Archive for December, 2008

New Year Resolution – Time Management

 When we talk about software development, we talk about certain requirements, certain design, technology, coding, testing and implementation. It goes through some process. Software engineers follow these processes to achieve the target. Initially the processes were made for the entire cycle but later people realized that we need process at every level. In 1994, Watts Humphrey wrote a book called “A Discipline for Software Engineering”. There he emphasized on the need for processes for individual software engineer. He named it PSP (Personal Software Process). PSP is a quantified method aimed to the improvement of the quality and productivity of the personal work of individual software engineers.

The PSP philosophy is largely based on reviews at every stage of the development cycle. I would not go into details of all reviews but I would definitely like to talk on the review / self-assessment we do for our TIME. The need for time management grows with our growth as a professional. Let’s talk on few things which we can do to manage our time in a better manner.

To start with we can do few things like preparing a To-Do list. Put some items in the list and prioritize them. Put a deadline also for them. Pick them one by one and finish them. The purpose should be to make that list empty. This is an agile approach which would help us to complete our work on a priority basis. It would also help us to monitor our present and future engagements.

 

todo-timemanagement

To-Do List

Start marking our hourly tasks. Let’s prepare a spreadsheet and mark 14 hours. Start filling “what did we do” for each passing hours. Make it a daily routine to fill this sheet honestly. It would help us to assess our own work. It would also help us to plan our daily work. Each individual has a high-low effort hours when he likes to work more. For me it could be in evening from 16.00-20.00 while for someone else it could be morning 9.00-12.00. This spread sheet will help to divide our work within a day. We may put the high priority task in our high effort hours and so on.   

 

TimeManagement

TimeManagement

Learn to say NO when you feel that you are overloaded with work and there’s no space in your To-Do list. This is important to do justice with your work. Everybody has a limit as how much he can work. Let’s understand our limits and work accordingly.

Let’s keep these three things as our New Year resolution and let’s follow it rigorously. 

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December 31, 2008 at 9:49 am 1 comment

MBA – An Indian Way

Whenever I see an MBA course curriculum in India or whenever I talk to any fresh MBA student coming out of an Indian B-School, I wonder, what are they (B-Schools) trying to produce? They claim, we are producing future managers / business leaders. They again say, these bunches of students are specialized in Finance, these are in Systems and these are in Marketing. I again wonder, are they really managers? Are they really business leaders? Or, just domain experts?

I believe, there are two aspects of a manger. First is technical aspect, which includes the knowledge of domain, business and the second aspect is, behavioral aspect , which includes, understanding human behavior, interpersonal skills, informational expertise, decisional skills, etc. I also believe that achieving technical aspects of management is easier than achieving behavioral aspects of management.

My intention is not to blame the entire education system of India but just to emphasize on few things which should be given more importance. Let’s see how we can incorporate these behavioral aspects in our MBA course curriculum.

 When we say interpersonal skills, it includes day-to-day interaction with employees, motivation, direction and organization. The course should concentrate more on case studies, games, and scenario based role-plays to develop this skill. These techniques would be more effective than giving lectures on a particular topic.

When we say information expertise, it includes information elicitation, requirement gathering. It may be within organization, and also from outside organization. To develop this expertise, students need to be motivated towards reading, reading some good books, be selective in choosing these books, talking to different people at different level, getting a feel of competitors plan, monitoring the business scenarios. Some games can also be developed to get a real feel on all this.

The last and most important skill could be decisional skill. It includes entrepreneurship development, developing a zeal for initiating new things, developing responsibility and ownership, developing mindset towards hunting / searching for new opportunities, distributing responsibilities to balance the work, risk analysis, going for corrective action, change management, resource allocation, resource management, human skills, cultural influence, conflict management, staffing, socializing, planning, etc. There are few other trend setter decision making techniques like Snap Decisions, Grid Analysis, Pareto Analysis, Six Thinking Hats, etc. All of these skills can be developed through mental games, case studies and several scenario based role-plays.  B-Schools must try to focus on these techniques rather than going for normal classroom based lectures.

Few B-Schools have already realized this and they are transforming their curriculum. I hope to see more such new teaching technique embedment.  

December 26, 2008 at 6:25 am 1 comment

India Inc 2.0 – Will it Survive ?

Global economic meltdown has concerned many countries. People are coming up with their own views as what would be the impact? There are lots of data, statistics given on different forums. Top politicians, businessmen, and media, everybody is talking about it. I looked at different blogs, forums and noticed some interesting debates about impact on India Inc. Here are my thoughts as how India Inc should / will deal with this?

I would prefer to say India Inc 2.0 as I believe India Inc 1.0 got over after Y2K and .Dot doom. India started looking into new business dimensions and its economy grew like anything. So, let’s see how India Inc 2.0 should / will deal with this recent economical crisis.

Majority of Indian IT business derive it’s more than 70% of revenue from US economy and they are bound to hit. They will feel the heat as their clients in US will not go for more projects and more work. What could be the impact? Few Indian companies will go for cost cutting, job cutting, and few will prefer to explore new avenues. This might boost the IT product initiative in India. And if it happens, it would create a better prospect for IT business in India.

Tourism is the other sector which is likely to see the impact of this global recession. Everybody is on cost cutting path and the first thing which comes in mind is to cut the traveling and vacation cost. How the industry should deal with this? Ok, if the scenario is not cooperative enough to motivate people then how about going for some innovative things. Let’s consider some innovative ideas for tourism industry. How about promoting health tourism, spiritual tourism, and cultural tourism? Yoga, Meditation, Ashrams, Gurus, Pundits, Bodhgaya, Hrishikesh, Dharamsala, etc. could be few significant words to consider.

