Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Things that I learnt in 2008

I thought I would mention a few of the most important things that I learnt. I learnt from work , life , people, Team , Organisations and of course from Internet:

1. Perception doesnt stay long

2. Unrealistic promises hurts lives of everyone

3. Spend only when it is necessary

4. If you dont care about communication, no one cares about you

5. De-personalize the problems

6. Credibility comes with trust and trust comes with time

7. Commitment is the first step in building success

8. Success and Failures area result of Team work

9. Plans are necessary but they need commitment, support and passion to make it success

10. Dont make your Team burn oil when not needed

11. Your words act as the face of your Team, be careful with the impressions

Wait for other items to come in....

Friday, 24 October 2008

A Vital skill - Negotiations

All night yesterday I watched the first season of Desperate Housewives and all through the series there was one character that was consistently hitting my mind ... "Mr Soliace" husband of the latina and the Mergers and Acquisation expert. While I went through all of this I realised that for your success at any level you need to have the best negotiation skills.

I took this question forward: what does the skill demand?

1. Perception making
2. Strong confidence
3. A vision to failure
4. No knowledge in detail
5. An Eye on phsycology of others
6. A breath on anger and temperament
7. A not so pleasing personality
8. An attitude to care a shit about
9. Knowledge to know how much you can make for yourself if not for others
10. Last but not the least the power to convince GOD

I wish to write more on this after my this weeks experience, negotiation is a hard core skill and I realise I have a bit of it. The remaining half glass is going to be filled sooner or later.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Middle Management blocks Blogs, Wikis and such tools... How true

I came across this blog recently and found the statement "Middle Management block the use of blogs, wikis, syndications..." The first statement that read my mind was HOW TRUE.. and why not, I have seen it until very recent.

We recently in our project teams wanted to drive a revolution of using:
1. Wiki for Project documentation
2. XPlanner for Project Management
3. JIRA for Bug Tracking and time scehduling

Eventually not many understand and want to promote the usage of it... why?

1. They are not comfortable with the tools.
2. They are not sure how the tools fit into the process.
3. They are not really thinking on how a tool can make it work for them.

I see some more of the issues....

1. They are not ready to accept the tools that can accelerate Team collaborations.
2. They are not sure on how they can use the Tool.
3. They feel that the tool is a burden if they have to work with it every day.
4. They dont get what is called as readymade data to present to the Management (Heard of a word called Metrics?)
5. They are not sure what team collaboration means.
6. They understand the tool and its usage WRONG.
7. They think that there is a lot of investment in making this tool work for the Team.

A few of the common excuses we get from the Middle Management in implemnting such tools are:

1. It doesnt provide me the metrics.
2. Think we need to evaluate another better tool, can someone take up the investigation on this please?
3. It is a over load of tasks for the Team.
4. We dont have time to train the Team (Remember my earlier post on Highest priority?)
5. We have some other tool coming up and that can do better than this.
6. It will take long before we can roll this out.
7. No one uses it.
8. No one has time to use it.
9. They dont like the way it is now, we need to evolve.
10. There is no easy way to access this information....

Now can you find a way for these lousy bums and can somebody explain them that it will work only if they wish to make it work?

Monday, 16 June 2008

A Bad Presentation

Yesterday I was supposed to take up the Agile workshop for the part of the team that is really been damaged due to NO process and Process myths in the organisation. The "supposed to" was really for the last 7 months when each time I had to request for this and all I got is an answer saying "At the moment we dont really have time for this", eventually I was lucky enough this time to get through the Team and at least be prepared on some items on what and how I wanted to do things for this Agile workshop to make it more effective and more better. To my own surprise I relied on Powerpoint and really prepared something that I always hated.

But they say you need to have it your day and your way to make it work... eventually the fever, headache and fallout of some ideas and team members in contributing to the workshop lead this to be the BORING ever presentation I have been a part of... remember I have attended some corporate trainings on finance and technologies which were really boring and I claim this one from mine to be worst than any of them. The Idea of running the workshop was bright, though I was not able to successfully convert it to a involved workshop.

