The Business of Technology
Let’s face it, no matter what you are doing in your life, Technology is a huge influencer. It inspires change. Whether you are taking advantage of an opportunity, improving a process, or otherwise creating something, technology likely plays a main or an ancillary role, and you have a project. The phases of Project Management rarely change, they provide consistency in uncertainty. Change can be disruptive and fear of change is universal. Only knowledge can speed adoption, users must be Educated and Trained.
I apply critical problem-solving methodologies, including field research & data collection methods that enhance organizational performance. Once you have data or evidence related to a management issue, that data must be analyzed in a systematic and valid way.
I identify strategic opportunities and emerging technologies through research and propose IT implementation recommendations to support a growing company. Research, communication skills, and IT-related ethical use/security threats are important to the process.
Training is important but organizations have moved beyond strategies of the past to more effective learning and performance methods that engage and connect. I can analyze your current learning culture to help evolve and expand your perspective.
You have to embrace the idea that working closely with others will invite complications. But if you see others as allies, helping you see beyond yourself, rallying in support when things aren’t going well, providing ideas that push you to a higher level, you will gladly welcome the constant interaction, continual communication, and whatever sustained effort is required to build your team.
A degree in Organizational Communications from Brigham Young University, a professional member in the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and a candidate for certification as a Certified Professional in Learning Performance. I have been delivering adult training in the areas of employment, professional development, performance improvement, technology-based learning, and gospel doctrine for over 25 years. I have additional expertise in instructional design and I am current regarding evolving technology trends.
Official emphasis in Information Technology Management including IT strategic solutions and project management. Two other areas of particular interest include, first, Global Economics – the social emancipation in areas of chronic poverty. I developed a people-centered relevance assessment to test the impact of microfinance on poverty alleviation and well-being, which called for a re-thinking of microfinance outreach vs. a pursuit of social emancipation in its own right. A second interest is in Data-Driven Decision Making where I received a rare reward for excellence in quantitative analysis for my work regarding methods for recovery from substance abuse, which, ultimately, became the subject of my Capstone project.
Most recently, clients in Substance Abuse counseling, both residential and intensive outpatient models, have relied on my research and problem solving to provide sustainability during the current hostile insurance environment. I have been analyzing internal processes, evaluating errors that have caused financial issues, and categorizing my observations according to their perceived levels of harm. I have established procedures and applied critical thinking and teamwork to analyze existing programs and propose alternatives. I have designed alternative curriculum as well as alternative delivery methods. These alternatives have required in-depth market research, analysis and a great deal of product planning.
Enhanced cultural awareness of global economics, political issues and realities, and a sensitivity to customs and cultural differences from time spent living, traveling, and working abroad. Lived in Venezuela, traveled throughout Europe, and worked with teams in India, Germany, and Mexico. Fluent in Spanish, some ability in Portuguese.
I received a Bachelor's Degree in Organziational Communications from the college of Fine Arts at Brigham Young Univerity, then returned later in life to fullfill my ambition to get a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Western Governors University emphasizing Information Technology Mangement, a field I have worked in for most of my life.
Not in the sense of being fake or attempting to curry favor but first to observe, then to be the person needed at the moment. “At times I’m a leader, other times I’m a follower; there are occasions in which I run the room and others in which I say nothing and let the room run itself”.
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"Alan's love for learning is blatantly obvious. His excitement to learn new concepts and implement what he learns seems to be a common theme for him. I’ve enjoyed watching him grow and develop in many areas over the last couple of years, whether it be personally or to gain a greater edge in the business field."
Tracey K. Smith, MSW, LCSW
Areas of Expertise
Although strong technical ability and expertise in my field are expected, I also have an aptitude for excellence in informal communication with peers and formal communication with others in the company. Additionally, I have a strong level of confidence in the following areas.
I understand the principles of effective management that maximize organizational performance.
Organizational management is the force that drives organizations forward to accomplish identified goals through analytic processes. Through discussion and analysis, management develops new ways to improve an organization's efficiency and increase profitability through reduced costs and increased revenues. The objective is to build an organizational structure that leverages core competencies, responds to organizational change, and continually identifies and satisfies customer needs.
I can implement strategies and tools that can be used to maximize employee contribution.
The need to effectively manage human resources is vital to the success of any organization. Management strategies to motivate and develop employees as well as best practices to manage performance for added value includes a variety of practices and approaches, including performance appraisals, team development and performance, and succession planning. It is essential that a manager be able to support employees in making valuable contributions to the company through a strategy for maximizing the use of human resources.
An intuition about what is happening is not enough. Relevant, reliable data is a must.
A study is likely to begin with a question, or even just with the collection of qualitative data. As we review the data collected, repeated ideas, concepts or elements, and patterns become apparent, and are tagged with codes, which have been extracted from the data. As more data are collected, and as data are re-reviewed, codes can be grouped into concepts, and then into categories. These categories may become the basis for new theory. After gathering data and analyzing it using statistical tools, changes need to be made, improvements in the organization.
How economic tools, techniques, and indicators can be used for solving problems related to competitiveness, productivity, and growth.
It is about exploring the management implications of a variety of economic concepts and effective strategies in decision making and how goals are achieved by understanding the risks and rewards stemming from the various political, economic, and financial systems. In order to maximize profits, companies make decisions with respect to equilibrium output and price that differ depending on the structure of the market in which they operate.
— Short list of past clients —
Writing For Personal Development
One question I hear often is; “How can I take what I have learned and make it a part of my life to effectively change my behavior and perspectives?” For me, I have an answer - it is this: from my head to my heart to my hands, this is how I assimilate, make things part of my internal nature. I take what I’ve learned and apply it to my circumstance to see how it plays out. Storytelling in the form of short, personal essays (journaling in essence) is my way to unpack what I have learned, along with my thoughts and feelings, my behaviors and emotions, and I get it all down on paper. All of this context creates a narrative that is the psychological outcome of my conscious reasoning and what I have learned moves more firmly into muscle. It is a process.
