|Drexel Transcript *
Time management skills are crucial to my current role for many reasons, including:
- There are more projects than BAs.
- Every project is "top priority" in the eyes of its sponsor.
- Multiple projects often compete for the same meeting times.
- Project team members often span multiple time zones - from US West Coast all the way to Chennai India.
- In addition to core requirements analysis, each project involves several "book-keeping" activities for which the BAs are responsible.
Practicing principles taught by Stephen Covey - such as planning ahead, prioritization, and touching emails only once - have greatly helped me cope with our fast-paced environment. I keep a personal to-dos list, which I "groom" daily, and leverage Gmail tagging to keep my inbox clear so that I can immediately see important items that need my attention. When setting priorities, I'm mindful of potential delays due to time zone differences and adjust accordingly. For recurring activities, I establish personal systems that allow me to complete tasks quickly and efficiently.
Thanks to several years of working with Price Plan Analysis (PPA) and Postpaid Growth projects, I'm very comfortable with concepts such as plans versus features, talk/text/data, account-level versus line-level, corporate versus employee liability. I'm familiar with most of our "modern" consumer plans, and am fairly familiar with recent B2B pricing such as B2B Unlimited and Flexible Business. I'm also aware of our machine-to-machine pricing, and some of our legacy plans like Nationwide and America's Choice. I often reference OSTs in InfoManager along with ops briefs when researching pricing information.
Communication / Negotiation
I believe my communication skills - written and verbal - have helped my assigned projects move forward successfully in many cases. All begins with requirements grooming in which I achieve understanding of business needs through dialog with business partners. From there, I work to help our developers and testers achieve the same understanding. And I also help developers and testers to understand each other's needs. On many occasions, I have halted a flurry of ineffective emails by pulling all parties into a meeting and helping them to communicate directly with each other. On other occasions, I leverage chat tools for quick 1:1 touchpoints whenever I need clarification about a team member's needs.
Negotiation can come into play at several points in each project. Taking the time to build trusting relationships seems to reduce major conflicts. But when differences of opinion occur and the need for persuasion arises, I lean on principles learned from Covey and Carnegie to at least try for a "win/win" resolution. Typical negotiation topics include:
- Wording changes of description and acceptance criteria within stories, to promote team understanding.
- Which application should be responsible for applying a change.
- When an interfacing application can deliver dependencies.
- Standards for APIs used by multiple applications.
- Whether a defect fix can be delivered in the next release.
To supplement my existing skills, I recently began listening to Effective Communication Skills during my daily commute. The lectures in this Great Courses audio describe multiple facets of interpersonal communication and how it is affected by self esteem.
Familiarity with VZ B2B Contracts
My work with PPA B2B reports granted some exposure to the EWI/ECPD application and the contract data that it contains. I'm familiar with basic concepts such as discount tiers, pricing overrides, and plan/feature overrides.