I retrospected what went wrong and here are the items I found:

1. Involve the crowd
Seems like I missed it for 2 reasons, I did not analyse the crowd before really kicking it off. The Idea I had was to involve a few guys bring them mid store and ask them some survey questions to bring out the Myers-Brigg indicator model out and also make them aware of how important Team plays in the Agile model.
Second I was not able to create some real time humour out of Agile and waterfall models... things that rushed my mind during my presentations were eventually to heavy than I thought they could be.

2. Never depend too much on PPT
I wanted to start with NO presentations... use the board and the Team speeches to make it more effective, however change of plans last minute made me think that its better to go the PPT way and try to address issues and tips and concerns while I talk... this was a bad plan honestly.

3. Unresponsive crowd is the truth
Its not that I have always seen very energetic crowd in the presentations... half the time I have presented to people who dont even know if they should keep their eyes open in the sessions or not. Anyways today i realised that Teams can really be unresponsive if they dont know why are doing what. Ideally I saw only 5 people involved in the entire presentation:
1. Vinaya the girl who was sitting right in front.
2. Shailesh : Who was trying to understand and respond in a way that would be pleasing to a presenter
3. Bhargavi : Who kind of knew the objective and was curious to know whats next
4. Eric : The guy in the bottom most corner who understands Agile and wants to enhance his knowledge
5. Arjun who wants to know more about it.

Rest I saw were either there by force or for a sake. Eventually some of them may be involved but I did not find it out for some reason.

4. Missing exercises
25 minutes of the kickoff I understood that its getting boring and I need to change something, eventually when I changed to bring in some questions and role playing I found that the Team lacked feel of energy and enthusiasm. It would have been good to have some exercises to make it work better.

5. Wheres the Red Bull
The energizer was missing. These are the things I wanted to do:

1. Ask Deepesh , Yogesh and Nikhita to talk about the developer advantages they feel from the Agile we follow
2. Ask Sidd , Saket to make it work effectively and explain the QA and the Release processes.
3. Have the funfilled Crack my code exercise to get the developers write some code on the fly while others extract the mistakes.
4. Have the QA write flow cases for the developer code.
5. Have the Project Manager plan the 30 mins code and qa exercise
6. Have the architect review

7. Have the Stakeholders explain the requirements and do a official kickoff.

All of this was role playing eventually I dropped this after 25 minutes of session just to make sure that it doesnt go wrong way due to the sleepy crowd.

Anyways as a corrective measure I am going to continue the training and appoint some agile coaches to make this work effectively for the Team. Eventually looking at the team formation I think it will be at least a 6 month task to make this team understand agile and start implementing it to some extent.

Whoa .. Task is ahead......

Monday, 9 June 2008

Whats your highest priority?

I hear this very often....
1. I always wanted to do this, but never got time
2. This is what I wanted to do but never got enough support on it
3. We wanted to document it but never got chance
4. This is on a roadmap
5. We intend to do this but not now

While I review there maybe thousand valid reasons for all the so called excuses we give for not implementing things... I see one clear reason for the excuses above....


Dont you agree? If there is something you want to do and think you can stay without doing it it definitely means that IT IS NOT ON THE TOP OF YOUR GTD and this is where a lot of us get drowned. I asked a fellow lead on why we dont have any code review process for marshalling the development code? The answer was "We dont have time!" Well if we dont have time to review our own code I am sure we dont have time to write it too????

The fact that for anything we say that I want to but I cant means that it doesnt hurt me if I dont do this... and the same attitude has really got us dip the quality of Softwares we develop..... No wonder we hear these very often:

1. Code reviews???? We can do that later... what is more important now Delivery or Qaulity?

2. Qualitative and Incremental QA???? Gosh, No Jargons please... We are been asked to sign of ASAP, and our performance depends on it.

