Peter Collins
Business and Systems Consultant; Technical Author.

VIVID Management Pty Ltd
A.C.N. 055 839 739
26 Bradley's Head Road
Phone 61 2 9968-3308
FAX 61 2 9968-3026
Mobile 0408 419 571

Professional Writing Experience

Peter Collins is principal of VIVID Management Pty Limited, consulting in Project Managment, Management and Information Technology, Business Analysis, Systems Specification, Quality Assurance, Methodologies and all related Technical and User Documentation. Peter is a highly experienced business consultant, specialising in applying information technology to commercial excellence.

His experience in the business and technical applications of computers and communications spans more than 30 years. He has held positions such as Chief Programmer for New Zealand Government Department of Health, and as senior consultant with organisations including CSA, Computer Power and Ernst & Young he has provided advice to clients such as Commonwealth Industrial Gases, COMALCO, Federal Airports Corporation, NSW Treasury and the AMP Society.

Assignments have covered a wide range of business sectors which include: Insurance, Superannuation, Health, Tertiary Education, Accounting and Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing and Industrial, Transport, Education, Building.

Most of those assignments have required advanced analytic and writing skills, and the output has included project concept plans, formal proposals and contracts, business analyses, strategic plans, project status audits, systems requirements and specifications, a wide variety of management briefings, investigative reports; and at various times on a more technical level, training guides, functional and maintenance descriptions for data processing (software) and electronic components (hardware).

The specific skills brought to those assignments include: Strategic Planning; Business Needs Analysis; Computer Systems Specification, Selection and Design; Methodology and Quality Assurance implementation; Human Resource Management; Computer Acquisition and Installation; Project Planning and Management; Electronics design and manufacturing, Technical and Statistical Research and Analysis; Training Design and Administration.

Peter was born in London, UK in 1937, grew up in New Zealand, emigrated to Australia in 1980 and is now an Australian Citizen. He has four adult children and enjoys skiing, cycling, sailing, reading, writing fiction, electronics, music and theatre.

The following pages list the main employment milestones and the main professional writing assignments from this long career. For the complete list, or for additional details of any of the projects, please see the full resume.

Some Project Highlights

Date Employer or Client Position Description

2002 - Gumnut Software Technical Writer Specification, organisation, writing and implementation of installation and user guides, integrated help systems, training texts and scripts for an inter-related set of systems for the appointments, billing, accounting, staff rostering and client relationship administration in the Medical, Hair, Beauty, Day Spa and Leisure Management Industries. This project includes post-development synchronisation of product documentation and software versions, single-source - multi-use documentation tools and work methods, Documentation Standards and Writers' Guide, Interactive web-based documentation, Screen-context application Help system, PDF and HDK document conversion.

2000 - 2002 Syscorp P/L Technical Writer Specification and organisation of large-team, knowledge-management technical writing projects including marketing materials, senior executive briefings, installation and user guides, help systems and web-site content for an integrated, large-organisation wholesale funds-management distributed software application. Publications and other outputs included Documentation Strategic Plan, Software Release Certificates, Training Plan, training courseware, Knowledge-Base design and development, WordVB macro development, VSS version control, synchronisation of product documentation and software versions, single-source - multi-use documentation tools and work methods, Intraweb site design and maintenance, Documentation Standards and Writers' Guide, Interactive web-based documentation, Screen-context application Help system, PDF and HDK document conversion.

1991 - VIVID Management P/L Principal Responsible for Account Management, Quality Control, Standards, Methodologies, Research, Writing and Graphics. Assignments include:

  Gumnut Software Technical Writer Specify and write training and integrated help systems and user guides from single-source texts, for the appointments, billing, accounting, staff rostering and client relationship administration in the Medical, Hair, Beauty, Day Spa and Leisure Management Industries. Details above.

  Syscorp P/L Technical Writer Specification and organisation of large-team, knowledge-management projects in an wholesale funds-management application. Included Documentation Strategic Plan, Knowledge-Base systems, VSS version control, Intraweb and Internet site design and maintenance, Documentation Standards and Writers' Guide. Details above.

  GEC Marconi Systems Pty Ltd Technical Writer Author, Software Test Description document for a specialised Hardware/Software Automated Test Rig. Author, Guidelines for multi-user shared-access document development. Programmer (C++) specialised version control system for large Excel spreadsheets (50,000 lines by 1000 columns). All within a CMM-oriented defense-product environment.

  GEC Marconi Systems Pty Ltd Technical Writer Editor, procedures and standards for development, coding and testing C++ program modules and integration within software projects in a CMM-oriented defense-product environment.

