Saturday, 30 June 2007

Software Outsourcing and the Diminishing Quality

It had been almost 8 yrs now in the Industry and experience is counting... more and more....Yesterday for some reason we had a discussion on the diminishing quality of software with outsourcing.. specially when the world is slowly moving from India/China towards Ukraine and other nations and remembering my last week Meeting with Twain Harris CEO,ATC LLC on the software quality they got out of the projects from the Chinese Software development Ally... One thing we can smell coming to us in future is surely LESS WORK.

Why the Quality is going down is a bigger question which I would leave the experts to answer while I really focus on writing some aspects I feel is killing the trust in outsourcing...

1. Transparency :- I remember when I was tied up with a front runner in the Hospitality sector while been with TechShepherds Software Solutions in 2004 I realised that when the Customer offered the firm to be the Development Partner for their Major Integration projects, It was lack of transparency that caused several of one problems which finally resulted in a breakdown of relationship. The way demands are rising today it is expected that a Software portal is developed in weeks time and goes running in production within coughing periods... Now it is easier to do that.. but not necessarily in the correct way... I was talking to a developer working on a KEY collaboration tool and unfortunately my first feel was he did not understand why he was building the software... How will this help the Company that is looking to make this collaboration tool be one of the front runners in today's collaboration Market? secondly I realised that the Company wanting to build the product and the Team that was developing the product met only once a few weeks to KNOW whats the Status.

This was for sure a killer since there was no transparency in both the sides... each side should have made things more visible.. be it development efforts, needs, objectives or time lines and finances.... Lack of this transparency is the root cause of a NO TRUST zone. No wonder the Company will surely choose to go away with this development partner sooner or later...

2. Honesty: When I asked Mike (Twain H. as he is popularly known) why he wants to shut out the Chinese Operations his answer was it is not working due to finances and a NOT FIT Team.. honestly I think No one outsourcing is so honest to take that call... How Many Managers have you seen that say that "The Development Team we chose was wrong?" Or " The Team we work with is not of the required Quality?" well I guess none... No one here Outsourcing company or company taking the deal commits on this. Another Big issue to the broken trust is the Effective Team in Action and the way Service Industry is charging... Since there is lack of transparency in the development effort the Customer firm never knows what type of Team and who they are working with? as a result a Development resource of very High Grade is presented to the Customer company while a development resource coming out of college really is working over it... Faking the Orgasms sometimes are better I guess not this...

While it is important to enroute the Knowledge of the Business Model in the development Team who will work on your Business critical product it is also important that enough Transparency is created within....

Though I feel that it wont be enough to write everything here.... I will split up my experiences on the outsourcing problems as a Project Manager in the later blogs...

Sameer Shaikh

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Of Objective , Goals and Value

This Project will change your career path
This opportunity cannot be missed out
This will change your life
This will be remembered by You as a revolution in your life...

Well Well well many more buzzwords and Jargon's. Honestly I feel that this is how the current Manager Trend has been selling its products and I am left no away from it.... though I am rarely frequent in making such promises or Hives I feel that this is something that has been always been used as a lethal Weapon to motivate the performers(Under Or Over).

While I am still in process to think how We should be presenting the Objectives and Goals for the Project, release or Team... I got a setback when I think is it really Selling or Marketing your Offerings to the Software Development Team?

So I am sure you have a question whats the setback.... So here it is...

1. Value:- I personally think that things are not cared about if they don't have a Value... for example I remember we talking about motivation in my previous posts, We talking about Empowering in the earlier posts, We talking about creating a High performance Team.. all of this is possible only if there is a Value attached to what we do... To Motivate it needs to be Knowledge , Monetary Benefits or lot of other things, To Empower we need to enhance and train, To create a High performance Team the Team needs to know what, How , When and where and so many other things.... All of these things happen only if a Value is associated with what you want to do.... So the question arises Why a Value needs to be associated?

I remember I been a part of the cricket Team that used to play cricket tournaments on tennis ball... while been a part of it I realised that we as a Team were not much interested in winning when there was no prize money or bet on the game... Of course it was a Value attached.
I remember a Team Member calling on me to say that I don't want to be a part of a particular project Team since he/she thinks that he/she cannot learn things or evolve in the given project... of course there is a value associated with what anyone wants to do.... So many other examples and reasons of how Important a value is for anything you do....

