Here’s a selection of my writing samples

My brief – write questionnaire, interview staff and write case studies based on interviews

Results

Traceability is now a couple of “taps” away ensuring HSE compliance every time – achieved through the use of the single, fully integrated Paperless Construction app.

Using the Paperless Construction app, Eurovia experienced improved efficiency, almost eliminating paper records production entirely, and standardised processes across the board. Record keeping became more efficient and costs and time wasted associated with storing, retrieving, and destroying physical documents were eliminated entirely.

Even Sean Chapman’s previous scepticism turned to praise as he commented:

“With Paperless, I know whom I’ve got on-site and who’s briefed, it saves me carrying around a lot of paperwork and helps with social distancing. And, in fact, the closest you need to be to someone is about a metre away to scan their QR code – everything else is paperless.

Since Paperless, I haven’t used a sheet of paper. I’ve not changed the way I do the job, Paperless has changed the way we do the job, and for the better.

The Paperless Construction app is by far the best solution I’ve tried, and it saves me about 2 hours a day. You’ve got all the records you need, stored on that little device and it makes perfect sense.

Since this success, a questionnaire was completed across all Eurovia Contracting projects echoing similar results; General implementation was described as “painless”, with 98% of staff agreeing it reduced paperwork and 89% of respondents agreeing it reduced the risk of transmitting virus on site.

But perhaps the final word should be left to Sean Chapman who commented happily “we couldn’t live without it now“.

Full case study: https://paperlessconstruction.co.uk/case-studies/eurovia-reduces-on-site-paperwork-close-to-zero-with-paperless

My brief – write copy for the entire website

01 Our customer

Background

A Fortune 100 global financial services organization based in North America and generating more than $40B in annual revenue. They have been in business in the financial services industry for over 100 years and have more than 50,000 employees worldwide. Our customer manages its IT function at an enterprise level, across key lines of business and within multiple markets.

The Task

The enterprise data architecture team was tasked with building and communicating a better understanding of data within the organization from a risk perspective.

They needed a way to map out risks and cross-reference them across multiple reference points, producing views that were relevant and insightful for architects and senior executives in business and technical roles within the financial services provider.

Challenges

The team needed to present a holistic view of technical risk, business continuity risk and reputational risk.

The team’s leadership wanted to create a common reference point as a communication tool when managing stakeholders from different areas of the organization and at differing levels of seniority.

02 Solution and outcome

Enterprise Architecture Solution

Starting with an accepted anchor view of their business capability model managed early expectations among senior leaders. Aligning applications and processes to business capabilities, and applications to geo-locations clearly demonstrated a holistic view of shared resources and duplication of support across the globe. Risk points across different frameworks were overlaid onto the operating model and views clearly identified where mitigation efforts should be focused.

Capsifi reconciled the application process and eliminated data redundancy across multiple disconnected forms, creating a single, fluid, end to end customer journey. Information is only ever entered once, and the customer journey is personalized based on prior interactions and knowledge of the customer relationship because of the financial services architecture framework we created.

Outcome

A holistic view of risk areas within the enterprise data landscape was developed with a single view of data risk. Gaps in Capsifi’s collective view of risk were identified causing individual risk teams to reassess risk areas and senior leaders benefitted from having better informed conversations about funding prioritisation and risk mitigation.

03 Why Capsifi was selected

Winning features

  • Value Stream view
  • Process and Application impacts
  • Heatmaps and overlays to identify risk points and dependencies

Capsifi website: https://www.capsifi.com

This page: https://www.capsifi.com/customers/customer-stories/fortune-100-global-financial-services-organization-overhauls-their-enterprise-risk-framework-and-develops-a-holistic-view-of-risk

My brief – write numerous web pages and blog posts

Dynamics 365 Business Central is the next generation ERP application that combines the use of innovative capabilities. When you leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and mixed reality in your supply chain, your business is empowered to collaborate globally – helping you move new products to market at a faster speed.

Connecting systems with Dynamics 365 Business Central enables you and your business to stay competitive in a rapidly changing business environment, giving you unparalleled insight into orders, inventory, scheduling, manufacturing and shipping with the ability to optimise and control.

So whether it’s planning, production, warehouse, stock or transportation management, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is here to assist strategic and tactical supply chain planning.

Connecting All The Key Parts of Your Supply Chain

Are you finding it challenging to manage your supply chain effectively without instant access to the data you need to make better-informed decisions?