3. We will refactor it later... thre is too much of time to do this later.

This time I made up my minds... every time I hear or Speak things that hinder the quality process I call "BULLSHIT"..... Now you know why my dictionary only has this word?

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Successful Leadership is not only when you win!!!

Yesterday Indian cricket saw a Gala of cricket with the end of the DLF IPL T20, A spectacular performance from the Bollywood stars, followed by a nail biting T20 cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings which went to the last over of the game and decide Rajasthan Royals lead by Shane Warne to be the winner of the first ever game. For India and part of the world that is keeping a close watch on this tournament it was just the finals and One Team win and One Team loosing concept... but eventually the game also displayed some great leadership values and skills from the captain of the team who lost the match... Yes Mahendra Singh Dhoni...

As a new trend in the cricket world the Teams do a scrum before and during the match to decide on quick strategies and some quick words of motivation... this is pretty common nowadays to see this been followed in almost every match you see... however after the last ball loss by Mahi's Team Dhoni ensured that he organises a quick scrum to tell the guys that "It was not your fault , It was just a bad day for us. We played better but luck was on other side... we did not loose this match... we got inspiration to win the next few from this"

Wow... Is this something called leadership? Yes of course it is... where the world tries to find sources to blame the moment you loose it was a different scene where Dhoni gathered everyone just to make them realise that Winning and Loosing is a part of the game and what they did would not have been better....

Great to see this!!!

Saturday, 31 May 2008

A Warm welcome!

The visit of our Product Manager who I had been very closely working for around a year and a half was here in the office and believe me the long days were productive and the environment refreshing... I am sure the Team also had a good time interacting with her and lerning more about what we are doing and plan to do.... However a few surprising things really made me worry about what we call as a "Warm Welcome".... while we were giving warm welcome to our product Manager we realised that a warm welcome is needed elsewhere too... where?

Here is a situation.... I come to office early morning , I see 2 new faces running around the floor full with 140 developers and qa engineers looking for a cubicle number... I saw them loitering around and thought of checking with what they were upto... just to the surprise I come to know that they are looking for a cubicle that actually lies in the same zone where our Team sits.. and he is not a part of the Team that we work with.... I ask em which Project / Product / Team / Manager.. to the surprise they only know one Name ...... "Godamnm". Confused over their places and the development they ask me to help them find something for them and after a few emails with the superceed and Team I come to know that Yes there is a change in attitude needed in the way you welcome the New Member to the Team....

At my previous lovely workplace a few months ago we had unique ways to introduce Team members... I dont know if it was followed before I joined in or not... but at least we made sure that the entire Team was called up when the introduction happened... slowly it evolved where the new joinees got the introduction from our Team members in unique styles and with lot of fun activities and jokes.... this wasnt enough.. we made the new joinee have a good hearty laugh... just to ensure that he feels a part of the family on the day he joins the Team....

Now why is it important to have a warm welcome?

Do you think the forming and norming will work if the new member stays in the team for weeks before anyone knows that he is a part of the team?

Do you think a new member would love when he has to find and work with a person for the next 7 days as his buddy?I remembered that recently 2 completely different personalities were made buddies and they did not even like to see their faces ;)

Team building is a process not an activity.... and the process needs to be defined , more importantly followed...How would a new member of your team value you or your team if he is not integrated well?

So next time if Arun's and Abhishek's get losts there needs to be a process to rich them into the Team...

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Team Building, What does the leadership need?

It has always been a paing, Yes PAIN... building Team is not a easy task, you have to be calm, patient, understanding, shrewd, helping and above all energetic... Many times team building is not even considered when teams are formed. Mostly what I see in the Service sector of the IT world in India it appears like Teams are formed and collapsed.... The process that we call forming -> norming -> perform and out stand is nevertheless given importance.. as opposed a policy of HIRE and FIRE is applied.

