questions your audience may ask and use visual aids to answer those questions Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 5 OF

43 43 Step 4. Rehearse the Presentation: Make sure that you can cover your material in the time allotted Make sure that you can cover your material in the time allotted Make sure that you leave time for questions Make sure that you leave time for questions Rehearsing is different than memorizing Rehearsing is different than memorizing Memorize your introduction and closing Memorize your introduction and closing They are critical to setting audience expectations They are critical to setting audience expectations Memorize only the key points you want to make during the body of your presentation Memorize only the key points you want to make during the body of your presentation Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 6 OF

44 44 Step 5. Deliver the Presentation: Be prepared, confident, and enthusiastic Be prepared, confident, and enthusiastic When time is a constraint, ask the audience to hold their questions until the end When time is a constraint, ask the audience to hold their questions until the end If you run out of time for questions at the end, let the audience know that you will be happy to answer their questions after the meeting If you run out of time for questions at the end, let the audience know that you will be happy to answer their questions after the meeting When possible, try to handle questions when asked When possible, try to handle questions when asked Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 7 OF

45 45 Step 6. Learn from the Experience: Most mistakes made when making presentations are the result of overlooking one of the steps previously discussed Most mistakes made when making presentations are the result of overlooking one of the steps previously discussed Take time after each presentation to evaluate your performance and determine how you can improve Take time after each presentation to evaluate your performance and determine how you can improve If evaluations are provided, view the feedback you receive as constructive and figure out what you can do to improve If evaluations are provided, view the feedback you receive as constructive and figure out what you can do to improve Presentation skills are essential if you want to educate, inform, obtain information from, build consensus with, and communicate with others Presentation skills are essential if you want to educate, inform, obtain information from, build consensus with, and communicate with others Ch. 7: Business Skills USING PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNICATE PART 8 OF

46 TOPIC 4: ADVANCED BUSINESS SKILLS FOR TECHNICAL PROFESSIONALS

47 47 ADVANCED BUSINESS SKILLS Advanced business skills are critical skills for more senior technical professionals Advanced business skills are critical skills for more senior technical professionals Managing projects Managing projects Conducting a cost benefit analysis Conducting a cost benefit analysis Calculating ROI Calculating ROI An understanding of these concepts will enable you to make the most of learning and growth opportunities An understanding of these concepts will enable you to make the most of learning and growth opportunities To excel at advanced business skills, technical professionals require a blend of formal training and experience To excel at advanced business skills, technical professionals require a blend of formal training and experience Ch. 7: Business Skills

48 48 MANAGING PROJECTS PART 1 OF 10 Project - A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result Project - A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result Service desk professionals may: Service desk professionals may: Complete projects Complete projects Support the end product of a project Support the end product of a project Initiate projects Initiate projects Technical professionals must understand Technical professionals must understand Project management concepts and tools Project management concepts and tools How to work successfully on a project team How to work successfully on a project team Ch. 7: Business Skills

49 49 Project management - The process of planning and managing a project Project management - The process of planning and managing a project All projects, regardless of their size, require some planning and have the following: All projects, regardless of their size, require some planning and have the following: A clearly defined scope A clearly defined scope Well-defined deliverables Well-defined deliverables Clearly defined acceptance criteria Clearly defined acceptance criteria An established start date An established start date An established end point An established end point Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 2 OF

50 50 Scope An agreement between the customer of the project and the supplier about the project’s end product and includes a description of the acceptance criteria to be used to evaluate the project’s success Acceptance criteria The conditions that must be met before the project deliverables are accepted Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 3 OF

51 51 For large projects, the project scope is typically defined by a project planning committee made up of project stakeholders For large projects, the project scope is typically defined by a project planning committee made up of project stakeholders Project stakeholder - A person or group who is involved in or may be affected by project activities Project stakeholder - A person or group who is involved in or may be affected by project activities Project scope includes: Project scope includes: Project overview Project overview Project deliverables Project deliverables Project objectives Project objectives Considerations and concerns Considerations and concerns Change control plan Change control plan Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 4 OF

52 52 Project scope must be approved by the project sponsor Project scope must be approved by the project sponsor Project sponsor - The person who has ultimate authority over the project Project sponsor - The person who has ultimate authority over the project Responsible for ensuring that the project is aligned with the organization's business goals Responsible for ensuring that the project is aligned with the organization's business goals Not typically involved in day-to-day activities Not typically involved in day-to-day activities Project manager - The person who leads the project team and is assigned the authority and responsibility for overseeing the project and meeting the project’s objectives Project manager - The person who leads the project team and is assigned the authority and responsibility for overseeing the project and meeting the project’s objectives Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 5 OF

53 53 Project manager responsibilities include: Developing and maintaining a project plan Developing and maintaining a project plan Directing project activities Directing project activities Creating project status reports Creating project status reports Preparing and participating in project reviews Preparing and participating in project reviews Resolving project plan deviations Resolving project plan deviations Resolving and escalating to management, if necessary, issues that pertain to the project Resolving and escalating to management, if necessary, issues that pertain to the project Administering project change control Administering project change control Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 6 OF