So the question arises why is this a setback to me and my thinking now?
Well I realise that sometimes we don't create a value but we just try to market and hype it or sell what we don't really have or want someone to buy something that we cannot sell.... something that shouldn't be done or that doesn't last for long... No wonder faulty promises and organisational exit times appraisals and counter offers don't last long...

A product doesn't sell if the customer doesn't see the value
A Developer doesn't want to be a part of the product that doesn't adds value to him
A Leader finds a pathway if he thinks there are roadblocks ahead.. and so many other things....

It is at most important to Create a Value for something you want to do....

2. Share It? : Its not enough to create a value to sell it, You need a Team to create it.. A Team that is going to be a part of it altogether... for example.... I am sure if the prize money we used to win/loose on the cricket games was not shared the interest would have lowered down... disappointments would have been caused easily and failure was the next door. Creating a value is as must as creating it with the Team that will be a part of achieving it... the Objectives and Goals of a project can only be achieved by a Project Team if the Team creates the Objectives and Values for it... and are not defined by someone else...

So the question arises why is this a setback to me and my thinking now?
Well I feel the needs, Goals and Objectives should be defined by a Team who will be part of the runners to achieve it.... When Talking to the SWAT Team today I realised that their are several Objectives that are not even thought about and Yes this is the time to get them in and work towards them... what a Team it will be where everyone knows what they have to work on and for. So the setback is the vision has to be shared, the goals have to be worked upon and priorities need to be re-defined....

3. Celebrate : In my earlier posts about celebrate the smallest success I mentioned that inventing something , developing something or finishing some tasks is just not the whole thing... It is important that we celebrate each of those... A Value can be predominant only if it is celebrated and appreciated everytime... Every effort towards the value acquisition should be appreciated and celebrated only then the goals are achieved...

Do we celebrate what we achieve?
Do we know what we achieve?

More on and over... let me rethink How to best sell myself and how best to Empower the Team to let do the above 3 key elements....

Sameer Shaikh

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Revise yourself

lately I realised that it had been a few months since I have revised myself... As a Manager I feel it is atmost important to keep on revising to avoid lapses and backsteps. A few things I could capture why I need a revision are:

1. Missing Objectives
2. Confused Deliverables
3. Untimed schedules
4. Rigid Views
5. Non passioned approach
6. vertical limits

What my next version would include will make sure that I
1. Know what I have to achieve
2. Know where I have to Go
3. Know what I have to do
4. Know what things come under my care
5. Identify and work towards what is the Goal
a. Personal
b. Organisational
c. Professional
d. Social
6. Last not the least When and How I have to do the above 5....

Do you think its the time for you to revise yourself ? If not then I think Yes it is... well let me mould my list and you mould yours ... and as a Thread I would like to update you what my tomorrows morning will bring for me.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

About Me

I finally get to write something about me.. About me and here...

For those who have hit the page as they are just curious to know about me... I somehow graduated, Accidentally ended up as a Project Manager, loved the profession, and enjoy the ups and downs of it. I love the puter but not more than the passion that drives me to become a Film maker ... if not now some years down the line. I enjoy internet as mush as you do, I enjoy reading and some sports... that my 10 inch belly out doesnt allow me...

I plan to join politics by year 2010 and want to work towards building a corruption free society. I am a work alcoholic and prefer working hard than smart. I am also a movie lover and believe it or not from District 9 to Ramu ke Sholay.. I watch every single movie that hits the cinema halls.

I look cute, but dont go by looks they are decieiving and the photo I put on my networks is usually the one when I looked Cute....If thats not enough for you... have a more of me...

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Goals and Objectives of the Blog

Objectives of the blog

When I started the blog, It was meant for sharing the day to day activities that affect right the professional part of me. I was never too organized to have a separate blog for person things and a separate one for activities that I like about and are work related. The core objective of this blog is to share with you the experience I earn every day, Share with you what I have learnt so far.. and share views.

Another reason to keep this blog alive with little or more phases of Coma is, that I dont want to disappoint my former boss Kari who also inspired me to get into the headache of managing this blog ;) Boss I am joking.