  OPTUS Cable and Wireless Technical Writer Author, OptusWeb Style Guidelines - standards and procedures for preparing information for inclusion on the Optus intranet

  Clinical Reporting Systems P/L Project Manager, X400 Interfacing Build an Electronic Data Interface to the Health Insurance Corporation, for GPs. Project responsibility included writing the technical design and all hard-copy and on-line user guides.

  Lend Lease Employer Systems Ltd Project Manager, Integrated Payroll Bring under control a combined supplier/client team connecting a bureau payroll to in-house data collection. Included writing implementation strategy and technical feasibility reports..

  Harcourts NZ Ltd Business Consultant, Real Estate Franchisor Plan network strategies and policies for staffing, training, implementation and project control methods across the whole network (126 offices). Advise on ISO-9001 certification.

  Itron Australasia Pty Ltd, Sydney Technical Writer, IMR Project Author of the DIU (Device Interface Unit) Installation and Field Maintenance Instruction Book, and co-author of the IAMR System Software Installation and User Guide.

  Canon Information Systems Research Australia Technical Writer, Constructor Project Design and write the user guide, application context dependant help system and tutorial lesson. The project included designing and drafting illustrative graphics.

  Springboard Experience P/L Typographer Layout, typesetting, graphics design and print preparation for 'Living Intuitively' (300pp)

  CIBA GEIGY Aust Ltd Business Consultant, PCS System Included writing the user requirements document and project implementation plan.

  Potters Society of Australia Typographer Layout, typesetting of newsletters and leaflets, including some sub-editing of contributed copy.

  Clinical Reporting Systems P/L Business Consultant Client liaison, staff training (project management and business needs analysis), computer system information engineering. Advise on ISO-9001 certification.

  Eli Lilly Australia Business Consultant, DSS Project Included writing user requirements and RFT for systems to support Total Quality Management (TQM) success factor information analysis.

  Blacktown City Council IT Consultant (1992), Computer Purchase Included writing the Mainframe and Software requirements specification for the whole organisation; Market Survey, RFT and evaluation methodology for the acquisition.

  Eli Lilly Australia Project Manager, MIS Project Included writing User Requirements, Specification and implementation and training requirements for Marketing Information Analysis and Reporting System.

1986 - 1991 Ernst & Young Management Consulting Services Senior Consultant Client Account Manager, Project Manager, Business Problem Solving Facilitation, Information Systems and Technology Acquisition and Consultancy. Assignments include:

  NSW Department of Family and Community Services Project Manager, Mainframe Review Included designing and writing capacity analysis, market review, cost benefit risk analysis, staffing and organisation assessment and general site and equipment evaluation.

  NSW Department of Attorney General CBT Project Manager Establish CBT unit, including staffing, training, equipping, and the analysis, design and implementation of the unit's first major project. (Two year project).

  Western Sydney Area Health Service Project Manager Research and write the Information Systems Division Strategic Business Plan, including needs analysis, market survey, and organisation restructuring.

  Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Consultant Database, 4GL and Development Environment assessment, software supplier evaluation, project risk analysis.

  NSW Office of State Revenue Project Manager, EIS selection project included writing User Requirements and Market Review for design or purchase of an Executive Information System based on Critical Success Factors and Performance Indicators.

  Federal Airports Corporation Project Manager, Set up the FAC as a new organisation Included writing all business systems requirements, RFT for computer hardware, software and networks, selection report, system test methodology, implementation plan and procedure manual requirements, for new offices and staff, Australia-wide. (A two year project).

  ACT Omnibus Network Project Manager, Bus Fleet System purchase Included writing business requirements, market review, RFT, evaluation methodology, and selection report for networked bus fleet administration and scheduling system.

  State Transit Authority of NSW Project Manager, Bus Revenue System Included writing Business requirements, RFT, evaluation methodology and acquisition strategy for networked bus operator revenue collection and control system.

1984 - 1986 Computer Power Ltd Senior Consultant Client Account Manager, Project Manager, Business Problem Solving Facilitation, Information Technology Acquisition and Consultancy. Assignments included:

  State Superannuation Board of NSW Account Site Manager, New Systems. Mainframe installation and system development of all new business systems to replace obsolete 'punch card and tape' computer.

1981 - 1984 Computer Sciences of Australia Senior Member of Consulting Staff Project Manager, Business Requirements Analysis, Information Systems and Technology Acquisition and Consultancy. Assignments include:

  AMP Society Project Manager, Hardware Purchase Strategic Plan Included writing Business Systems Requirements, Hardware Strategic Capacity Plan, Machine Room Functional Requirements, evaluation methodology, and purchase contract.

