Unwinding at Unwind, Bangalore

Must thank my old colleague Satya for organizing this get together of our old team at Novell, Bangalore. We had a gala time, and it was all laughter. Mathew,KK,Satya,Hari and myself spent a wonderful evening together. The same day I met Srini, and spoke to Justin too. A day of catching up and sharing the achievements.

More than friendship, I was really happy to realize that I managed this team of brilliant people for almost five years, and even after leaving Novell (none of these guys are with Novell now), we are still a great team, when we come together. That is quite satisfying. What makes this team tick?, If my reading is right;

  • We did some wonderful projects together, which got tremedous appreciation
  • Each one of us were good at something. We were individually brilliant and at the same time were brilliant collectively also. A team of individually brilliant people first, with an ability to contribute.
  • We had to face many challenges together
  • We had our own space to operate
  • We had some common interests, outside work
  • The company taught us to respect each other
  • None of us were political in nature
  • We always liked to think diffrently and innovate
  • When in need, we were always there to help
  • Friends first, then team members

Have a nice day.


With love, from Bangalore airport

I am at the Bangalore airport, enroute Cochin. I reached here at 3.am and my connecting flight is only at 9.30 a.m. Lot of time to sit and observe people. Thinking of catching up with my sleep, I sat near the exit gate of the international terminal. Lot of people were waiting for their dear and near ones. To my surprise I could spot many very old people, some not that well physically.  Some with neck collars, others with walking sticks. Suddenly I could see the young mother and her six month old chubby, cute baby who were sitting near me in the aircraft. This kid was very special. She did not cry at all during the flight. She was smiling at every one and in no time became the darling of the air hostesses and the people sitting near, irrespective of their cast, creed and colour. Innocence and beauty can cut across all bariiers.

The moment they crossed the gate, they were surrounded by their relatives, which comprised of the kid’s grandpa, grandma and another lady. It was a very nice sight of a great family re-union and most probably the grand parents are seeing this wonderful and beautiful bundle of joy for the first time !

Today is my 46th birthday. I am on my way home. May be a time to take stock of my own priorities. Is it money first, family first, health first or everything first. It cannot be everything first for sure.

Now I understand the reason why Mr.Paul got really upset, when he realized that I was not spending enough time with family years back.

Love you all


Different perspectives

The fish in the aquarium thinks that, all the people around it are in a cage!.

Are we prisoners of our own perspectives. In one of my training programs, suddenly the class room was slightly warm becuase the air conditioning was not working properly. The outside temperature was very high and at the same time the room temperature was very comfortable as far as I was concerned. Some of the participants started acting very fuzzy about this. One lady sprayed some perfume, and she was saying that it is to protect herself from the heat within the room. May be correct, I dont know. Did they loose the natural ability of the body to withstand a minor temperature variation, due to continuous living in artificial environments?.

Am I able to take these small disadvantages in my strides becuase I am from a country where the temperature levels are very high during the summer, and air conditioning is that popular. Is it giving me, some extra strength to face the small adversities that comes on the way with ease. Is it an advantage or is it a disadvantage. I am not looking for answers. Why should I? 🙂 . May be yesterday’s limitations are becoming today’s strengths and todays strenths are becoming tomorrow’s limitations (If all you have is a hammer, everything else looks like a nail)

Thanks to Indian airlines workers stir

I was supposed to take the Indian airlines flight from Kochi to Dubai yesterday, which got cancelled due to the stir by the employees of the Indian airlines. I had two options, one to posptpone the training program at Dubai or to try to reach Dubai some how. I took the kingfisher flight to bangalore from kochi, then a jet airways flight to Mumbay and then an emirates flight to Dubai. Reached Dubai by 7.a.m and the training started at 9.a.m. It was indeed hectic. Hope to get some rest today evening 🙂

Process model work sheet

 Process Model worksheet

A process model worksheet is a simple yet powerful tool for defining new processes, analysing an existing process to make it zero defect. It is very useful even to explain a process.  The steps are as follows;

  1. Name the process
  2. Scope the process by defining the starting activity and the ending activity
  3. Identify the outputs, customers and output requirements
  4. Identify the inputs,suppliers and input requirements
  5. Define the controlling inputs

Once this much is clarified, the work/process under consideration can be well understood, so that it proofed to perfection.