More than 50% of India’s workforce is still employed in Agriculture, a sector which is likely to be untouched. These are the people who are least bothered about what’s happening in urban India or the Global village. They would continue doing their regular work and their lifestyle will remain same. India Inc 2.0 can see this global meltdown as an opportunity to enter Agriculture sector. They can come up with a plan which would help this sector to grow and also to enhance the lifestyle of these people. There are multiple problems in this sector and most of them are because of lack of knowledge / information. Some initiatives have been taken by Government / Private sector companies but this recession could act as a booster for making more such investments.

Web 2.0 is another area which can help in combating this recession era. India Inc 2.0 must consider this as an opportunity to build a broader IT enabled business network. Around 10% of Indian population uses Internet and a business model based on recent happenings of Internet can surely create more jobs, more money. It would also help other sectors by providing information / infrastructure to deal with their issues in much better way.

Innovation with technology, Innovation with business model and engaging more people with growth cycle will be crucial for the next business boom. I hope to see a more confident, independent and robust India Inc 3.0. 

December 16, 2008 at 10:53 am 1 comment

Web 2.0 – relevance in recession era ?

With growing popularity of Web 2.0, companies and individuals have started taking about its pros and cons. I looked at many websites / blogs which present their views as how it would change the coming generation of net crawlers. Most of them have given several examples as how biggies of WWW industry are already changing their business function or making it compatible with web 2.0 tools. IBM is talking about how Web 2.0 will change next generation BPM while Microsoft is busy in promoting Mix 06. Google and Yahoo are on run to acquire new innovative concepts / web solutions so that they have an edge for final frontier.

In the midst of all this, I tried to find out, “how the spree of Web 2.0 can help people in fighting recession?” To answer this question, I started looking into the current and potential usage of these tools. People have started using most of the features but they can further leverage these techniques more into their applications, communications and even in infrastructure. These are some known initiatives. The next step is to actively use them, to understand the concept, to leverage them and to get benefited by them.

With Web 2.0, information can be pulled from a number of different places, and it can be personalized to meet the needs of a single user. Applications can be built on the existing applications that comprise the Web 2.0 interface. It could be said that Web 2.0 will allow the mass population to communicate with each other and spread ideas rather than receiving their information from a single authority.

Internal communication has always been a challenge for big organizations but this can be simplified by promoting Web 2.0 culture. Services like wiki, blog, forums, etc can help in better communication as well as to manage the knowledge. Initially organizations may need to do some extra effort to make people use them extensively. Later, it would become a part of their life style. Internal recruitment and other internal services will also get a boost by this initiative.

Very recently I was looking at a website called BlogTalkRadio.com. It’s a social radio network. If you want to communicate with entire world through radio, this website will provide you that feature. You can create your own live talk show which can be heard around the world without the need for fancy equipment or downloads. Great concept, isn’t it? Apart from just socializing through radio network, it also opens new dimensions for developing a revenue model. You can work with this website or even independently to draft your plans.

You may like to take a look at Podtech.net to get more inputs on Web 2.0 and some other revenue models associated with it.

There are multiple such innovative concepts coming up and with the emergence of Web 2.0 there’s surely a chance of getting into new businesses. We need to identify the correct approach and a smart and diligent effort to exploit that approach.

December 9, 2008 at 9:30 am 1 comment

Is baar yahi tay kiya hai – Do It Now !!

Is baar ghawon ko dekhna hai
Gaur se
Thoda lambe wakt tak
Kuch faisley
Aur uskey baad hausley
Kahin toh shuruat karni hi hogi
Is baar yahi tay kiya hai


We can’t agree more on this. We salute the courage and patience of India but how long? We need to wake up some day. We need to learn someday that it’s not just about patience, it’s also about battle. Let us not become a victim of ongoing tolerance. Let’s not sing the old song of “Ahimsha”. Slowly and steadily we are getting used to. Each and every attack has compelled us to go on back foot, to become more defensive. Let’s shake our soul, our mind and our body. Let’s understand the simple thing, “we can’t avoid confrontation”. We need to face it, challenge it, and do it proactively before it’s too late.

War is MUST. It’s not just this time. History has taught us this many times that the war is must. It’s must to survive, to protect sovereignty. Stop making noises. Come out of your caves and uproar, and uproar to the extent that it reaches to each and every corner of the world. From thousands of years we have taught the lessons of peace and tranquility to entire world. Now it’s time to teach other proficiency. Let the world see the power of India. Let the world feel the anger of India.


We know, war is not a solution but it surely demonstrates our will to fight against this heinous mentality. It’s a way to destroy our enemies. This destruction is must so that the world can live in peace. There’s a saying in Sanskrit, “Ati Sarvatra Varjayet”, which means “excess of anything is bad”. So, the excess of our tolerance is also bad, the excess of our patience is also bad. Let’s not cross the “ati” here. Let’s be proactive in deciding our own fate. Let’s make sure that nobody can dare to challenge India. Let’s teach a lesson of confrontation. Let’s teach how to battle and how to win a war. We did it in Kargil. We won the toughest battle the word had ever seen. Now it’s time to do it again. We have different circumstances and we might need to fight on different soil. Let’s take it as a challenge. Don’t waste time in arguing when there’s nobody to care your argument. Let the weapons speak and most important DO IT NOW.

December 2, 2008 at 7:19 am 13 comments


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