Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Replace the Issues or Fix it?

What do you do when you find issues with ?

1. The Product you are working on?
2. The tasks you are doing?
3. Colleagues?
4. Your Boss?
5. Yourself?

Do find the answers ... and I will share a quick resolution tip to problem solving....

Sunday, 19 August 2007

The Learning attitude

What a Waste it was!!!
Damm if it was done like this we would have not wasted blah blah blah
I wasted X years of my life in school

and what not.... I am sure you may have encountered these lines few or many times a day or week or month or whenever.... but something that can change these lines is the attitude within you that somehow we ignore... Yes I am talking about the learning attitude... Well you might end up saying I am a curious A** so I want to learn everything... but just go back a few years and count how many times you have used a word *waste*... A recent incidence and something that happened a few weeks ago just got me to write more about this... I would like your opinion on a few words said by different people here and then we can talk about the Learning attitude...

I think everything that is coming to me is a new learning for me... so whichever Technology or Project I work on is going to be the Best for Me -- Seetha

I think I wasted all this time on been this project... I have learnt No new thing -- Some One I dont want to disclose

Recently Ahh... I got a complete different requirement but anyways I dont think my work is a waste cause I learnt how to mount a NFS on a windows box for a linux machine -- Phil

Before I could waste more of my time doing this I think I should walk off -- Someone recently

Well so all of this teaches me that their is a breed in the world who knows and thinks that everything that they do is going to add something to their knowledge and is going to be a valuable earning for them and there is another breed that thinks that something that is not known is only learning... be it Technology or any other thing.... Which one do you think you gonna get on? For me obviously it should be the former .... and why not... Project Management teaches me new thing everyday.. one way or the other... been a father teaches me a new thing every day, playing a husband teaches me to make different excuses to keep awake late and work or watch TV ;) new learnings everyday.... So for those whom who think that ONLY that thing is a learning which they did not knew then their age is not enough to identify what they have to learn....

So here a few tips to those who really want to be on the side of learn from everything that comes to you...

1. Be Curious
2. Be Inquisitive
3. Listen and think to what others say
4. Question them not for the sake but to know why they say what they say
5. Confusion is a mother-in-law of failure.... either is bad without the other

Hope you learn something from this post ;)

Friday, 17 August 2007

How to Find the right Guy?

Hmmm... How to judge the right resource? when Rama on his blog asked this question I really wanted to blog the same day... unfortunately it took more than 2 months for me to find back the notepad scribble I wrote and bring it back as this Post. The other reason to bring this in is also a comment that appeared from Kari on the earlier blogpost Are your best guys in Action . So how to find the right guy for you is surely a question that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs must have asked themselves.. I am sure they must be having the closest answer and so can we. While I look to the interview process that is been followed manywhere to be the most vulnerable process where in maximum 5 meetings of around 20 hrs duration an organisation puts billions of bucks and pride at stake... Yeah by simply hiring the person who they have been interviewing for that period and role and looking at the Jargons and Jig saws he has used with his toungue and resume. Way Way Way Way... thats not all.... he/she is also been made responsible of parenting the Team and nurture or grow the organisational culture. So here are things that I feel should be done / taken into consideration while trying to find the right guy... believe me You will still not find the perfect match ;)

1. Never ever take an instant decission
Even if you like him/her as you would have liked Angeline Jolie in the wildest of your dream, just go back and think:
1. How many Guys did you interview for this position
2. What was the Best thing someone else had that he/she doesnt... Yes..dont find what Best he/she has because he/she really has it.. try to find what he/she doesnt have and someone had the best of it...
3. Do you know why you are present to interview him/her?
4. Do you or the panel has all skills required to judge the person's abilities?

I remember last when Atul (name changed) was hired to play a role as a System Administrator only within a week to realise that he was not the right choice first to play that role and second that he did not fit in the organisational culture. So what bought him into the organisation in first place? It was later realised that the guys who interviewed him were impressed by his Technical skills and effectiveness and made a quick offer.

