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.
You must appreciate me for my struggles against a very cold wind on top of a twenty four floors building, and a battery which was running out and using an inappropriate prime lens which is not meant for wide angle photography. Moments when I longed for my tokina wide angle lens which i left at home.
Many used the cross to explain many things. The cross always creates quadrants. In other words it cuts the medium on which it is drawn into four squares. Stephen covey in his seven habits of highly effective people uses it to explain time management. He divides our activities into quadrants like urgent and not important, urgent and important, not urgent and not important, not urgent and important, in order to drive the point that it is the not urgent and important stuff in our lives produces the maximum benefits.
The Boston consulting groups quadrants of the product life cycle; question mark, star, cash cow and dog explains the product life cycle very effectively. This can explain the stages of human life as well. When a child is born, she is the question mark. Everyone is anxious of her future. When the child starts performing well at school, a star is born. Once employed, all of us become cash cow, followed by end of life, which is the dog state. When in dog stage, we take care of the house, when all others go out. The book crossing the chasm, uses the cross to explain product launch strategies. If my memory is right, either Kotler or Drucker used the cross to explain marketing strategies like known product to known market, known product to new market, new product to known market, new product to new markets. Then I saw Robert Kayasaki using the four quadrants to explain the ESBI concept. He says that all of us are either employees, self employed, business men or investors, or we are all of these. He states that if eighty percent of our income is coming from employment and self employment, and if only twenty percent is coming from business and investment, then we will remain as poor, and when we reverse the equation, we get richer.
I use the cross or the four quadrants to explain career planning. The skill set which make you and me employable is the cash cow. Before the cash cow become a dog or end of life, we must groom newer skill sets through the question mark and the star categories to the cash cow quadrant. This calls for lot of proactive planning and commitment from our side.
The last but not the least is the cross as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, which is explaining love thy neighbor as the sole strategy to be successful. I am fascinated by the magical power of it, and still an apprentice in my understanding of the tremendous possibilities and the hidden power of it. When I feel that I have understood it to a level where I can explain it without diluting it, I will attempt to write about it. Wish me good luck. Have a wonderful day.
That was a wonderful experience, to be with 25 software professionals from a multinational organisation, explaining scrum to them. It is even more enjoyable because they all want to understand it from the practitioners perspective. Since they are deep rooted in waterfall and CMM, the initial mood was skepticism, and after understanding the right scrum in its entirety the skepticism paved way for optimism and enthusiasm. It is very encouraging to see the acute skeptics turning into great supporters of agile and scrum, once they get the right scrum as per the scrum guide, as defined by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Even if my job is only explaining scrum to the participants, I end up trying to sell scrum to the audience, because I see it as the last straw to liberate the software engineer from the clutches of non value adding processes and politics. My blood fumes, when I realise that I am from a country of maximum software engineers in the world. There is no successful product in the world without an Indian’s touch, and at the same time we do not have any major software products, which are world leaders in their domain. Considering the fact that a human being has only 36500 days to live on planet earth, and the fact that half of that is already consumed by me, make me see all these as golden opportunities to share my project management experiences, both good and bad with the next generation of engineers who have to build further on the foundations laid by my generation of software engineers. That fascinates me, and I see every training and mentoring opportunity as a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, which gives it a higher meaning. Go and impact the world positively my dear fellow engineers. Good luck.
As part of my training and consulting assignments, I had the privilege of visiting numerous offices of several companies of different nature. When I enter an organisation I start getting the smell of the organisational culture. Most of the start ups have unmanned receptions. That talks about the startup spirit of openness, adhoc systems, team work and self organisation. I am blogging this from an American multinationals office in Bangalore, and I am really pleased by the attitude of those guys at the reception. They were very friendly, yet firm. They even filled up my data in their register for me. All I had to do was just signing. This is very different from many other organisations, where they ask you to fill up the same data in various registers. So, I anticipate an interesting crowd to turn up for today’s training. If I am wrong, I will definitely let you know. In another organisation, the reception was very arrogant. They were treating me as if an intruder, and the crowd who participated the training was a reflection of it. Today however I had a great start, and going by historical data, today and tomorrow I will in the company of interesting professionals.
Think of a world without them, and thank them…
They carry garbage. . Garbage, created by us. They carry the garbage created by us, day in and day out. Nobody notices them. Everybody take them for granted. I was no exception. I started observing them carefully after listening to an interview with one of them in the local FM station. They sounded very professional during the interview. They were fully aware of their duties and responsibilities. They were loving fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Like any other Indian, their ambition in life is to provide good education to their kids. One of the key challenges they are facing is lack of discipline by the public in not sorting the bio degradable stuff from the non degradable stuff. This leads to lot of additional work for them. The highly educated are the prime culprits. Can we be slightly more sensitive to the citizens responsibilities, so that the garbage collector’s life become better. Today morning I spotted the garbage collection team, and thanks to the radio program, they have a newer vehicle.