Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Values, Principles and We

1 Day 2 posts and that too when you are in a timeline is not a common thing for me ... but yet I am here cause the previous one was in my heart and this one in my mind.... I wont be able to sleep today if I dont blog this...
Watching China Gate last night and specially the performance of Late Mr. Amrish Puri in the movie is a lesson that you can't talk alone about your Values and Principles if you dont follow it..

In one of my earlier posts on Values and GoodWill I mentioned that values last long only, Principles needs to be practised and ofcourse one need to know what his Values and Principles are.... not lately and just related to the same matter I described in my previous post I feel that so many of us dont know what Values we have as a Team or to that matter own's value....

I know people talking about several things while following nothing... be it work or personal life, be it hobbies or likings... Sometimes NO Values or NO principles is the reason the other times its awareness... Many a times people practise and preserve and preach their values without knowing it... Unfortunately they cant preserve these for long as human being is likely to move out of repetative things sooner or later...

It was a pity feeling when I realised that so many of us dont know what are our own values.. or to that matter what are Values... similarly not many have principles that they claim to follow... Be it professionally, Logically or emotionally. It is the same feeling that drive me to think that working with a Team it needs to be explained to every single part of the team about the values we carry and the principles we practice... The fact that this will really help them build up to be great leaders provokes me to follow up on my last discussion wit Kari on following one principle for the whole week or by putting up the Connery Board every day or week on the walls of the office Listing every single value the Team should/Do practise and letting everyone know how it is been practised...

While I am cooling down and waiting for the new week to begin and kickoff... I am forced to think about the first thing I value and to that matter is the Agile Manifesto ...
Interactions over processes and tools

Sameer Shaikh

A Better Leader needs a Big Heart and Mind

Recently I was so very obsessed by the thought that One part of Our team is over producing while the other is under producing... the obsession took me to the ground building where I really wanted to list out everything that was going wrong with this other part of my mind and soul.... The scrum took a shape of a coroner's autopsy and though the outcome of the meeting was pleasing the proceedings were so very not. It takes a Big Heart to Go back and Action on the Autopsy specially if it is done for your own Team. The way this was handled and actioned later tells me that a Leader need to have a Great Heart to listen and a Great Mind to Action...

It was not the only incident in the same day that took the thought to reach in my mind as a Value. I was watching the new series on Zee Televisions for the Talent Hunt named SaReGaMa 2007 and while the Judges were posting huge comments in the most Idiotic way and at times to such an extent where Humiliation of the contestants were left miles back.... The utter Leadership Act came in front when Asha Bhosale the living legends motivated the contestants inspite of being critised. This very fact comes in the same row when she was not well treated by one of the existing panel members...

Leadership is about Showing a Big Heart to accept as it is and still Motivating the Team

Leadership is actioning the proceedings when drench is covering you

And ofcourse Leadership is about preserving and preaching the Values that are practised...

Sameer Shaikh

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Think Globally Act locally

Passing through the corridor these days I get to read so many "Though of the Day's" and Motto's every day... whilst the notice board is glowing these days with all these new things I am really finding it helpful that I have so many Ideas to Blog...

One of such motto was something that I read in the notice board today ... "Think Globally Act locally" it really co-incides with something that I am reading these days .. Mr. Sheshadri's book "Innovation Management" the fact that the example given by Mr. Sheshadri and the co-author is more or less for Innovation I really consider it to be one of the basic PM necessity.. How?

When Project Management Strategies are defined, processes mocked, theories streamlined and entities catered they are all done at the Global level meaning the new trends, technologies, gadgets, theroams and strategies need to be considered.. but when it comes to implementation it has to be thought at the local level...

Let me give you an example...
Company X realised that motivation is one of the ultimate tasks in retaining the relationships with an employee and having a long term relationships... motivation by any means can be useful and that needs to be tried... when it came to defining what can motivate the employees the company directors thought of several things that included Pay raise, Open work culture, Games and gaming zones in the office... eventually it was at a global level meaning this was thought as a global package to the whole company worldwide... but when it came to implement the strategy to a local level meaning ...