2. Do they want to change?
Be it a Junior or a Senior see if they look for changing the ways thing work... meaning do they like bringing in a change? and if they adopt to changes easily... Someone who is not easily accepting change can be harmful in the short run and a demolisher in the long. Another thing to look for is Change doesnt mean Re-write... I remember asking a candidate about what he will do if he comes to know that the code/Architecture he is going to work on is blunderously written (Thanks to the Diminishing Quality) and answer was I will change everything , re-write the whole architecture again... well well well My friend if someone wants to change everything he is going to screw you, your budget and your vision.. someone who wants to move step by step with a slow and steady pace and bring the change is something you should look for.

3. Never find something that you miss in the Team
Till sometime back I was a tradional follower of
1. Retrospectives Find it
2. Action fix it
3. Retrospectives Find it
4. Action fix it

Till I realised that I am screwing my efforts in finding to fix them... Find a person that is similar to what your Team members are .... this can be used to improve more.

4. Decissive
How quick he reacts and makes decissions... if he is a very quick decission maker then he definately suits..... Not your Team but been a Customer Support Executive who can handle Customer Grievences very fast.... throw 5 problems at him and see how he answers or reacts....
Once I asked a guy what he will do if his Girl friend leaves him today.. just to stress his decissive skills ... and he responded he will find a New one.... Wow what a power of decission making it is... but it doesnt suit everywhere.... Someone who takes time to understand the question and then respond taking time to come up with an honest and down to earth answer is something that you should look for.... If you dont understand what it means .. throw this problem at Savio and see how he responds...

5. Is he inquisitive enough
All through my career I have met only few people who I can count on fingers really are inquisitive enough in the interviews itself... people who are not inquisitive do not really have passion towards things that come to them... if they are inquisitive they will find out.... make sure they are practically inquisitive not behavorioul inquisitive.... practical ones will think about tangible growths... behavirioul can route your Team to a Emotional Turbulence.

6. Agreements
Throw disagreements towards their answers and see if they make their point of view... One thing you would not want I am sure in your Team is a Palace full of praising demoens.... one who Nod as you do.... and have a "Boss is always right" attitude. If you have read Times Of India on Tuesday 14th August you would understand why...

7. Do they ignite anything in you?
2 Years ago in an interview I met a gentlemen who ignited a thought that helps me until now... How he said it was funny and a bit controversial too... When Asked by the panel on what you would do to achieve success in any form.... His answer was :
Every thing that President Bush would do to achieve it and everything that "The Most Wanted" Man could not to make it happen... I took the positive combination of both parts of his answer leaving the aggression behind. Its very necessary that a person ignites something in you... if he cant then he is just one more in the row..

8. Do they wait for Authorities to take Responsibilities?
Lot of guys during the interviews talk about what they could not do with the reasons always associated with them.... which means that though they wanted to do things they did not do it due to lack of Authorities.... but remember though Reponsibilities come with authority necessarily doesnt mean authorities always.... Your responsibility towards society will not mean that you will get as many authorities as a Police Man do....try to find out someone who know how to take and follow on responsibilities without caring about authorities.

9. Can they Do what You Could?
Never find out a better replacement... just find out if he can do what you can...

10. Are they Role players or Rule Players?
Lot of guys are Rule players... meaning work as said ONLY.... see if they go beyond something... or have gone beyond...

Lastly.... try to Identify what they have in their mind in terms of 1 yr , 2 yr or a 5 yr plan.... If they are ambitious its good... if they are over ambitious it could be very crude....

While I really wnat to write more on this ... I think I will stop here to make you re-visit here to find out how else and what else you can do to judge the people.... remember most of the things you do here are what you should do.. rather than what you should expect from the person you are interviewing or judging....


Sameer Shaikh


Thursday, 16 August 2007

Steve Jobs - A Miracle or Destiny child?

It just took the first few words for me to have my goose hair.. I am sure you would too be inspired by this... I somehow found this on You Tube and thanks to Chad to make us meet Steve Jobs so what if its virtual

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The YIKIT How to

Referring to the earlier post on the YIKIT's and to a request from Faisal on how to compel the YIKIT attitude, here are a few ways to handle and manage the YIKIT attitude:

1. Never embarass them
This should be the last thing you would want to do.. The YIKIT's attitude is just to show that they know more than anyone else, these type of people cannot hide their embarassement and would want to run away from their existing jobs and Team to avoid any more of it. The YIKIT's can be best Team players and also can have lot of knowledge and experience.

