- a strong business orientation to the use of IT, considering it a business aid and not an end in itself
- a first class honours degree in Computer Science from City University, London (now City, University of London)
- over 44 years experience in computer systems development, project management and IT consultancy
- over twenty years management consultancy experience
- extensive experience in the specification, development and implementation of accounting and management information systems
- more recently developing a number of new business skills including web design, book and ebook publishing, and qualifying as a local council clerk
Summary of Employment
- Jan 2016 to date - SitePoint Forums
- Aug 2014 to Jul 2016 - HOST Policy Research
- Jul 2006 to Jan 2011 - Hertingfordbury Parish Council
- Jul 2004 to Jan 2011 - Little Berkhamsted Parish Council
- Dec 1998 to date - CityScape Books
- Oct 1990 to date - Irwin Associates
- Sep 1992 to Dec 1995 - Kestrel Software
- Feb 1985 to Sep 1990 - Spicer & Pegler Associates / Spicer & Oppenheim
- Nov 1980 to Feb 1985 - Hoskyns Group Ltd
- Jan 1979 to Nov 1980 - Pye Records Ltd
- Mar 1975 to Jan 1979 - Seismograph Service Ltd
- Aug 1973 to Mar 1975 - Burroughs Machines Ltd
SitePoint Forums (Jan 2016 to date)
Appointed a Mentor - a volunteer staff position - at SitePoint Forums, an online meeting point for web developers. Promoted to Advisor in May 2017.
HOST Policy Research (Aug 2014 to Jul 2016)
Appointed a Partner with HOST Policy Research with particular responsibility for the firm’s websites, for data security and management, and for financial administration.
CityScape Books (Dec 1998 to date)
Set up and run a small publishing house initially to self-publish own books, later publishing one or two titles for others and providing advice and assistance to a number of other author-publishers.
Irwin Associates (Oct 1990 to date)
Own consultancy business; assignments include:
- design, development and maintenance of various websites
- training partners and cashiers in the use of a new (to the UK) legal accounts package
- webmaster for the Time Banks UK network
- design and development of an internet-based conveyancing system for solicitors
- co-editor of an internet journal - the International Journal of Community Currency Research
- design and development of an intranet-based divorce product for solicitors
- sale and implementation of case management software
- review of the security of patient-identifiable information held on a computer system for a London hospital NHS trust, covering internal administrative procedures and operation of the system off-site by a third party contractor, as well as software and hardware security controls
- design and preparation of brochures, promotional material and word processing templates for a housing charity
- review of the technical strategy for a major City firm of lawyers, evaluating the available options for future development of back and front office systems, and presenting recommendations to the partnership’s steering group
- IT strategy for a homelessness charity, covering its administrative and internal client care systems, and recommending a phased acquisition and upgrade plan for hardware and software
- project management of the implementation of a practice management system for a "top 20" international law firm based in the City of London, preparing and agreeing project plans and monitoring progress against the plan
- advice and hands-on assistance to a software house in the development and marketing of an accounting system for small to medium-sized professional firms
- development of an IT disaster recovery plan for a large firm of solicitors, covering computer and telecommunications systems, off-site data storage, and manual systems and procedures
- preparation of an IT strategy for a major City law firm covering accounts and word processing systems, document management and fee earner support systems
- review of IT systems for two small firms of solicitors
- selection of computer systems for a small charitable foundation
- IT strategies for a variety of solicitors’ firms of varying sizes
- selection of accounting, word processing and fee earner support systems for a number of solicitors’ practices, from three to 70+ partner firms
- management of the implementation of a network of PCs for a multiple-site office automation system for a major firm of City solicitors, including project planning, contract negotiations and supplier appraisal
- specification of the user requirements for an enhanced marketing database for a major City firm of solicitors, including supervision of the development by a third party software house, system testing and project management
- selection of personnel, payroll and library management systems for a large firm of solicitors
- specification for a trade marks registration system; user requirements and system specification of a fault logging system for the IT help desk of a large firm of solicitors.
Graham has also written a number of articles on the use of IT, particularly within the legal profession, and has published a guide to IT security planning; he has written and self-published a book about his experiences in running a small farm as a hobby. He has also been a guest tutor at Nottingham Law School’s MBA programme in law firm management.