  Department of Main Roads NSW Project Manager, Property System. Included supervising writing of business requirements, Database and 4GL selection and implementation strategies, and implementing SPECTRUM development methodology

  Blacktown City Council IT Consultant (1983) Mainframe and software requirements specification, Market Survey, RFT, evaluation methodology and acquisition.

1980 - 1982 IMG Consultants Data Processing Manager Responsible for all IT activities, assets and staffing; acquisition and installation; software analysis, development, testing and training.

1978 - 1980 Department of Health, New Zealand. Chief Programmer All systems development projects, data processing standards, staff training, distributed database strategies, network protocols

1976 - 1978 University of Otago NZ Postgraduate Research Scholar Adapt ALGOL-W for use by schools on NZ Databank network.

1973 - 1976 Peter Collins Associates, New Zealand Industrial Systems Consultant Consulting and Consulting Policy, Client Account Management, Methodologies, Standards, Quality Control. Assignments include:

  National Insurance Coy (Australasia) Project Manager Policy payment and disbursement Information Processing Work Flow Analysis, Batchsize Analysis, Peak Loadshedding Strategy.

  Reserve Bank of New Zealand Senior Consultant Senior member of design and development team, Financial Database Project.

  NZ Federation of Transport Associations Project Manager Business Requirements, technology strategy review, computer acquisition policy, evaluation methodology.

1972 - 1973 Mosgiel Ltd, New Zealand Systems Analyst Systems specifications and design - payroll, invoicing, debtors, creditors, general ledger.

1970 - 1972 Otago Hospital Board, NZ. Organisation and Methods Officer Investigate and report on management strategies and data processing facilities, develop DP standards, supervise software testing.

1968 - 1970 University of Otago NZ Tutor - Technician Design and make experimental equipment, design and document statistics and computing exercises and programs, tutor classes.

1962 - 1963 Eclipse Radio, NZ Assistant Manager Design and construction.of TV set assembly and test line, pilot operation, production handover.

1960 - 1968 Garden Services, NZ Proprietor Establish and run a horticultural company with a full time staff of nine.

1958 - 1960 University of Otago NZ Electronics Technician Instrumentation and control systems for Linear Accelerator on atomic research project.

Technical Tools And Applications
(with varying levels of expertise) include:

COMMS/NETWORK PRODUCTS: DecSystem 10/20, Burroughs datacom, Wingate, DecNet, Ethernet (TCP/IP)

SOFTWARE PRODUCTS and METHODOLOGIES: Mentor (methodology), Spectrum (methodology), SDM 90 (methodology), PMW (proj mgt.), PMS (estimating), WordPerfect, MS Word xx, FrameMaker xx, HTML (any tools), JavaScript, MS Proj Mgt, Excel, IEW (CASE tool), HDK (help systems), Robohelp, CRS (CASE tool), Corel (graphics), AS/NZS 4258, ISO 900X, TQM

HARDWARE - O/S: Burroughs E4000, DecSystem 10/20, CP/M, IBM DOS/360-370, Burroughs 6800, ICL George, IBM OS/2, Win(3.11, 95), PICK, MS/DOS

LANGUAGES: IBM 360 assembler, PDP-8 PAL 3, FORTRAN, Stanford (SAIL), E4000 Assembler, Z80 assembler, MS macro assembler, GP500 Assembler, COBOL, PL/1, PL/360, Algol, C++, C, Basic, Pascal, APL, Datacom Algol

DATABASES/4GLs/ SYSTEM TOOLS: dBase Foxbase Clipper, VpInfo, Informix, CRS, Paradox, SQL, Information (PICK), FOCUS, Dataflex, Datatrieve, ZIM, MS Access

Professional Qualifications and Activities include:

Bachelor of Science, Mathematics and Operations Research (Otago, New Zealand)

Postgraduate Research in Computer Science (NZ Government Study Award for Excellence in Industry)

Member of the Australian Society of Technical Communicators

Past Associate Member of the NZ Statistical Society

Past Full Member of the New Zealand Computer Society

'Developing Quality Systems Documentation' (ISO 900X) - University of Sydney

'Financial Aspects of Establishing a Business' - University of Sydney

'Best Staff Management' - University of Sydney

'Developing Windows Help Systems' - University of Sydney

Copyright 2003 Peter Leon Collins
Updated 15 October 2003