2. Throw responsibilities at them
The easiest way to be more effective with a YIKIT is to throw responsibilities at him in such a way that his experiences and knowledge is polished. A YIKIT really may or may not know things but pretend to show it.... making him realise that he doesnt know it can harm so let him polish his skills by making him work in the area he pretends to work keeping in mind that YIKIT's need virtual micromanagement.

3. Turn a YIKIT to a TIKIT or a MIKIT
Step 2 can really turn a YIKIT to Though I Knew it or even Maybe I know it which can be very effective since it will make a YIKIT to go and explore the world. YIKIT's can harm a Team if the YIKIT attitude turns to TITS meaning Thats It ;)

4. Ask Questions that you know and dont know
A YIKIT like to answer everything or show that he is a encyclopedia no matter its a Jack knowledge... I mean Jack of All King of None kinda knowledge... Another way to turn a YIKIT back to normal is throw questions that you have deep knowledge in and where you dont have any knowledge without making him realise about your knowledge in the area.

5. Avoid making statements or giving answers to YIKIT's easily
This is to make sure that the YIKIT doesnt take words from your statements and then make over stories on own, avoid responding first to make the conversations and progress better.

Remember of all the things you need to understand that:
a. YIKIT's are knowledgable
b. YIKIT's are intelligent
c. They have good skills and imagination power
d. They never want to loose
e. They Know what to talk and what not to

I am sure for a success of any Team you need all of these qualities....so YIKIT's been in the Team is important the only thing to take care of is better management of YIKIT's and having a good control over them.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Are your Best Guys in Action?

Lately reading the Technical Interview I took from Suresh and to my earlier post regarding the Diminishing Software Quality I am really really sad when I look at the way the software's are developed and manhandled afterwords... A simple question I ask to myself looking at the IT Industry boom in India is "Are the Best Guy's doing what they are Best at?" ... Surprised to listen? I myself feel NO.. The Best Programmer in a Technology within a Year wants to be Technical Lead, A Technical lead wants to be an Architect or Manager within a few months and a Manager wants to be a Delivery Head , Delivery Head to be the VP and the VP to be the CEO... Well No one really thinks beyond a CEO do they?

Looking aback I really feel that a team member who is best at coding is pushed to designing (The management Sales BUZZ WORD "GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES" sucks here), A Web Designer been asked to be a Animator because the company has got the project and they want to show him his growth prospects, A Technical lead who never thought outside beyond technology is asked to do People Management and poorly enough an illeterate (I really am talking here about everyone who are not business blooded) is asked to run an organisation.

After you have a read of this can you go,check and let me know if you think:
1. The Best Guys are doing what they used to do best and with evolving and surprising results?

2. All who are a part of your Team are there just because they are best at what they are doing?

3. Growth for them is designed in such a way that it is directly proportionate to the Aspiration and the exposure to achieve the aspiration?

4. People are not pushed to do things just to keep them within or make them run for a Mirage?

5. You are doing something you are Best at?

6. You are doing something for a long time and yet you want to do because everytime you do the same you think you have learnt more?

Huh? So many dammn questions and the answer is just one... "Diminishing Quality" So what to do about this? Lets make our Growth Planners added with a spice of an entity that tells us what we are best at, Let our employers know what we can do best for them, Let our resumes show what best we can bring to the given organisation and finally Let us take a Pledge that we will CARE ABOUT THE SOFTWARE WE DEVELOP Not for the sake of it but for a reason that can help the Software development Industry achieve the goals for what it was intended to have started...

Sameer Shaikh

P.S. Please do not take a Pledge just becuase you want to seen, Mean it.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

The Magic Pill

Tom Fosters post about the Magic Pill really impressed me the idea of 40 hrs a week on force really can make a Manager's life more easy and productive... But while I feel that the Magic Pill comes as a sorcerer's stone the diamond stone of work is always been more preffered... the stone that can kill you only when you try to swallow it...