54 54 Project plan - A summary document that describes the project, its objectives, and how the objectives are to be achieved Project plan - A summary document that describes the project, its objectives, and how the objectives are to be achieved Work breakdown structure (WBS) - A task-oriented breakdown of the work to be done Work breakdown structure (WBS) - A task-oriented breakdown of the work to be done The WBS is used to: The WBS is used to: Logically arrange the tasks to be completed Logically arrange the tasks to be completed Define milestones Define milestones Assign resources to tasks, create schedules, estimate costs Assign resources to tasks, create schedules, estimate costs Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 7 OF

55 55 Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 8 OF

56 56 A critical project manager responsibility is communicating on a regular basis with all interested parties A critical project manager responsibility is communicating on a regular basis with all interested parties Project status reports typically include : Project status reports typically include : Accomplishments this period Accomplishments this period Accomplishments planned next period Accomplishments planned next period Resources required next period Resources required next period Considerations and concerns Considerations and concerns An updated project plan An updated project plan Ongoing communication—before, during, and after the project—is critical to a project’s success Ongoing communication—before, during, and after the project—is critical to a project’s success Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 9 OF

57 57 Technical professionals can learn about project management by: Technical professionals can learn about project management by: Observing how projects are run Observing how projects are run Trying to understand the keys to project management success Trying to understand the keys to project management success If you are interested in being a project manager: If you are interested in being a project manager: Take advantage of training that is offered where you work Take advantage of training that is offered where you work Seek out self-study opportunities Seek out self-study opportunities Serve as a deputy, or assistant, to another project manager Serve as a deputy, or assistant, to another project manager Ch. 7: Business Skills MANAGING PROJECTS PART 10 OF

58 58 CONDUCTING A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS PART 1 OF 4 Cost benefit ana lysis – A business calculation that compares the costs and benefits of two or more potential solutions to determine an optimum solution Cost benefit ana lysis – A business calculation that compares the costs and benefits of two or more potential solutions to determine an optimum solution A cost benefit analysis can be simple or quite complex A cost benefit analysis can be simple or quite complex Because of the time and skill required, the cost of performing a complex cost benefit analysis can be considerable Because of the time and skill required, the cost of performing a complex cost benefit analysis can be considerable Companies typically offer guidelines that determine the level of detail required Companies typically offer guidelines that determine the level of detail required Guidelines consider factors such as the size, cost, and impact of the proposed solution Guidelines consider factors such as the size, cost, and impact of the proposed solution Ch. 7: Business Skills

59 59 In its simplest form, a cost benefit analysis uses only financial costs and financial benefits In its simplest form, a cost benefit analysis uses only financial costs and financial benefits Financial costs may be: Financial costs may be: One time (nonrecurring) One time (nonrecurring) Ongoing (recurring) Ongoing (recurring) Some companies assign a numeric value to intangible benefits Some companies assign a numeric value to intangible benefits Intangible benefits are important and must be taken into consideration Intangible benefits are important and must be taken into consideration Ch. 7: Business Skills CONDUCTING A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS PART 2 OF

60 60 Intangible benefits include: Better information Better information Improved communications Improved communications Improved customer relations Improved customer relations Increased customer satisfaction Increased customer satisfaction Improved employee morale Improved employee morale Increased knowledge Increased knowledge More accurate solutions More accurate solutions More proactive service More proactive service Ch. 7: Business Skills CONDUCTING A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS PART 3 OF

61 61 The end result of a cost benefit analysis is the identification of the best solution to a business problem The end result of a cost benefit analysis is the identification of the best solution to a business problem It answers the questions: It answers the questions: Which of the proposed solutions is the best solution? Which of the proposed solutions is the best solution? Is the proposed solution worth the cost? Is the proposed solution worth the cost? The key to whether a solution is worth the cost lies in the goals of the organization The key to whether a solution is worth the cost lies in the goals of the organization Each company must decide what benefits (tangible and intangible) are worth to their organization Each company must decide what benefits (tangible and intangible) are worth to their organization Ch. 7: Business Skills CONDUCTING A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS PART 4 OF

62 62 Return on investment (ROI) – A business calculation that measures the total financial benefit derived from an investment and then compares it with the total cost of the project Return on investment (ROI) – A business calculation that measures the total financial benefit derived from an investment and then compares it with the total cost of the project ROI = Net Benefits / Project Investment ROI = Net Benefits / Project Investment A simple ROI uses only financial costs and benefits A simple ROI uses only financial costs and benefits Ch. 7: Business Skills CALCULATING RETURN ON INVESTMENT PART 1 OF

63 63 CALCULATING RETURN ON INVESTMENT PART 2 OF 5 Calculating ROI can be much more complex as benefits can also be intangible Calculating ROI can be much more complex as benefits can also be intangible Intangible benefits are important and must be taken into consideration Intangible benefits are important and must be taken into consideration ROI typically states the return on investment in percentage terms. ROI typically states the return on investment in percentage terms. ROI% = Net Benefits / Project Investment X 100 ROI% = Net Benefits / Project Investment X 100 Ch. 7: Business Skills

