Saturday, May 19, 2012

Drift

Not a post to share information but just reflecting my state today.

----------------------------------------------------

Few are those days when

Mind is rested

Yet in sub-concious flux.

 

Your sleep if affected

And dreams show your end

 

Hands resist working

For fear of doing something naive

 

Legs beg seperating from the body, not out of pain

But just that it needs its own sobre quietness

 

Brain refuses to take in anything new for it is currently rebooting itself

As a person your heart wants to reinvent you

And your own self begs "Do i know you?"

 

It is just one of the days where I whine and while, nothing in particular, nothing to attend, and drift to blank gazes

Thursday, May 17, 2012

“We are different” is now boring!

8We normally put up this façade in face of an idea, challenge, change. Yet it is a loser when faced with a mandated onslaught when challenged with change, growth, adoption and reality.

Disruptions have become the norm. Yet staving it off with reasons, justification and rationale make it more hard and rigid hits us with a loud bang to realize the unworthiness of this very statement.

It is better to believe and behave as we are normal and would adopt the change and swim through chaos to the shores to make the difference. This betters the outcome from routine of “We are different” mental attitudes, games and resistance.

What is better is to talk and share a lot, analyze and dream of best and worst future scenarios, support the normal state to change and set terms on which you would wish to implement the change. It inconveniences us for sure, but makes for a happy ending when we start thinking as to what is hitting us than hiding in shell to hurt ourselves in both current and future years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hand-offs: The grueling duel to communicate reliably

Is there a model to ensure that hand offs result in a good positive environment ?
1image

Any theories, concepts that are practical to make it easy for the receiver to take over smoothly and continue your good work ? I have found checklists that states that you need to give a certain set of information in certain templates. Doing this makes it a predictable case to cover data areas in hand off. However, the structure of a hand off resulting in a firm understanding from the receiver is a soft issue that cannot be enforced.

In a hand off instance, I often find the receiver go through 4 channels in which information is processed.


Image

Result is a hand off does happen, but an affirmative nod still is not forthcoming. Can this be made a mandate in the exit clause ? If so how could it be reinforced ?

I found the impact of sharing information in the below 5 dimensions enables the key decisions and a better personal experience.

0image

I have not taken a hand off yet, as mostly I land up opportunities in entrepreneurial segment where there is a need to start or establish from scratch. But giving hand off is something I have gone through multiple times and I can definitely say, it is better to get a nod than following a checklist (rather ticking a checklist could be an after thought).


Sunday, May 13, 2012

What s so wrong with the “others” mindset

In my initial days of career, one of my mentors said in his farewell speech “Don’t take other reality on you”. I always retained it in the context of leaving org's. But now realized that it is related to all situations when comparisons are the most demanded and expected stories than the real worth of the message in groups.

You start perceiving yourself and your work “for” others and not “with” others.

In short, you are not “in it” for your own business and you can value anything for you when compared with or against others.

Where then does individuality lie ? When and how will you receive communications involving you and not others? How can you evaluate yourself and determine your priorities? When anything is done in your benefit, how can you perceive the same in your context ?

When the “other” gets more value than self in making or judging your decisions, you know where this is drifting. You are not earning to set the context in your favor. This is the biggest laggard in any discussion as the handle to look within, needs to come from external uncontrolled and mythical "other". When this happens and you get a whiff of it - Stop right there and it is time for a change. Since you neither initiate, control, nor allow for energies to garner attention. What use is it when the goal posts keep shifting away.

"Others" mindset spoils more inter-personal commitments and relationships and team opportunities that never hurts visibly and hence tolerated in workplace. They remain under-currents and forces management only to do more of lesser good because of counter balances than be in it for growth, good and scale.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Focus on Commitments than planning for Schedules

Communicate commitments proactively and follow up on the commitments to showcase it is done as per the plan. That is the secret of great project successes and basic expectations of all clients worldwide.

Commitments are misunderstood by many including managers as creating elaborate Gantt and plans and tracking the happennings to plans. Yes, these are required for many reasons. Understand cost, complexity, schedules, audits, controls, risks, etc. It gives a holistic view on whether the revenue earned is profitable and plug the leaks in the system to maximize gains and invest more in better customer experience.