As a supply chain management professional, you’re under pressure to continually deliver improving results despite the effects of strained economic trading, rising fuel costs and uncertain customer demands. Your daily responsibilities require you to focus on the full spectrum of processes within your supply chain, including inventory and purchasing control, shipment and distribution, returns and cancellations as well as procurement vendor management.

The nature of your role also demands that you look ahead with strategic and tactical supply chain planning in mind while delivering transformation to your existing supply chain. What’s more, you have to identify opportunities for optimisation and compare complex alternative business scenarios against your key business drivers to ensure future success.

So how do you keep all the plates spinning? You must have full, end-to-end visibility across your supply chain with immediate access to real-time data and analytics to aid in your decision-making process.

The question is: does your current system provide you with the insight and data you need to help you make these critical supply chain decisions with confidence?

Full web page here: https://www.itlab.com/service/business-applications/dynamics-365

My brief – write articles on cybersecurity

How businesses are dealing with malware — and what you can learn from them

Les Blythe
Les Blythe | Technology & security writer
spear phishing - malware attacks against businesses

Most reasonably tech-savvy internet users know that there are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to protecting yourself online. And you’d probably assume that large corporations have water-tight security measures in place to guard their business-critical assets – not to mention their credibility and reputation.

However, any security system is only as strong as its weakest link. Regardless of whether you’re a huge multinational, a small to medium enterprise (SME), or just at home browsing the web on your laptop, the weakest link is always the same: the individual user.

The decision whether to click on a link in an email, open a suspicious word document, or enter a password in an insecure location always comes down to the individual.

Despite corporations spending huge sums of money on employee security awareness training, negligence remains the number one cause of data security breaches. As much as 96% of consumers view employee negligence as contributing to data breaches at US companies.

So, what can you learn from how fraudsters attack businesses and how organizations address the security challenges they face every day? And, how can you apply that knowledge to help keep yourself safe as an individual without the resources of big businesses at your disposal?

The most common business attack vector that we can all learn from

In the world of business cybersecurity, the methods bad actors (hackers) use to attack companies are known as attack vectors. The most common attack vector used to compromise businesses is social engineering using “spear phishing” via email or private messaging.

Social engineering refers to the practice of using deception to trick victims into giving out personal or confidential information that can be used for fraudulent purposes. A spear-phishing attack typically involves the victim receiving a targeted, personalized email or message that has an attachment or contains a link to a website.

Once they click on the link or open the attachment (often a Word document), software is triggered that exploits a vulnerability in their word processor or browser. The software, or “malware” to give it its proper name, allows a hacker to take over their system and look at the files and information it contains.

This common method of attacking businesses is one that hackers also exploit to extract personal credentials, such as usernames and passwords, from individuals for services such as online banking. They also use personal information for identity theft, or they may even hack you just to prove they can!

If you do open a suspicious document by mistake or inadvertently click a link you shouldn’t have, malware will often give itself away. It may cause your hard drive to spin rapidly, a sure sign that a program is executing, and you have possibly been infected.

https://vpnpro.com/author/les-blythe

Concise “About Us” page

About Us

At PokeCircle we’re focused on a truly social vision.

When we saw the huge impact Pokemon Go had on our families, friends, and neighbors with its July 2016 launch, we took notice.

We believe Pokemon Go paves the way to build renewed social interaction; something that has steadily declined in today’s fast moving world.

Participation in Pokemon Go once again saw parents interacting with their kids and driving them to different locations in the hope of catching digital monsters. People from all walks of life engaged with the game as a community.

Witnessing this ignited our imagination, and PokeCircle was born.

We’d love you, your family and friends to join us in making our social vision a reality.

Scrum rules the world

scrum rules the world

SCRUM rules the world, the developer’s world.

Most software development teams we come across during job interviews work within an agile development methodology and, in the main, that methodology is SCRUM. That’s how it would appear at first glance in any case, but if you drill down you soon discover that the methodology used is not really SCRUM at all. If you consider what Scrum Alliance defines, for example, you’ll discover that some absolutely key elements of the SCRUM process are not employed, such as the right roles, the team concept, responsibilities, meetings etc.

So, how do you know if you’re really working in SCRUM? The SCRUM methodology is a framework and can, and should, be adapted to your particular project’s needs. Naturally, SCRUM may vary to some degree depending on the organization, the team, the project and the technologies employed. But, there are a few cornerstones of the framework that are unalterable, and those are related more to a way of thinking than to particular aspects of organization.

Consider the following simple questions:

  1. Is the work structured in increments of a regular size which are based on time rather than on scope? (sprint).
  2. Is each sprint planned with sufficient detail and is it clear to each team member what will be the result of the work?
  3. Does the team have full control over the ability to deliver planned tasks?
  4. Who is estimating the effort required to complete each task?
  5. Does the work in a sprint get interrupted by “very important” tasks? How does this affect the planned sprint?

