Acareo Ltd

Focusing on the main thing!

User Stories and/or Use Cases?

There is often confusion in the mind of the business analyst about the need for or application of user stories and Use Cases, especially if the organisation hasn’t been exposed to these tools and techniques in the past. User stories (syntax: as a <who>, I need to <what>, so that <why>) are useful to define […]

Taxation, austerity and small business – life or death?

So, with effect from 1st April the flat rate VAT Scheme is changing.It seems our business is now caught by what HMRC term as a “limited costs business”.  Essentially, because our costs of goods is less than 2% of turnover we will have to pay an additional 2% VAT. This coupled up with a reduction […]

Downtime – the bit between contracts

We’ve just finished a great 6 months with a mid-size legal practice in Manchester and are now looking for the next contract. Every time a contract comes to an end there is a period of uneasiness coupled with expectation: Uneasiness because you don’t know when the next contract will start (or where) and you still have […]

Keeping you focused

With change inevitably comes uncertainty. Organisations are concerned about their finances, especially costs; staff about their jobs, customers about the quality and availability of services or products. Technological change is happening all around us; businesses see savings, opportunities for new markets and but are they geared up for the pace of change and the challenges […]

Shift Happens

We made this slideshow back in 2012 – it is still relevant today; just that the numbers will be even more dramatic as the pace of change speeds up.

Localism – democracy and the dangers of referenda

With the Localism Bill to be published imminently there is already talk of it being a “Nimby Charter”; a world where the vote of the majority on a single issue is the only vote that matters, no matter how un-informed or self-interested the electorate might be. The pro-localism lobby are citing the likely introduction of […]

Big freeze shows how big society might work – or not?

So, a few inches of snow and the country grinds to a halt – again. “Chaos” cry the news papers/channels; a inquiry will be held into the performance of the Highways Agency and local authorities to establish just why our motorways ground to a halt, even when we knew the snow was coming. Myself, I […]

Green Buying – is it really that simple?

Freelance journalist Michael Cross, founder of Free Our Data campaign, is one of the first, and no doubt not the last, to ask “11 years after Gershon, government is still dismal at buying stuff. Or is there more to it than that?”. Sir Phillip Green has now reported to government on public procurement and basically he says […]

Another History Lesson – Poor Laws

This week Iain Duncan-Smith will launch the Coalition  Government’s White Paper on Welfare Reform. It has been widely leaked that the paper will include an element of making the “long-term” unemployed undertake some form of work tasks or “mandatory work activity” for their benefits – perhaps as much as 30 hours a week.  The unions […]

From Little Acorns…

Today I landed my first contract as an independent. A small contract but a contract nonetheless; one that will see us through until the next financial year, even if nothing else materialises. With all the doom and gloom surrounding the public sector at the moment I have found a ray of sunshine, albeit a small […]

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