I like this process due to it’s simplicity and focus on execution than just talking about big profound motherhood statements like ‘We should improve….:-)

Reference : Quality education system by Crosby

Email from my cousin, living in Muscat

Muscat is very special to me, becuase that is the first country I visited outside India and I lived there for 2 years. A beutiful place, full of beaches and a kind of slow life. That is how I am remebering the place. Here is an email from my cousin, which explains what the common man Oman is undergoing after the onslaught of ‘Gonu’.

 Dear Abrachan,
Thanks for your mail.
Sorry for the delay in replying. Here things are getting back to normal
 but slowly. The devastation is terrific. Fortunately our area was not
 affected as it is not low lying and not close to the rivers. Only a few
 trees fell in the place where I am stating that ie Wadi Kabir. But about
5 km from here about 15 people died as the building they were standing
was swept away by the flooding waters. The roads were badly damaged, cars
were swept away, I was told in thousands. I have never seen such a thing
in my life. 
Now we ahve power but no water. We were told that the normal suppplies
will be established in 5 to 10 days time. The last 4 days it was holidays
and hence my main job was to fetch potable water. So far we have never
felt the shortage of water even in the midst of worst summer. Now the
situation is water water every where, not a drop to drink at all. 
Not much damage was doen to our store except that the out house’s (where
our watch man and his family was staying) roof top was flown away by the
 wind.   Many of the shops & ware houses were completely destroyed by the
 floods and mud. Thank God nothing happened to ur Office & ware house.
 Fortunately one of Lewin’s Exam was over two days before the cyclone and
 the next two are after 3 days. by that time I hope the main roads will be
repaired . 
Bye now.
With best regards
 Willy Palocaren

When you win, I win :-)

 Congratulations Ramesh. Thank you very much for taking pains to let me know about your success. Let the whole world know about it 🙂

“Dear Aby,

I have attended your PMP training sessions during the month of Jan’2007 .
I am very happy to inform you that I have cleared my PMP exam on 24-May-07.
My sincere thanks to you for your interactive sessions with real time examples

Thanks & Regards

Ramesh Jakka PMP”

If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail

This is a quote I got from Craig Brown. Thank you Craig. This is a great eye opener. ‘If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.  This is well evidenet, when;

  • The PMBOK supporters say that that is the defacto global standard for project management.
  • The PRINCE2 supporters say that PRINCE2 is the defacto global standard for project management.
  • When the Agile thinkers say that both PMBOK and PRINCE are useless, without even taking the pain to understand them inside out.
  • When the CMM proponents say that CMM is the answer for all your capability issues.
  • When the consultants propose the same methodology/framework to all companies/teams, without considering their uniqueness.

Keep your eyes and ears open. What works for you the best is the best. Adopt whatever works for you. All these models are great reference material to do so.  

Going back to the basics

Recently one of my old friends invited me to his company to conduct a workshop on quality management based on Crosby’s methodologies. Even though I have trained many on this (including my friend) in the past, since I have not conducted this program in the near past, I had to refresh myself with the concepts. This gave me an opportunity to go back to his profound teachings on ‘taking action’  than just dreaming. These things will never get outdated, as they are plain truth. I love Crosby. for the simplicity of his teachings, which can really work wonders.

He believes that ‘Quality’ is an attitude, based on prevention. One should not allow problems to happen in the first place. He is not just preaching. He gives a very simple set of principles, steps and tools to make it happen. The entire journey is based on the four absolutes of quality;

  • Quality is conformance to requirements
  • System for achieving quality is prevention
  • Performance standard is zero defects
  • Measurement is price of non conformance

Then he introduces the process model worksheet, which helps us to analyze our work processes to identify areas for improvement to operate them at zero defects.  Once the area to improve is identified, then it is all about taking action, using the five step methodology;

  • Define the problem
  • Applying fix
  • Identify the root causes
  • Take corrective action
  • Evaluate and follow up

Suggested readings;

Quality without tears – Philip Crosby

Think-Business a starfish

Yesterday and today I was at Impigertech, teaching the young and dynamic techies, the fundamentals of quality improvement, based on the Crosby’s methods. In fact I taught this at  Think Business Networks six years back, and at the time, me and RKM were employees at TBN.  Post Sep 11, due to several reasons TBN closed down. I moved to Novell, then started my own training and consulting firm. RKM started his own software development outfit.  Another group started their own outfit and the pleasant news is that both these companies are almost the size of TBN, where we were all employees.

I think, entreprenurship is in the genes of certain companies, where their ex-employees shine the best when they start on their own.  Another example to this HCL. Most of the ex-HCLites are at their best, when they started their own