Lesson No 1 : With a motivated team, anything is possible
Lesson No2 : It is team work that matters more than individual performances.
Lesson No3 : Having no track record helps, becuase you dont know your limitations
Lesson No4 : If you do not have lot of experience, you will not be bothered about the trackrecord of other’s. More specifically – the halo effect
Lesson No5 : Inspite of the current level of things happening in a team, there is still room for improvement. 20 years before a score of 300 was a good score in test cricket, where people fight it out for 5 days. Then the limited overs, one day cricket happened, and the teams started surpassing the 300 mark very easily within half day. Now in 20:20 cricket, teams are scoring 200 plus very easily. So nothing is impossible.
Lesson No 6 : If you enjoy what you are doing, wins will automatically follow
I am just relaxing at my ancestoral home in Kerala. Slowing down a bit, to gain momentum later. It is just fun, just walking amidst the greenery here and the light showers. Life style is back to routine and has a big positive effect on my health. I feel good generally, doing some very meaningful stuff, instead of just getting busier every day. This evening I met the roadside vendor selling roasted peanuts. I bought two packets of freshly roasted peanuts from him for 4 rupees. It was really hot and fresh, when he gave me those packets. I am seeing him there from my childhood. I just asked him ‘Chetta, since how many years you are doing this work?’ and his reply was ’40 years’. His lifestyle is the same and I am sure that he is not very rich. I just whispered within me ‘Dear, if you had saved 100 rupees a day ( 3 dollars), from the age of 22, You would have been a very rich man today !
Yesterday I was at Dubai – the peak summer days, and today I am at Kerala, where it is raining still and is at 25 degrees. During the last 15 days I spent at the UAE, I trained 3 batches of students on project management, and was a great experience. I had participants who are financial analysts, franchise development managers, software developers, construction project managers, IT project managers, Software architects, Quality detaprtment people. Overall it was great fun (challenge) as a trainer, to make the project management concepts appealing to them. Some were managing teams, while the others are typical individual contributers. Some are certification oriented, where as others are implementation focused. Some are paying from their pockets to attend the program, while others are sponsored by their respective organizations. Some gets put off, when I compare project teams to rugby teams and twenty cricket teams, where as others gets thrilled with it. Some can digest the concept of self organizing teams, where as others see it as a threat to their positions. Some people want to hear new things, where as others want to hear oly those things they practice. I had talking chickens as well as pigs in the workshops. Some participants were really motivating. Some wanted spoon feeding as bulleted slides, where as others wanted abstract case studies, exercises and dialogues.
A world of abstracts, contradictions and cultural conflicts where a manager / trainer has to survive ! I am enjoying it as well as trying to learn from it as well. A big thank you to all my workshop participants !
Here is an email I received from Rejeev, a research student. If you can post your views and comments against the specific questions he has asked about the Dubai Palm Island project, it will be of great help. Please post your views as comments to this post.
Here is the email from Rajeev:
I am a student of MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India and I am currently on an exchange at UCD Smurfit school of business in Dublin Ireland. I and a group of students here are trying to find out about the Dubai Plam Island Project done by Nakheel. On > some search on Google for the same, I found your profile and blog on the
project and wanted to find out your thoughts on the same.Specifically,
- What do you think would be some of the project management challenges in such a project as the Dubai palm islands?
- Would you have made any changes in the way the project was executed?
- Do you know of any other specific resources or concepts I can look at to better understand this project?
This book is really motivating. I strongly recommend this book for reading. The contents of the book are as follows;
Just Do it
Stand on your own feet
Live the moment
Value family and friends
Do some good
This is a very thin book, which can be read in 3 hours flat. At the end ofit, you are energized !
Sometimes my project management workshop participants ask me this question in my workshops. What is the next certification I should pursue after my PMP certification. The answer is “some people learn things with one certification, where as others take multiple certifications to understand the subject” . It is not the certifications that matter. What really matters is the passion and the enthusiasm to demonstrate what they already learned. Most of the great project managers I have seen during my career spanning over 20 years are non PMP certified, non SCRM certified and non PRINCE certified. A certification just ensures that you have the basic understanding of the subject. Thats it. Nothing more and nothing else. Excellence in the profession depends on the enthusiasm and the energy levels to demonstrate what you earned by working hard. After all knowledge and health cannot be neither purchased nor delegated. It has to be earned. So be proud of it, and start levergaing the knowledge in the day to day work. Dont consider certifications as a goal, rather consider them as faster vehicles to reach your goal faster. It is definitely faster than learning from mistakes!.
To be honest I wish I had atleast one certification on project management, when I started my career as a project manager. Unfortunately none existed then, or atleast I was not aware of one then. I am sure that I would have progressed in my career faster with a crash course on project management. Most of the stuff we learned were based on experience, which is time consuming and at times very costly. Right now I am a PMP, PRINCE2, SCRUM MASTER certied project manager. As a practising project manager I dont need all these. As a practitioner all I need is just one certification to learn the ropes of project management. I went after other certifications just because I am a trainer of project management!
” The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but it is too low and we reach it” Michelangelo
Today while having breakfast at a restaurant here at Abu Dhabi, two guys sitting at the next table was engrossed in a discussion about their work and the kind of disparities going on there. I was just wondering why these people are still continuing with the work, if they are not enjoying it. The biggest blunder one can do is to just hang on to a job which rhey are not enjoying any more. In the process, their entire life can get colour less and uninteresting. The best thing that can happen to someone is to enjoy what he/she is doing. So if yoiu are not enjoying something, just let it go, something better is awaiting you always !
I remember the day when I congratulated my cousin on the day he lost his job. His family was astonished to see this, as they were all worried about their future. Becuase of the loss of job, he started his business which is flurishing now, and at the same time he got a better offer from another company. Now he owns his own business as well as a better job !
blogging from Abu Dhabi
This phrase from the Bible has a big impact on me. When we are spiritually clean, the atmosphere around us can resonate with our ideas and dreams, and can become a reality.
Luke 5, 1-11
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’ When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
Last week I was at Bangalore, delivering a training program. The lunch at the hotel was very tempting. Many of the stuff supplied were tasty and at the same time were not advisable becuase of the high cholestrol and sugar content and one of the participants view was ‘Our body craves for those things which are not so good for the body’. If I am a diabetic, I crave for sweets, If I have high blood pressure I crave for food with salt and fat content. Our cravings can be a good barometer for what is good for us, and what is not so good. The message is do, what you dont like and try not to do what you really crave for. This may be contradicting the conventional belief of do what you like the most. Very often saying ‘NO’ to the things you like equips you better to do what you like the MOST !
Blogging from Abu Dhabi