It always starts with a question that results from an excellent talk, a great book, or personal experience, that resonates with me, and I begin to see concepts emerge, and patterns become apparent. Self-awareness kicks in and I begin to make connections. I see a path to improve, to become a better version of me.
Putting together the context is a means of interpreting or assigning meaning to new concepts and applying them mentally and emotionally to a particular circumstance or a range of behaviors. The notion starts to come together and begins to move from my head to my heart.
As the story begins to take form, the unpacking of history, context, emotion, behavior and thinking spill onto the paper (figuratively, actually they spill onto the keyboard - I rarely use paper for anything anymore). Movement along the process line occurs as I look back often to study the subject then return to continue the narrative.
As a result, I am not the man I was just five years ago. Knowledge is clearly very important but standing alone, it doesn’t change us, it won’t enrich our lives, and in the end, it won't save us. "Deeds not words - becoming, not describing" (Neal A Maxwell - Called to Serve 1984). For me, it's all about becoming.
“Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.”~ Proverb of the Asaro tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Some significant facts
As a part of my consulting practice, NoTerra, LLC.
Most Requested Skills
No matter the position there is one requirement that continues to reveal itself in the essentials list - Microsoft Office. I’m not sure why. It is almost inconceivable that today’s applicants are not completely adept at navigating the various components of Office. I consider myself an advanced user - whether it's using statistical add-ons in Excel, creating and administering small databases with Access, storyboarding and presenting with PowerPoint, or writing a scholarly article in Word. With that out of the way, other relevant skills are presented in the table below.
More data has been streamed in the past two years than in all of prior human existence, but this is not the revolution. Nor is it in the growth of storage or even computational capacity. The revolution is in Big Algorithm, the statistical and computational methods, the set of rules that can be used to solve problems a thousand times faster. I am currently working on just such a project called Seventh Sense™ that will use big data to predict recovery from data feeds that provide relevant treatment information based on patient personality, behavior, history, and genetics received using proprietary intake procedures and consists of intense health, fitness, and medical testing, along with motivational, emotional, and psychological evaluations that gather these data sets and compare them to NIH recovery data in order to prepare a patient for a personal treatment experience. The platform is designed from the ground up for contextual treatment.
Finance is about setting and reaching financial goals that meet the strategic objectives of the firm. I am comfortable with and have a solid foundation in the processes required to accurately analyze current status, plan and prepare for future requirements, comply with regulatory guidelines, and manage within the political, financial, and competitive environments. I also understand the time value of money. All financial decisions involve the flow of money over time, making the evaluation of the time value of money an essential skill. Financial decisions also balance the risk of an action versus the potential return. I have used the risk/return trade-off model as it applies to capital markets and valuation. I also have a good grasp of debt and equity valuation, CAPM, financial forecasting, capital budgeting, working capital management, company valuation and government regulations.
Identifying strategic opportunities and emerging technologies through research and proposing IT implementation recommendations to support a growing company. Research, communication skills, and IT-related ethical-use/identifying-security-threats are important aspects of the field. Technology initiatives must be communicated to the strategic managers of the firm. These initiatives place a demand on one of the firm’s limited resources—capital. To limit potential waste of capital, the technology chosen must be communicated clearly to the stakeholders with justification based on need and impact. Technical ability is an important part the equation, after all, employers expect expertise in this field, but they also seek and expect excellence in informal communication with peers and formal communication with others in the company, the ability to put technology in laymen's terms.
I am experienced in managing an organization's resources in order to reach its business objectives and maximize its value in the long term. It involves creating and following a defined sequence of steps that encompass the full range of a company's resources, from setting out objectives and identifying resources, to analyzing data and making financial decisions, to tracking and analyzing reasons for the variance between actual and budgeted results. We then make use of a range of performance measurements to evaluate our strategies, programs, procedures, and assets. Performance methods are the key dynamic that measures how well a company is accomplishing its objectives.
No matter the position there is one requirement that continues to reveal itself in the essentials list - Microsoft Office. I’m not sure why, it is almost inconceivable that today’s applicants are not completely adept at navigating the various components of Office. I consider myself an advanced user - whether its using statistical add-ons in Excel, creating and administering small databases with Access, storyboarding and presenting with PowerPoint, or writing a scholarly article in Word.
A project goes through several phases, with a distinct beginning and end. A successful project includes effectively carrying out tasks related to initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling, and closing. Unsuccessful projects often skip some of these steps, perhaps not fully planning everything that needs to be done or forgetting to monitor the team to ensure they are sticking to the plan. An effective project manager foresees problems, makes appropriate trade-offs that ensure successful project completion, and, above all, facilitates communication among all project stakeholders, who are likely each looking for something different from the project. I follow the Project Management Institute’s project management methodology including the various process groups and knowledge areas. I have been involved in both planning a project that has not started yet and monitoring/controlling a project that is already underway - both have included problem-solving, information gathering, and decision making using expert judgment. These techniques benefit me whether managing a future project, participating on a project team, or being a stakeholder expecting certain benefits and results from a project.
I first learned Spanish at the Language Training Mission in Provo, Ut, then went on to serve a mission for the LDS Church in Venezuela. There I was immersed in the language with companions that did not speak English. In my career, I have used Spanish while working at client sites in Mexico including Volkswagen in Puebla, Mexico, and Chrysler and Bosch in Toluca, Mexico. On a scale of beginner, intermediate, proficient, fluent, and native speaker, I would fall into the proficient category. I cannot translate for a speaker, but, if prepared, I can deliver a fair presentation in Spanish.