As you’ve probably noticed, in this short list there’s nothing about meetings, daily scrums, planning or review as those are actually part of the SCRUM methodology. Some teams do get these few isolated aspects of the methodology right. However, the process can’t actually be called SCRUM as it’s sorely lacking the right mindset to employ SCRUM fully and effectively (the exception being retrospective perhaps).

However, what is often badly missing is the shift of responsibility from managers to the development team and, related to this, the central role of team commitment in the process. In my view, there cannot be a SCRUM without team responsibility, and to make it fair, without the team’s full control over the ability to deliver at the end of the sprint.

Obviously, there are many factors that can affect the team’s ability to deliver and thus the team’s commitment. Requirements might be unclear at the time of planning or could change during sprint. Dependencies on other parties might hinder starting work on a task. Sometimes it’s not even possible to estimate a task due to a lack of knowledge in a particular area.

Therefore, it requires the constant work of all involved parties, including the team, the SCRUM master and management, as well as the customer to create the right environment.

Get to know insideoutcomes

medical SaaS copy

In today’s value driven medical environment the ability of the insideoutcomes software solution to provide accurate, actionable data through patient reported outcomes is more critical than ever before.”

Insideoutcomes delivers exceptional value to providers by putting affordable patient reported outcomes at the fingertips of medical professionals everywhere.

GET TO KNOW INSIDEOUTCOMES

We’re Delighted to be athenahealth’s Newest Marketplace Partner

Insideoutcomes provides online software services to medical professionals. Our software services enable users to track and report on patient reported outcomes (PRO’s).

Our cost-effective software solution uses a range of industry standard questionnaires that patients complete. At the moment we have in excess of 35 questionnaires in the system and this number is continually growing.

We use these questionnaires, in conjunction with our powerful reporting tools, to support evidence based medicine that precisely matches the needs of today’s value driven environment.

Insidoutcomes’ software as a service solution (SaaS) was specifically developed to address 3 key problem areas that medical professionals grapple with on a daily basis:

  • Decreasing Reimbursement – meaning lower revenues for providers and less time and attention being available for patients as a result.
  • Increasing Compliance Demands – resulting in more bureaucracy and the very real danger of non-compliance.

And the area we believe to be most significant of all:

  • A Lack of Quality Measurement – creating an absence of accurate, actionable information which in turn negatively impacts effective doctor patient communication and reliable measurement of improvements in medical care.

Insideoutcomes is the only company to offer a fully integrated white-label solution for EHR software providers like athenahealth.

“Insideoutcomes proudly partners with athenahealth to provide objective metrics that empower providers to measure excellence, gauge the effectiveness of quality improvement programs and prove value to colleagues, partners and payers.”

THE MARKETPLACE

The marketplace for clinical metrics software such as insideoutcomes is substantial and growing.

Currently, insideoutcomes is strategically focused on musculo-skeletal physicians such as orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrists. There are approximately 700,000 i doctors in the United States of which about 28,000 ii are orthopaedic surgeons and 15,000 iii podiatrists.

That said, there are questionnaires available in almost every medical field and we’re continually adding to and enhancing the insideoutcomes solution by building them in over time.

THE INSIDEOUTCOMES SOLUTION

The insideoutcomes software solution has a suite of powerful reporting tools that empower providers to prove value to payers, help insure compliance and accurately measure improvements in care.

In fact, the insideoutcomes solution goes even further than this. Our software also helps users identify opportunity for improvement, increase their referrals and wow their referring providers!

These, and other substantial benefits provided by the insideoutcomes solution, make our software a valuable weapon for providers in the war against being swamped by an ever-increasing workload and the imperative of avoiding compliance issues.

DELIVERING VALUE FOR PATIENTS

Using well documented and researched questionnaires, that are recognized worldwide, it’s possible to survey patients and measure indicators of improvement in a patient’s condition.

For example, medical professionals can determine a patient’s Minimum Clinically Important Difference (MCDI) which represents scores that reflect changes in a clinical intervention that are meaningful for the patient.

Based on well-defined metrics, we know how much a patient’s score should change from initial evaluation to discharge and therefore we’re able to judge the effectiveness (or otherwise) of a specific treatment.

DELIVERING VALUE FOR PROVIDERS

The demand for clinical metrics software has never been stronger than it is right now – the time is exactly right for the insideoutcomes solution.

