$31.5 billion lost by firms in knowledge lost – PM network

Not a small number. It speaks volumes by itself. Every other software company is doing the lessons learned exercise atleast at the end of the project, if not at the end of every phase. Thanks to CMM and ISO. The awareness of these are very strong, I mean root cause analysis and corrective actions. When I ask questions alike;

  1. What is the one problem you elimated from this company forever?
  2. What are the requirements management related lessons learned by the organization during the past 5 years?
  3. What are the design related lessons learned during the past 5 years?
  4. Can I see all these, category wise at the press of a button?
  5. Do you refer back to these, while planning for the next phase / project?
  6. Are these part of the induction programs?

none have a satisfactory answer.

It is more like a person who wants to improve and goes to the guruji for advice. He leaves with a lighter heart and with firm resolution to improve. After a period of time, he comes back again, and repeats the same old story. After some time he gets ashamed to meet the same Guruji again and goes to a new Guru.

In a way organizations are like this. They want to improve and excel, and at the same time do not have the conviction on the ROI from these. Hence they end up adopting models after models from consultants after consultants, without much of a transformation. The story repeats again and again, with different actors.

Before venturing into any initiative, understand the need and have a business case which is in alignment with the organization’s growth/business strategy. Have only limited initiatives but focus on them with whole might.

Should we have smokers as team members?

Ofcourse, we are tyalking about smokers working in non-smoking zones, where majority of the team members are non smokers. Lt us consider the case of a smoker, who smokes around 10 cigarettes / day during the working hours. For every cigarette he/she will have to get out of office and consumes atleast 1- – 15 minutes per day/ cigarette. This amounts to arroxibately 2 hours / day (10 cigarettes x 15 minutes / cig) – which is approximately 2 hours / day. This amounts to the person spending one day in smoking, every 5 day weeks. That is approximately one week spent in smoking every month. Look at the loss of productivity !  The counter arguments to this can be – when I smoke I am thinking!  or When I am smoking we are discussing (in this case there is one more person with you, since you are discussing, hence double up the number).

And If you are the boss, your poor team members will be forced to be passive smokers, which is even more harmful!.


Build teams around smokers  or Build teams sround non-smokers – Dont mix up !

Today is a blog holiday !

I want to write something today and I am unable to write so I am writing. When I started writing I did not have anything to share and now yes, I have lots to share. What about adopting ‘prayer’ as a success strategy?. Will it work. My experience with prayer is very positive.  A couple of days before one of my web sites was down and I thought that someone hacked it. I tried my best to fix it in vain. I requested for help from all sources.

Today while travelling to work, I just said one rosary and requested for help. To my surprise, when I tried the site again, it started working!. If you think that this is a coincidence, then you are wrong:-). When my order books are empty, again I pray, and I am sure that my order books are full in a week’s time.

Still doubtful?. Try yourself !

Understanding PRINCE2 – 3 day workshop (new)


Overview of PRINCE2 – Lecture

Ø      Programs, Projects, Stages

Ø      The structure of PRINCE2

Ø      Processes & Controls

Ø      Key definitions, roles and responsibilities






2 hours


Understanding the case study

30 minutes

   Starting up a project  (SU) – Lecture  

Ø      Appointing an executive and a project manager

Ø      Designing a project management team

Ø      Appointing a project management team

Ø      Preparing a project brief

Ø      Defining project approach

Ø      Planning an initiation stage

Ø      Authorizing initiation

Ø      Planning an initiation stage 

 Exercise covering  

Ø      Executive job description

Ø      Project manager job description

Ø      Project management team structure

Ø      Team job description

Ø      Project brief

Ø      Daily log

Ø      Risk log

Ø      Project approach

Ø      Initiation stage plan  






2 hours


Directing a project  – Lecture


Ø      Authorizing initiation

Ø      Authorizing a project

Ø      Authorizing a stage or exception plan

Ø      Giving ad-hoc direction

Ø      Confirming project closure


Exercise covering


Ø      Project startup notification

Ø      Authorization to proceed / close

Ø      Stage plan or exception plan

Ø      Project board guidance

Ø      Exception plan request

Ø      New project issues

Ø      Follow on action recommendation

Ø      End project report

Ø      Post project review plan

Ø      Lessons learned report

Ø      Project closure notification

 Test  Discussion   

2 hours



Controlling a stage


Ø      Authorizing work package

Ø      Assessing progress

Ø      Capturing project issues

Ø      Examining project issues

Ø      Reviewing stage status

Ø      Reporting highlights

Ø      Taking corrective action

Ø      Escalating project issues

Ø      Receiving completed work package


Exercise covering


Ø      Work package

Ø      Stage status information

Ø      Product status account

Ø      Plan deviation

Ø      Tolerance threat

Ø      Stage end notification

Ø      Trigger for project end

Ø      Work trigger

Ø      Request for advice

Ø      Highlight report

Ø      Communication to interested parties

Ø      Exception plan request 

  Test  Discussion 

2 hours



Managing product delivery


Ø      Accepting work package

Ø      Executing a work package

Ø      Delivering a work package








2 hours



Closing a project


Ø      Decommissioning a project

Ø      Identifying follow on actions

Ø      Evaluating a project





1 hour 


Comparing PRINCE, PMBOK and Agile

1 hour


Wrapping it up

30 minutes


All the participants will receive a copy of the course slides, workbook and the key templates (hard copy).



 This program will not lead to PRINCE2 certification and the focus is entirely on understanding and practicing PRINCE2

Two extremes of the Indian Value system

Today the first page of the Khaleej times at Dubai has an article of our president Abdul Kalam. He completes his tenure as president of India (thanks to the vested interests of the politicians – Every Indian holds Abdul Kalam, very close to their hearts and considers him as the most eligible to continue as the president of India). He is going to teach at Annamali University in Tamil Nadu. For that, he approached the vice chancellor directly who was only more than happy to have him at the University. Thank you dear president, for atleast giving us a role model.

Then while in the taxi to my work place, the FM radio (Malayalam channel) was broadcasting about the press conference conducted by a murderer in Kerala who killed seven in a family. He was boasting of giving bribe to all political parties to escape from the case, and he is still outside the prison. His press conference was attended by many press reporters, who are supposed to be the protectors of the value system of the society. The politicians he accused are also not booked. They are also still free. This pints to the nexus between the criminals and the pliticians. The ordinary citizen like me, who is busy working hard for a living is at the mercy of these. Who will protect us. I feel helpless.

When Abdula KAlam was our president, I had lot of hope, now that is also vanisihing.

Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan has to be re written as JAI Corrupted politicuans, JAI Criminals !