Hertingfordbury Parish Council (Jul 2006 to Jan 2011)
Clerk, Proper Officer and Responsible Financial Officer to the Parish Council. Executive officer of the council, responsible for the day-to-day running of the council’s affairs.
Little Berkhamsted Parish Council (Jul 2004 to Jan 2011)
Clerk, Proper Officer and Responsible Financial Officer to the Parish Council. Executive officer of the council, responsible for the day-to-day running of the council’s business. Awarded a certificate of achievement for successful completion of the training programme Working With Your Council, November 2005, and a pass in the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA), November 2006.
Kestrel Software (Sep 1992 to Dec 1995)
Set up and ran, in partnership with a colleague, a small software house to design, develop, market and support an accounting system (Kestrel Accounts) for one and two partner solicitors’ firms. The business was later sold as a going concern to a larger software house.
Spicer & Pegler / Spicer & Oppenheim (Feb 1985 to Sep 1990)
Transferred to Spicer’s national IT department following a three month secondment from the consulting group. Responsible for managing the development of a management information system - a major systems project for the firm, lasting several years, and second only to the implementation of the firm’s national accounting system.
Initially covering financial information, the system was designed to encompass marketing and human resource information. Project tasks ranged from user requirements, through functional specification, to programming (by an outside software house) and acceptance testing.
Also responsible for selection of fourth generation development tools and investigating Executive Information Systems for longer term delivery and development of the system. Additional responsibility for development of a testing system, developing procedures and design of input forms for the new accounting system.
Within the Consulting Group, notable assignments include:
- project management for one of the largest City firms of solicitors of the implementation of a new accounting system, devising accounts department procedures, coding schemes and basic training of some 400 partners and staff
- review of the management, workloads and working practices of the Costs Department of a major City firm of solicitors
- invitation to tender for retail stock and sales and head office accounting systems for a large jewellery multiple
- office automation strategy for a large retail insurance broker
- office technology strategy for a provincial firm of solicitors, followed by an invitation to tender for accounting and legal support systems
- "expert" advice for a wholesaler in a law suit against a major European computer manufacturer over the failure to operate of a small business system
- invitations to tender and evaluation of proposals for time recording, accounting and management information systems for several firms of solicitors
- review of requirements, tendering and selection of office automation systems for several firms of solicitors
- computer contract advice and negotiation for several clients in a variety of industries
- "expert" advice in a multi-million pound law suit between a British oem and a US computer manufacturer.
Hoskyns Group Ltd (Nov 1980 to Feb 1985)
Client manager, project manager and systems designer for a number of Hoskyns’ clients, many of which are household names. Also line management responsibilities for a department of about 35 analysts and programmers. Assignments undertaken included:
- design, development, testing and implementation of a time recording and accounting system for a major City firm of solicitors
- project management, for the same firm of solicitors, of several projects covering enhancements to existing systems, as well as new systems for indexing library material and the semi-automatic charging of telephone calls
- management of several smaller projects including design of an examination question data bank for the school of nursing of a major teaching hospital, a personnel system for a department of a district hospital, and a trading system for a supplier of advertising gifts
- design of an appointments register system for an employment agency.
Pye Records Ltd (Jan 1979 to Nov 1980)
Head of Programming Services, responsible for the support and development of the company’s stock control, on-line order entry, sales and financial accounting systems.
Seismograph Service Ltd (Mar 1975 to Jan 1979)
Senior Programmer, leading a team responsible for the design, development and maintenance of a series of seismic applications for the Well Survey Division of a firm of international seismic consultants.
Burroughs Machines Ltd (Aug 1973 to Mar 1975)
Programmer and assistant project manager on Burroughs’ range of RT automated tellers, with particular responsibility for the RT1100 series developed in conjunction with Midland Bank.
Outside of work
Outside of work Graham has several years’ experience as a former listening volunteer with Samaritans in south London and Hertfordshire, with three years as a deputy director and publicity officer. He was a branch chairman, district and central councillor with the national charity Toc H. He has assisted on personal effectiveness trainings with two international training organisations and has been a trustee of an inner London homelessness charity. He served as an elected parish councillor for eight years, four of which were as Chairman of the council, and was clerk to two neighbouring parish councils before he moved to live with his partner (now wife) in rural Umbria, Italy.
Graham has written four non-fiction books as well as, with his wife, an online course entitled Developing Inner Peace.