Over the years I have revised my blog to keep it separated from what I do on personal levels.. but if you find my family photos here, dont mind... I am applying managing tricks at home :P

A few Goals for me for Year 2009

  • 100 Quality posts

  • 10 Guest Posts

  • 1 comment / post

  • 10$ from Adsense

  • 5 Blogs on Roll

  • Get listed on 5 Rolls

  • Categorize posts

  • Review every Month

  • Write About Management and Styles

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Want to be Productive? Sleep in the Office, Fill in the Toilets.....

OK so this is no funny thing...
Have you seen people dozing off in the meetings?
Have you seen people sinking in their desks at work?
Have you seen people daydreaming?

If you see people doing these ... make a point that they can be more productive then the ones who are UP, STRAIGHT and AWAKE all day.....

lately I heard from my Behavioural mentor that a small nap in the office helps him freshen up his mind and get ready for another 9 AM in the office though it is 4:30 PM and you are just about to leave the work.... I went back to those old days when I was working in the night shifts around 11 PM - 9 AM and had to take a 1 hour break every time between 3-4... those breaks were mostly used by me for taking those healthy naps that allowed me to be fresh and work hard for the rest of the day....

I thought it is important to tell how you can be more productive with the help of these naps... We here in India are not used to the 9-5 work and 10-6 bed culture.. meaning we are late to sleep and late to rise, this leads us to have not more than a few hours of sleep which is a bit less than what the human body requires... definitely the exception is Rama who wants to be in bed at 10... So when we follow these trashy schedules we tend to be tired with our brains.... somewhere or the other this tired "feeling" hurts the productivity within you... a small NAP at this time can really help you jingle and fresh and make you feel as if you just had enough sleep and are ready for work..

Obviously since you are a intelligent human being as I assume you will ask WHY? so let me be a Doctor for a while and explain you why... Usually you feel relaxed when you are asleep(unless you are alien) which means that your brain operates a bit slow in this state... the Gods of Science call it a Alpha state... this is the state where the Yog Gurus take you and you feel relaxed in a few minutes everyday ;) Me and you call it Meditation / Yoga... The operation cycle speed at this time is around 5-14 within your brain and when you are up and awake the cycles are at 14+ meaning when you slowly get the state of 5-10 you are quite relaxed and coming back to 14 make you feel that you are all good for work.. and of course fresh...

Now I believe you are Greedy .... Greedy cause you ask How to take these Naps at work and where in the office?

So I always preferred Toilets... this is the place where you wont find anyone watching you... shut your eyes for a while and forget about everything until someone bangs the door here...(I remember so many guys doing this in my previous firms and I making fun of it) or find a meeting room where people cannot see you ;) Or Go find a recreation hall or reach your home... these Naps I am sure help support you to reach the freshness level as in the morning and let you achieve some productive work... Also make sure that these are 5-10 mins naps and not 1-2 hrs sleep... else the Bosses will be upset if they don't find you on desk or someone cannot use the toilets.. ;) In which case you will have to use this freshness to find a new Job...

Great... so have a few naps today and see if it helps you...

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The Misery of blogging

Past few weeks or months I felt that the objective of the blog was lost.. thought its time to Rejuvenate... Its time to setup what I want to do with the Blog and morever what user base I want to target... morever I just want to use this blog one of the key members of my blogging farm... here is what I think are the Goals for Me with this blog for the next few months:

June 2007 - December 2007

1. Write atleast 100 Quality posts.
2. Earn atleast 10 Guest posts
3. Enable the comment postings so that a wide audience can put up their views (atleast 100 comments , 1 per post).
4. Earn atleast 10$ from this blog.
5. Get 5 Blogs on My Roll
6. Get Listed on atleast 5 Blog Rolls
7. Breakup the Posts in terms of topics (Dont you think these just comes randomly?)
1. Project Management topics - 10 posts
2. OnScreen Experience - 10 posts
3. Time Management - 10 posts
4. Project Management experiences - 15 posts
5. Program Management and Shares - 10 posts
6. Challenges and Agile - 10 posts
7. Visions and Innovations - 10 posts
8. General Stuff - 25 posts
8. Increase the Visitor counter to 200 / month
9. Increase the Feed count to 5 / month
10. Comment and link to atleast 50 new blogs

before I could drop on with all my Junk , I would really like to achieve these sooner