Specialist Consulting

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I have many years of experience working within the IT industry, especially related to open source software and bespoke software development for the web. I can assist businesses and organisations with needs in these areas and with more general business process issues as they relate to IT - marketing, process management, strategic direction. The following are some specific examples of the sorts of consulting capabilities I offer.

Business Analysis and Technical Writing

In my research scientist days, I wrote not only technical scientific papers but also funding bids. In the past few years I have written increasingly many tender (Request for Proposals (RFPs) and Request for Information (RFIs)) responses on behalf of Egressive and Catalyst, with some leading to presentations and demonstrations, and even to winning the business.

I recently had a chance to call on my science experience when I worked with a NZ ministry and a government agency to explore an opportunity to achieve better performance, lower costs, and improved quality by consolidating two major data sources (one a "Database of National Significance") into a single data source. I met with the stakeholders, as well as the science provider who built and maintains the main database, to understand the technical constraints, political subtext, and scientific considerations. I have created the document outlining their options for carrying out the integration, providing a breakdown of the risks and potential gains, and a detailed implementation plan with metrics for success and failure.

I have developed Support Level Agreements (SLA), negotiated contracts, discussed software licensing and "IP" (Copyright, Patents, Trademarks, and Trade secrets), and high level strategic consulting evaluation, for example to assist businesses in migrating to open source solutions to lower ongoing liabilities, costs, and maximise flexibility, self-determination, and ability to scale rapidly.

Requirements Analysis

Building on 15 years of software requirements analysis and specification development, I was engaged by an Australian Federal Government agency to organise and run internal organisational stakeholder interviews, teasing out and prioritising formal business requirements, and got a substantial web application development project that was stalled back on track.

Open Source Project Facilitation

Thanks to my 20 years of Free and Open Source (FOSS) involvement, I can assist businesses and organisations wanting to engage with the FOSS community, and help them negotiate the complex dynamics — and provide insight into the culture — of communities of volunteer participants who can offer a huge wealth of skills and energy to a project that has credibility and legitimately earns their trust. I can help organisations "get it" and avoid common missteps which can rapidly destroy a project's reputation.

Strategy Development

I have an interest in rigorous analysis and planning, specifically developing real, effective strategies, not the hand-wavy mumbo-jumbo that usually qualifies as strategy. Strategies are not a series of high level goals or vision statements written by a few execs on a weekend retreat (although that can be part of it). A Strategy is an "action plan" that applies across an entire organisation and provides a plausible way for that organisation to achieve its goals in accordance with its vision. I am a certified practitioner of the Validating Strategies methodology taught by OpenStrategies.