But these grand scheme of things are not close to what commitments can do for client and your business leaders.  What is valued much is a delivery arriving at a planned and pre-communicated date. Making it a habit to ensure constant flow of deliveries at set future dates that are consistently proposed in advance is what commitments are and symbolizes great working practices. In short milestone after milestone we just to need to keep sharing the dates in advance and release at the pre-committed date to gain trust and premium worthiness to our service portfolio.

If you notice, in actual projects, plans and schedules get adjusted to the actuals and those planned dates serve to analyze the differences with the acutals for next projects. The plans serve to improve predictability over a period of time. It is a common understanding that plans exist to be scrapped and redone as the work unfolds and new players, deliveries get produced that alter the environment to deliver.

Commitments need to always come from grounds up. People on the field say they will deliver the desired scope in the given time. As long as manager keeps the course by keeping themselves out of the way and work towards clearing the impediments in the paths for working professionals, the commitments are bound to be met.

Clients are happy hearing from the actual field people on the feasibilties, risks and dates with inputs from managers than gloss over presentations detached from the actual workings.

Commitments need to always be near term. Because this is the only specific that can be controlled and managed without interferences and distortion and thus can be met.This is quick, transparent, visual and tangible. More frequent the positive feelings, better is the perception and experience.

Commitment messages are understood nearly the same by every one: "I am going to get it, I am getting it and I have always got it." Semantics to this may wary, but the messaging is consistent, clear and harmonious throughout all stakeholders and without ambiguities.

This is what Kanban and Sprints in SCRUM help you achieve. Kanban helps people in ground share the status visually. Sprints focus on delivering near term goals and scope. Both Kanban charts and burn down charts show case the ability of teams to deliver on commitments and impediments crossed to deliver them.

Believe me, making a project successful is not rocket science. But it is utmost difficult because of lack of commitments and over relying on past plans and practices. These can easily be overcome with little discipline of tracing Kanban charts daily and meeting daily to share and exchange workloads, dependencies and learnings.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pursue the madness

Doraemon is a craze with kids in India. My daughter made it her basic need to carry cable TV when we shifted our house as first priority. Nothing else would she believe is required in new house. And when the craze is converted into something tangible, it relates better and makes for more meaning – to kids and parents alike.

Create the craze and pursue them with madness is a sure shot marketing success. And I realized it this way.

A new mall had opened up in Pune. Yea, one more spoilt for choice and lots of choices confuse you more. Don’t know if the new mall players cleverly deployed the tactic to attract kids and thus bring families to increase their footfalls but I would congratulate them if this is the case.

We went past the mall at 5 PM and didn’t see much of a crowd there. We thought may be the mall hopping population have given this outside the hip zone a miss. We did our shopping in nearby MG road and then thought let the kids enjoy what they love on TV – Doraemon. There were games and fun organized around Doraemon theme for kids with loads of giveaways in the said mall.

The reality started immediately when I turned to the road from MG road. A consumer exhibition and fair was going nearby. The traffic in that area which is normally choked is now more congested with pedestrians jostling for their space. Navigating traffic, I kept extreme left to make sure I don’t miss the parking lane. And lo, I saw a long queue of cars and bikes squeezing in between cars to enter the parking lot. With my wife and kids bolted out not wanting to accompany me in traffic snarls as Doraemon was more important than anything at that time.

I should appreciate Kumar Pacific mall in Shankar Seth Road. After 35 minutes of touch and go speeds, I finally slotted my gears to enter the gate. Few good things about the mall are:

1. The security managing the temperate crowd due to us waiting for our turn in entering the parking lot was ok and organized.

2. The parking lot has ample space and the driveway is spacious to maneuver.

3. The mall A/C was working. (many of you know what I mean if you visit Vishal and Big Bazaar).

4. There is ample room for walk ways and well lit shops.

But looking at this in positive way was short lived. I had to bide my kids wanting and paid for the events participation. Even if it meant that you needed to wait for 1 hour for you to get your turn.

It is all crazy, I said. My wife said “Kids are loving it. Do we say anything when you sit with your laptop all day long watching a download. Better watch them go after what they like.”

And I realized how sold are we when it comes to kids expectations and likings. Their craze is our madness, their wanting becomes our pursuit. And there in lies a great marketing tactic.

 

 

Top Agile Blogs