In today’s value driven medical environment any tool that helps medical professionals improve quality of care and efficiency is in high demand, and insideoutcomes caters precisely for this demand.

The powerful reporting functionality built into the insideoutcomes solution is both flexible and, most importantly of all, actionable. This means that the data provided can be used to analyze quality, prove value and drive improvements.

THE ATHENAHEALTH & INSIDEOUTCOMES PARTNERSHIP

The athenahealth suite of services and insideoutcomes software solution have a natural affinity for each other and dovetail beautifully to provide a powerful, value-added solution in the EHR space.

Athenahealth is committed to “letting doctors be doctors” and this is a philosophy that insideoutcomes understands and agrees with wholeheartedly.

Working together, as marketplace partners, we believe athenahealth and insideoutcomes can provide an unbeatable EHR solution that has never been more in demand than it is right now.

In partnership, we can strive to “let doctors be doctors” by providing a powerful, seamlessly integrated solution that makes their lives easier and allows them to concentrate more on patient centric tasks.

As Aristotle famously put it “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

CONTACT DETAILS HERE

i United States Department of Labor.  Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Occupational Outlook Handbook. Available at: http://bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm Accessed January 25, 2016.

ii American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Orthopaedic Surgeons Quick Facts. 2014. Available at: http://aaos.org/CustomTemplates/Content.aspx?id=6408&ssopc=1   Accessed January 25, 2016.

iii American Podiatric Medical Association.  FAQ About Today’s Podiatrists.  Available at: http://apma.org/content.cfm?ItemNumber=8001  Accessed January 25, 2016.

NOTE FOR PORTFOLIO: insideoutcomes and athenahealth deliberately spelled with a lower case first letter in keeping with company branding.

We’re all on Java 8

java

The really cool thing about hybris is that the platform incorporates all major technology upgrades soon after they become available. This means you immediately have the chance to work with newest versions of languages and libraries such as Java, Spring etc. Recently, all our projects were upgraded to hybris version 5.6 and as a result we can now take advantage of Java 8.

Now, this opens up a whole host of new possibilities. Java 8 introduces a few fancy features that have been long awaited and well established in other languages. Features we believe you won’t want to live without once you’ve introduced them into your programming style.

A short list of these features can be found here:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/8-whats-new-2157071.html

Naturally, although this is the new standard, we still need to be cautious about how we use the additional features available in Java 8. They have to fit into our architectural guidelines and retain or improve the quality of our code’s maintainability and testability. After all, we know from past experience that some of these new standards have not made it into the mainstream, despite the support of Sun/Oracle; for example, java logging in JDK 1.4. Other features are of great value but can be radically misused if applied incorrectly.

So, we have started evaluating selected new elements of Java 8 in order to gather some hands-on experience with real commercial projects. The idea is to analyse the new features and have an internal discussion about how effective they are. We then want to come up with a set of guidelines as to what’s great, what’s cool or useful and what’s a no-go.

We’re very excited to be starting this exercise. To begin with, please take a look at the following Java 8 code:

IntStream.range(1, 10)

.map(item -> item – item)

.map(item -> item * 3)

.mapToObj(Integer::valueOf)

.map(Exercise::someOperation)

.map(item -> item.toString())

.forEach(System.out::println);

Yes, it is Java :). It’s not Ruby, Python or anything else. What this means is that we can now use a few key features of modern programming languages that were previously unavailable in Java.

  1. Lambda expressions and Functional interface (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/javaOO/lambdaexpressions.html)
  2. Method references (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/javaOO/methodreferences.html)
  3. Enhanced collection APIs (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/language/lambda_api_jdk8.html)

It all looks very promising and will certainly change the way we write code in the future. That said, there are certain caveats associated with these techniques, some of which we have discovered already and others that will become apparent in the future.

For instance, the above code is in conflict with our coding style which would not normally allow long chained statements. We have always had rules that make sense when it comes to code readability, and some static code analysis tools like PMD enforce those rules by raising alarms. This remains a positive and we will simply have to adapt these rules to the new concepts we are presented with.

However, for the optimal use of streams, these chained statements are essential. Methods should be passing (streaming) data to other methods while processing. Splitting the above into several lines would result in different behaviour in terms of memory usage.

This means, we’ll need to adjust the code style and reconfigure the tools – but we think it’s worth it.

So, we’re all now on Java 8, but we’re just beginning our hands-on research. We’ll be producing regular, information-packed updates on our progress and discussing the pros and cons of implementing the new features of Java 8 in real-world, commercial projects.

Stay tuned for more updates based on our experiences – coming your way shortly.