40 hrs a week is the ideal thing to do (not anymore when the Rupee value is getting the benefit and while the outsourcing to India is no more a cheaper commodity) it is seen that not only the Managers but also the developers prefer to spend more time in office at work than anyone else... Last when I tried to swap off the office within the 8 hrs of work I felt that the passion towards work in me started dying. The easiest way to gauge the death of the passion towards work is when been on the desk and in meetings you are still drawing circles and stars on your meeting notepad.

The one of the few ways to make the Magic Pill work is:

1. Delegate responsibilities in the right hands (shere delegation doesnt work, work has to go in right hands)

2. Follow up should be like a regular visit to the doctor.

3. Work needs to be on the sticky notes

4. The Last thing to do is end of time even if its not finished... work is like a appendix the more you try to cut it the more it grows.

So what other ways you know of making the Magic Pill work?

Saturday, 4 August 2007

YUCK:- Me Know Everything????

While I was listing down some qualities of the Leader's and Managers I realised I forgot to talk about the Commodity Managers when Listing down the Commodity Leaders. One of the problems with the commodity leaders or both commodity leaders or Managers is that they pretend to know everything...

I remember while playing Card Poker games with my friends "BLUFFING" was the only way to get out and win... meaning You either pretend that you know what your contender has in his hands or you pretend that you ahve the best cards in hands... both of which at times are not true... while this technique is commonly used in games you will find the commodity players (Leaders, Managers and Mentors) posses this quality often in the professional life to pretend they are the Best.

How to Identify A YIKIT animal (Ouch I forgot to explain YIKIT is Yes I Know It )?

1. Try to quarrell on items / decissions to see how defensive they get..
2. Tell them about a thing that you know and see if they talk about it ... YIKIT's never go the way anyone has already gone...
3. YIKIT's Always begin with "YES.. I Know" , "Yes I have done it" blah blah...
4. Watch the Next Action after your talks/ emails... The next action YIKIT's will do is go and find out the answers... though they leave it half way
5. YIKIT's are always under complex... so they prefer pretending... the moment someone wants to show superiority .... he/she is the YIKIT.
6. YIKIT;s drive the topics away when they see someone knowing more... this is how it is done... "But I think...." , "Well I Guess..." , "May be I am wrong ....." and lot more...

Why to Identify a YIKIT ?
Its important to know the YIKIT's animals in a Team so that the knowledge can be shared in the right way... Lot of reasons why any type of Projects fail is they are run by YIKIT Leaders or Management. YIKIT can deny the sharing and training required for someone.. just becuase they pretend they know it...

Why Not to be a YIKIT?
Just think of myself smiling at you within my mind just because you are pretending you know something that you really dont know.... Lot of experienced guys are YIKIT Hunters... they dont need more than a stare in your eye to know if you are a YIKIT or Not... and honestly YOU DONT GET ANY BUSINESS FROM THEM IF YOU PROVE YOURSELF TO BE A YIKIT.. AND YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHY.

Remove the YIKIT Attitude if you have any and see what difference it makes for you....

Thursday, 2 August 2007

The Have's and Want's

I was been asked by a friend to update my Have's and Wants on my Ryze Page Before I could really do it I realised its important to know about it before I update it. One of the Question or Theroam that hit me always was that people dont know what they want or rather dont know what they have.

Last I asked someone on why he wants to do strategic business development the answer I got was "Its more Money" geeez... what do you think of the answer? Then I decided to go on a rampage to ask guys on not what they want but what they have... and here is the list of answers I got:

1. I Have passion to do Project management.
2. I have urge to learn blah blha technology...
3. I have to ... oops I want to do this in my life
4. I have all the skills required to be a better Manager/Leader.
5. I have money and power
6. I have knowledge in this field
7. I have everything that I wanted :d

Eeeeeezy guys... its not the end, While for most of the answers I got it makes me feeel that we really dont know what we have.. and when we dont know what we have how we can judge what we want....

1. No wonder we have thousands of IT Aspirants everyday standing on the security check of your company with their resumes in hand..

2. No wonder we have every single engineer wanting to be an architect / manager before his 5th year of career.

3. No wonder we have people for whom success means praises and money

4. No wonder "Team" as a word is just been understood to be used as a ladder to growth not success

Anyways... success is not in listing what we dont have.... Lets blog on what you think you Have.. help me in knowing you... lets see what it comes out to be....