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A day in the life of…
Application Development Analyst, working as a Business Analyst at Accenture
Adhiraj Rana studied a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science (Majors in Applied Maths and Physics) at Monash University graduating in June 2017, and is now an Application Development Analyst, working as a Business Analyst at Accenture.
Waking up a little earlier than normal, as I must get to work early. I'm flying back to Melbourne today and will leave work early for my flight (Positives of a Friday!!)
Pack up & get ready! After a quick shower, I get ready and do final checks of the apartment to make sure I haven't left anything behind.
The most important meal of the day! After breakfast I head out, luggage in hand towards work, luckily, I live walking distance to work.
Coffee makes the world go around! After getting to work, the first thing I do is drop my bags off, set up my laptop and head downstairs for a coffee. At this time of day, my brain does not function without one!
Emails, emails and more emails…Finally, after getting my coffee, I log onto my Accenture laptop and my client desktop. First thing on the agenda… check emails!
The art of the reply! Personally, I prefer to first filter through all generic emails before replying to important things. With clients it can often be important to craft emails very carefully, ensuring you are direct but polite and professional, as a level of sensitivity is involved with communications.
Product Backlog Refinement. Being a Business Analyst, I manage a lot of the clean-up of our product backlogs. In an Agile work environment, product backlog items (PBI) are the work that the team is targeting for completion every two weeks. So, my next task is to ensure all PBI's are up to date and linked to the correct people. Following up on any that might be showing signs of concern.
Stretch and stroll. Coming in this early has the benefit of fewer distractions and a very productive morning. Normally I would take this opportunity to get up and stretch, having a bad back, it's important for me to get up, walk around or work at a standing desk every few hours.
Meeting preparations. Looking at my calendar, I have a fair few meetings all day (very standard for a BA). This means I must ensure any presentations are up to date, meeting goals are outlined (normally something I do only for myself in my notebook), rooms are booked, and meeting invites are up to date with room details/skype call details.
Powering up the PowerPoint. It looks like I have a PowerPoint Deck that needs updating. This can often involve sourcing information from client SharePoint’s, incorporating Accenture graphics, ensuring minimal text and clear/meaningful information. Considering the target audience are client executives (for this deck), it is important I run this deck past my managers before bringing it to the meeting.
Final touch-ups. A quick catch up with my manager to confirm the changes I made, after some additional small tweaks it is ready for the 11:30 meeting.
Daily stand-up occurs at 10:30. This is an opportunity for everyone in the team to outline the work they completed yesterday, what their focus will be today and any blocker they may have. This is a standard Agile ceremony commonly conducted in most teams. Normally only 20 mins long.
Presenting to Executives. The first big meeting of the day. Considering I have been on the project for some time now, my manager is comfortable with my level of knowledge and gives the silent go-ahead for me to lead the meeting. I ensure I arrive in the meeting room early to prepare any technology for my presentation and have any/all print outs ready.
Presenting to a group of executives can be very daunting, it is key to know what you are presenting back to front. Furthermore, as conversations arise, it can sometimes be wise to gently nudge the meeting along (timeboxing) otherwise meetings will easily run over. Your manager should see you trying to do this and assist where they can. It is important to speak clearly and if presenting documentation then to clearly articulate what aspect of the documents you are talking about.
Quick lunch! Despite my timeboxing, that meeting went overtime, and I seem to only have 15 minutes before my next meeting. I will need to grab a quick lunch now, otherwise, my next break is at 4 pm (when I leave work for my flight)!
As part of the Accenture Graduate program, the Technology division has an Associates Academy for Graduates in their first 2 years at Accenture. I am currently the President of the Associates Academy’s Events Committee for Australia/New Zealand (ANZ). This means fortnightly calls to coordinate events across ANZ, manage the budget, discuss any blockers and inform the Committee of any important details. This fortnights call is now! Jumping on Skype I discuss the agenda for the Associates Academy for the coming months, something I wrote up after work last night, someone has taken the minutes and will send them out after the meeting, with any action items.
Brainstorming. My next meeting is with a few of my Accenture team leadership. As part of our work with this client, we are assisting in the implementation of a few uplifting capabilities. This means we are analysing current processes and proposing changes (based on Accenture’s vast industry knowledge) to improve their ways of working. This meeting is to discuss our progress, what the next steps are and how we will manage those next steps. A lot of the brainstorming that occurs in this session is a key learning experience and showcases the years of experience within the team.
Cancellations = "Spare time". My next meeting seems to have gotten canceled (thank god!) giving me half an hour of spare time. Unfortunately, this “spare time” is just a chance for me to begin actioning a lot of the items of work I had collected from the day's meetings. First, I will begin by replying to any emails I may have received while at these meetings. Then I’ll write out the minutes from my last meeting and action any items I can before my next meeting.
Coffee break 2.0. A team member comes over to my desk to ask a few questions, we get talking and decide to go down for the second coffee of the day. Before I know it, its been 15 minutes and I’ve got to run to my next meeting!
Managing My Monitoring Meeting. As part of our uplift strategy, we are working on refining the system monitoring practices that each system on this project uses. Today’s meeting is with one of the production systems. I will be coordinating a meeting between them and the monitoring team, presenting to both teams the plans we had for the systems, getting input from the product teams and checking the feasibility of the solution with the monitoring team (as they will be the ones implementing the changes). I have spent the last few weeks learning about the various monitoring systems within the company and have previously led a similar meeting with my manager present. As such I am the lead on this uplift project which has been a great opportunity for me as a grad.
And we're off!!! Ah! It's 4, this meeting doesn’t look like its ending and I’ve got to leave for my flight! I try my best to timebox any conversations. But, the product team and the monitoring team have a bit more to discuss. I decided that my presence isn’t as essential as needing to catch the flight, so I politely slip out, grab my things and call an Uber. Off to the airport, I go!
Once a Melbournian, always a Melbournian…I landed in Melbourne! My graduate starter group is all out for a few drinks tonight. If I hurry I should be able to get to that for a quick catch up!
Drop and go! I make it home, drop my stuff off and call another uber to get to the city (luckily, I live very close to the city!).
Friday night drinks! I make it on time to have a few drinks with my grad group! It's great that we’ve all stayed in touch!
Home time! #sleeptime. I think the exhaustion has finally hit! It's been a long day and a long week! I think its time to head home and pack it in for the night!
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