If the burger can be globalised, why not dosa?.SOURCE: ECONOMIC TIMES

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Indian railways

On the one side Indian railways is making losses, where as on the other hand, the capacity is not sufficient to meet the demand. This is a paradox. What are the causes, if it is not mismanagement?. What is preventing us from correcting them?. Are the leaders and voters listening?. If our leaders do not have an answer to these problems, then why are we electing them to lead us, again and again.

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Ways of the cross..

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.

Experiencing certainty

I knew that I was in the middle of the Holy mass, yet I could not resist photographing this daughter and father duo. Should I, or should not I click, within the Church, during the Holy mass..that was my dilemma. Inspired by either the Holy spirit or the evil spirit, I photographed, the justification being, ‘this could be a God sent opportunity to capture the essence of faith in Lord my Abba Father’. Like the blind faith of this child in her father, like the certainty she is experiencing by hugging her father, Lord, I hug you…with all my will, heart and soul.

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Agile airports

Back to work after the Christmas holidays. I am on my way to Mumbai to coach a team engineers in agile project management using scrum, and agile estimation. This is the first time I am delivering agile estimation as a separate course. So far it was done as part of the agile project management course. I am deviating from the main topic. Whenever I write something, my mind hops across topics, sometimes related and very often totally unrelated. I do not know whether everyone thinks like this, or is it something unique about me?. That does not matter. This is how things work for me.

This time I drove down to the kochi airport myself, and parked my car at the paid parking area for rupees 150 per day. When I come back after three days that would be 450, still I save more than 1000 on taxi charges. After parking my car, I rushed to the entry of the airport, to be stopped by the security. The reason, they do not accept the digital version of the ticket, which is displayed on my tablet. They want it in the printed form. I rushed to the business centre, and there was heavy rush there. So I got it printed at the indigo counter at rupees fifty. I was not angry because spice jet charges one hundred.

In an era where we are preaching of environment protection, this process is ridiculously environment unfriendly. When will we get it corrected?. Even the Indian railways accept the digital form of tickets. Why cannot our central security forces amend their obsolete rules?. May be they need a course on agility to think differently. After all agility comes by eliminating the non value adding steps we perform. Allowing the passengers to show the digital formats of the tickets world over will make travel more agile.

Flight is landing at Mumbai. So I am signing off for the time being. Thanks to the wordpress application on my iPad, which allows me to save my post as a draft.

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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/