The Directors of the Indian Division felt that there is much more than this that needs to be done to motivate... this vision from the directors came to a conclusion that the Indian Part of the firm needs to be promoted as the Global Development Center which will also have a Division for R&D that will be done for the company here.. while the Global Beurocrats thought of X factors to motivate the Indian division thought of motivating the Team with a fact that many of the Indian Developers were always keen to be on the Technology side and wanted to work and develop something more innovative.. This also lead to Travels and increased co-ordination between teams worldwide and definately leading towards a greater product.

While this is not the only way where the Header works... When I tried Project Management at my House it helped achieving some common goals... I realised while talking to many of the collegues and there spouses on the ways to make kids study... some said sit with them and study , some asked to take them to gardens in open air and study, some said use CBT's and some were of opinion to let them join the tutions... After considering all these suggestions and the nature and habits of my kids I realised that the best way to make them study is to leave them on their own and let them explore what they should learn... meaning I had to take them to a Zoo to make them learn what animals are and what are the types etc, morever I had to build charts all across so that they identify what they have seen in the zoo and last but not the least We try to play movies on the DVD's that contains such animals.. so be it a slow and a bit more expensive process at least it works well with my kids...

While I am going to go through the list that Vipin had posted on the notice board to talk more... I believe it is more sensible to Think Globally but act locally ;) and thats why my blogs are going to go away from the ususal Management stuff ;)

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Rewards : Do they Motivate?

"I am been awarded as the Employee of the Year" - Ramesh
"Oh wow.. I am sure that will bring a lot of big money to you in the coming Appraisal" - Inner Ramesh
"I guess so.. but so far nothing seems to be working" - Ramesh
"Is it.. maybe then you should look for a change?" - Inner Ramesh
"Yeah I am feeling the same..." - Ramesh

OK so before you stop reading this post let me explain This was the conversation I heard on my split way to a IT Restaurant(its always full of IT professionals) today. The reason I call Ramesh and Inner Ramesh is because Its the same guy having the conversation and How I know ?? So the lines between are been edited where I was conversing.. Yeah try and read betwene lines now ;)

OK so do you really think awards motivate you? Long back I heard from a developer that we are not been awarded.. He really meant that his work was not fully appreciated... It really took time for me to understand on what he means by Appreciation.. mainly because it wasnt clear on what does appreciation mean for him... I felt the following things mean appreciation to him:
1. Monetory benefit
2. More Quality work
3. Public Appreciation
4. Hike in role
5. More responsibilities
6. More involvement

Later when the same guy was awarded with different awards.. his expectations changed.. he expected that the rewards he had been getting are going to earn him a big big appraisal, finally when the D-Day came in it was not to his satisfaction. I realised what is wrong here and I can really tell to some extent how Awards can De Motivate you:

1. Award = Money = P.A Growth = P.M Hike = Immediate change in the Salary, that is the general understanding of the average developer I feel here. You dont get a new Pay Slip with this award you get De-Motivated.

2. Award if its a temporary monetory benefit: I remember in my previous organisation I heard Maruf getting rewarded with a 20K for been the employee of the quarter.. it just took a few days to take that off from his mind and he was back to the routine again.. meaning the pressure is back and it hurts, "So what a Big Deal if they re-payed me for my hard work and anyways its Taxable". De-Motivating?

3. Award if its more Quality work : I realised that when handling the experienced Team... more quality work is considered to be as more responsibility but not more pay raise... eventually Award converts to be a De-Motivator.

4. Public Appreciation: It can motivate a few not all... specially people like Albert not sure if he is updating his profile. I remember when he was awarded in front of the 200+ crowd including employess and families, it just took a day for him to call the award a Bull Shit, Reason? that's my Duty. The second level of people want to get recognized in public If they dont get that every time they get disappointed and of course De-Motivated

5. Hike in Role : An Award drive you to think that with this award you ar bound to be the new Lead, manager, CTO, CEO or what not... wondering with the awards one receive in a lifetime in an IT company he should become the PM of the Universe ;) considering one role change with every award;)

6. More Responsibilities : These people resemble the one above, they might or might not love the work but they want more responsibilities. If more responisbilities come in its good or the Award was just a raddish.

7. More involvement in everything ;) You cant give me? I am upset.

Well this is not all... I really see more than these reaosns where Awards can De-Motivate.. eventually I feel that the Awards are seen very closely tied up with Monetory Benefits... Be it temporary or long term... I think it needs an innovation in awarding the Team individuals..

Next way to move forward - > What should an Ideal award be Like ;)