During my scrum workshops, I keep evangelising the need for the modern day, global Indian to be more forthright in his views and opinions, than always taking orders. When I meet them after a couple of months, they do have positive as well as negative experiences of trying to be more forthright with opinions and views. Many a times, the end customer is okay when an Indian engineer working from India says 11p.m IST is too late for him for a video conference with the client, and at the same time, the Indian senior manager whom this person is reporting to always tend to term it as lack of flexibility, and is likely to use it during the performance appraisals, negatively.
Power is always with those with money. We must not forget this fact. In PMBOK, they call it as the political capital. Ideas and opinions must not be evaluated by the sheer merit of it. We must look at the source of it as well. When an high power, high interest stakeholder is forcing a stupid decision on project decisions, as a project manager we are supposed to explain the pros and cons of that decision, record it, and the final decision is always the clients, as long as it is not in violation to the professional ethics of the project manager. Is it not, being emotionally intelligent. Ultimately, customer is the owner of the product, not the engineer / project manager.
Recently, during one of those divine moments, I felt like giving something back to the society in which I lived almost half a century. In another words, the guilty feeling of concentrating only on me and my ‘kith and kin’ acted as a positive driver, to give something back to the society. Even though my finances were not so bright, I dared to pull out some money from the ATM and went to the local church to entrust my donation to a a pair of trustworthy hands, who will ensure that it reaches the needy. I met the priest, and he explained to me some very complicated procedures, one for giving it to the sick, another for helping people to build their homes, another for education of the poor…for each intent, there was a different procedure, which made even the donors life miserable. All that was required was to keep a box to accept the money along with the intent. Then I met the senior priest and asked for an opportunity to give a formal talk to the young parish community on career planning. The priest made a phone call to the nearby school and nothing happened. I gave him my phone numbers, hoping him to contact me, and i am not very optimistic about it now. There is no money involved. The intent is only giving back to the society, yet it is so difficult. Our backyard is all green, and is home to many seasonal birds. I want to preserve the greenery, and I am not getting the local labour to maintain it. So, with great hesitation and pain, I may have to either sell it to the real estate mafia to convert that place into a concrete garden, not because I take delight in it, but I do not have any other choices right now. I always feel bad about my bothers and sisters in Africa who are suffering due to famine. How can I help them?. I really do not know. I am not talking about huge amounts. I am talking about a few dollars every month from a middle class citizen of India. May be, I could collect some used clothes as well for them. Who to give it…is the biggest question I am facing. Whenever I walk on through the local streets here, every where I see ‘no litter’ and ‘stick no bills’ signs. I am yet to see ‘throw waste here’ or ‘stick bills here’ to help those who do not want to litter or make public property dirty by sticking bills. Always i struggle when it comes to paying my bills at the airtel site. Every month, when i go there, they keep asking me the password to my account, and i do not remember them. i always wonder why they are asking for password to make a payment against my mobile number. i do not mind if others credit my account with some money. I am living, or we are living in a restrictive world, which keeps telling me, what not to do, rather than what to do. Despite these, my quest for what to do continues…have a wonderful day, Ab.
One of the key values to be successful at project management, especially agile is mutual respect. Team comprises of people with various cultures and styles, and we must respect the cultural and style differences. Another value is commitment, commitment to work. During my workshops, when I stress on commitment as an entry criteria, to be successful in agile projects, majority of the participants get cynical about it. When I think about the opposite of the commitment to work, I get disillusioned about the bleak future of uninspired engineers working on uninspiring projects and wasting their lives.
How can a person I with self respect go to work for the money part alone, without any commitment to work?.
How can a person with self respect, just hang around in the office to 10 to 12 hours in the office, when the salaries are worked out for just eight hours per day, and the work allocation/volunteering is for lesser than eight hours per day?
How can a manager expect the team to sit and slog it out every week end and holidays?
How can the manager try implementing agile on an evaluation mode, without any conviction to it?. What will happen to such implementations?
I always believed in the team work of individually capable, professionals with self respect and mutual respect. Not the other way. A beggar is more ethical than a person who goes to work without any commitment to work, because a beggar do not promise anything back while asking for money, where as all others promise lot of things while joining for work, and then do not deliver.
There is tremendous joy in going to work fully committed. In ancient India, people prayed before they started work, because work was considered as sacred. You are lucky to have work today, and there is no room for error in it, because the product is the signature of your capability.
Wish you another fruitful day at work and after work. Ab.