64 64 Some companies determine the time it takes to recover an investment when calculating ROI Some companies determine the time it takes to recover an investment when calculating ROI Payback period - The period of time over which the benefits of an investment are received Payback period - The period of time over which the benefits of an investment are received Payback Per iod = Project Investment / Net Benefits X 12 Months Payback Per iod = Project Investment / Net Benefits X 12 Months Ch. 7: Business Skills CALCULATING RETURN ON INVESTMENT PART 3 OF

65 65 Some companies establish guidelines relative to the use of payback period when making purchasing decisions Some companies establish guidelines relative to the use of payback period when making purchasing decisions If the payback period is less than six months, purchase the product immediately If the payback period is less than six months, purchase the product immediately If the payback period is greater than six months, consider the purchase in light of other budget expenditures If the payback period is greater than six months, consider the purchase in light of other budget expenditures If the payback period is greater than one year, consider the purchase in a future budget If the payback period is greater than one year, consider the purchase in a future budget Ch. 7: Business Skills CALCULATING RETURN ON INVESTMENT PART 4 OF

66 66 ROI can be a complex and time-consuming calculation and is therefore typically reserved for larger technology investments ROI can be a complex and time-consuming calculation and is therefore typically reserved for larger technology investments In its simplest form, however, ROI is a useful way to communicate the worth of even a small investment In its simplest form, however, ROI is a useful way to communicate the worth of even a small investment ROI answers the questions: ROI answers the questions: What do I get back (in return) for the money I am being asked to spend (invest)? What do I get back (in return) for the money I am being asked to spend (invest)? Is the return worth the investment? Is the return worth the investment? Ch. 7: Business Skills CALCULATING RETURN ON INVESTMENT PART 5 OF

67 CHAPTER SUMMARY

68 68 CHAPTER SUMMARY PART 1 OF 5 Business skills are useful and increasingly required Business skills are useful and increasingly required Basic business skills can be learned on-the-job, through self-study, or in the classroom Basic business skills can be learned on-the-job, through self-study, or in the classroom These skills are relatively universal and can be used regardless of a person’s chosen profession: These skills are relatively universal and can be used regardless of a person’s chosen profession: Customer service, process management, problem solving, project management, conflict management, time management Customer service, process management, problem solving, project management, conflict management, time management Skills such as financial management and human resource management are also important and become more important as people advance in their careers Skills such as financial management and human resource management are also important and become more important as people advance in their careers Ch. 7: Business Skills

69 69 People working in a service desk hear day-in and day-out from customers who are having trouble using technology People working in a service desk hear day-in and day-out from customers who are having trouble using technology Service desk techs have a unique opportunity to support the goals of business by using what they learn to: Service desk techs have a unique opportunity to support the goals of business by using what they learn to: Eliminate or minimize the impact of problems Eliminate or minimize the impact of problems Identify improvement opportunities Identify improvement opportunities Technical professionals must learn to use: Technical professionals must learn to use: Data to identify and quantify improvement opportunities Data to identify and quantify improvement opportunities Techniques such as trend and root cause analysis Techniques such as trend and root cause analysis Ch. 7: Business Skills CHAPTER SUMMARY PART 2 OF

70 70 Presentations are an important form of communication in today’s business world Presentations are an important form of communication in today’s business world They are inevitable if you want to communicate your ideas and, more importantly, have those ideas accepted and acted upon They are inevitable if you want to communicate your ideas and, more importantly, have those ideas accepted and acted upon Making a presentation is not an exact science, but there are proven steps that can be taken to ensure success Making a presentation is not an exact science, but there are proven steps that can be taken to ensure success The more often you present and the more varied the setting, subject matter, and audience, the more comfortable you will be The more often you present and the more varied the setting, subject matter, and audience, the more comfortable you will be Ch. 7: Business Skills CHAPTER SUMMARY PART 3 OF

71 71 Advanced business skills are increasingly critical skills for more senior technical professionals Advanced business skills are increasingly critical skills for more senior technical professionals Managing projects Managing projects Conducting a cost benefit analysis Conducting a cost benefit analysis Calculating return on investment (ROI) Calculating return on investment (ROI) A basic understanding of these concepts will enable you to make the most of learning and growth opportunities A basic understanding of these concepts will enable you to make the most of learning and growth opportunities To acquire these skills, some study, even self-study, is needed along with experience To acquire these skills, some study, even self-study, is needed along with experience Ch. 7: Business Skills CHAPTER SUMMARY PART 4 OF

72 72 The business world has changed and technical professionals must change as well The business world has changed and technical professionals must change as well By acquiring and using business skills, technical professionals can: By acquiring and using business skills, technical professionals can: Expand their opportunities Expand their opportunities Have more control over their career Have more control over their career Rather than always being told what to do and how to do it, technical professionals with business skills can: Rather than always being told what to do and how to do it, technical professionals with business skills can: Propose new and better solutions Propose new and better solutions Participate fully in bringing their ideas to life Participate fully in bringing their ideas to life Ch. 7: Business Skills CHAPTER SUMMARY PART 5 OF

73 CHAPTER 7 QUESTIONS CHAPTER 7 QUESTIONS


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