Political capital of the customer

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.

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First pmp training with pmbok5. Using earned value management to manage the training program

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Earned value or value burn down

I am just thinking aloud. One of my assignments calls for coaching a team on how to deliver better value to the customer using agile projects. If I am scheduling high value features / themes in the early iterations then the team will be delivering maximum value early in the project and it will taper down over a period of time. Do any one out there use a value burn down chart (sounds very negative and useful) during product, release planning?. Just curious to know.

My piece of mind, after today’s agile workshop

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.

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When the high intrest low power stakeholders unite…

This is a great case to demonstrate how the high interest – low power stakeholders can become high interest – high power, when they unite together. In this case instagram is forced to roll back it’s decision to claim intellectual property rights to the photographs published at instagram. Somebody’s loss is other’s gain. Some new entrants are capitalizing this opportunity as well. Abort: Instagram Restores Key Section of Terms Back to 2010 Version http://www.petapixel.com/2012/12/20/abort-instagram-restores-key-section-of-terms-back-to-2010-version/

Be the change you want to see in this world…

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Do I really know my neighbor?. The answer is a pathetic ‘No’. I very often know the people far away, better than the neighbor. Thanks to the social media. Sometimes, my brain is faked to believe that I am in the company of lot of people, where as in reality, there are only a very few. Even if I want to know my neighbor first, Do they really want to be known?, that is another question to be answered. Even within the common lift of our apartments, I shrink into my own world, without even saying ‘Hello’ to the next person. They are also like that, except Dr.Chandy. Whenever I meet him inside the lift, he greets with a cheerful face, and that is a very consistent behavior of his. Someone told me that he is very spiritual. Is that the differentiator?. Love one another cannot happen if one does not have that blessed feeling deep within. Is establishing a deep personal relationship with God, the beginning of knowing my neighbor or is it in the reverse order. Unfortunately I have only questions without any answers. I want to begin the change now. Thanks to Mahatma Gandi, for the famous quote of his “Be the change you want to see in the world”. He thought about it very early, that is why he is Mahatma (super soul).

The emperor do not have clothes….

That is my reaction after trying out the new iphone. That made me think about the difference a great engineer like steve jobs can make to a product. How can someone design something as uninspiring as this. It sells..that could be the answer. The emperor do not have clothes…still …hehehe…

The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.

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