As Building Team comes into discussion I always feel that you need a strong leadership that would apply various rules and methods to build a strong force as opposed to just a Team... Here are a few things that I see important in the Team Building process:

1. Goal Setting

Every Member of the Team needs to know what his goals are for the year / period / project / release or task. Goal less members cannot form a Team... I heard a story in my childhood when a Sailor asks a Bird about a destination... the bird just flies down the sky and says If I had known it I would have being resting and not running around in open sun and sea.... A Goal less Team member is a Headless chicken and cannot let the Team build. Specifying and measuring goals will help achieve fair degree of Team spirits as each one would know what they have to achieve and of course they are in line to organisational objectives....

2. Communicating
Its important that everyone knows how to communicate, they need to be made understand on how to communicate. There should be a fair degree of open culture where everyone is asked to openly talk... a few times I have realised that the quietest people are the smartest ones , however the ones that talk a lot get the paycheck .... Communication has to be fair and in a 360 degree angle... anyone should have access to anyone...

3. Inspiring
Inspire them to grow, Inspire them to think, Inspire them to innovate, Inspire them to critisize, Inspire them to do what they want to.... Yes Inspire them to fly... Its important that everyone in the team is inspired... un inspired mammals are like dead bodies... talk, Understand , Implement and Iterate this till they do what they want to do....

4. Do they Reflect it?
A healthy culture? A spirited soul ? A fresh mind? A killing attitude? Ask them what they have learnt every now and then and make them learn new things... Get them to a place where they start asking themselves on what I have learnt and am I on it or not... Not just this it is important that reflections are thrown to every part of the organisations.... think about Vipin talking about organisational values, think about Shankar loving everyone the Team member, think about people who had quit wanting to be a part of you again... isn't it all reflection? I learnt and I want to learn more....

5. You Suck!!!
Not many take criticism healthy... not many criticize healthy... this is the biggest team building killer... kill it. have sessions to criticize... I always wanted to arrange workshops where every week one person is going to be criticized.. let him /her know what wrong they have done for the whole week not from one person to have grudge or bad feel but from all anonymous masks where no one knows no one.

6. Where is my Mentor?
Let them find their mentors.. let them choose. They need to decide from whom they will learn and what.. its important that they understand and realise that there is a lot of mentoring available and each one of them are ready to mentor others... whoa did we just not plan to conquer the world?

7. Share / Earn / Laugh
Why go to a laughing school when you can sit with your team and make everyone laugh while you do the same... its important that the Team enjoys each others company.. let them laugh and laugh loud.. so that they feel the emotions and burn the frustrations... Laugh is a medicine to the success of Team building activities.. it begins with a laugh and that is what exists and persists...

8. He cannot do it SO CANT I?
Its important that you put yourself in the shoes of others and then talk... i remember Yogesh N once telling me that "I think it would have got delayed if anyone would have done it..." its not about someone not able to do it... its about can you think what he can think of...moreover can you stand for what he stood for? Why not discuss Rama here when he choose to say that even if I had worked on the upgrade to Hibernate I would have taken same or maybe more time.... its all about Team and the bonding... the more you understand each other the more you say that...

9. Commit to your mistakes
Let each one of us come out and commit what we do wrong.. what we can do better and what we intend to do.. there is nothing stronger than committing your mistakes and facing what is lying ahead of you... put the Team into the habit of being honest

10. Driving
Drive them to the best... Till they become the Ants or the Penguins they need to be driven.. Get every one drive everyone but in one force and flow... Its important that they are driven in the right directions... the more they go right the more they learn and earn...

11. Timing
Have you heard of a father who's son asked him how much he is paid every hour? And then he comes back and pays his father just to get time from him? Well your Team is like that... make sure that out of work you find time for them.. be with them when they think they need you. Make yourself available for what they need.. Make this a habit , make this as a passion... after all as a Manager you are not a Supervisor but a force...

12. Loving
Teach them how to love each other and stand by each other.. now this is not something you can do easily... When they love each other they love what they do..

Do you think you have some more to discuss? Why not share?

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

What keeps you Motivated?

A few posts from me on Motivations and Rewards and Rewards and some humor affecting motivations and then nothing after? Well yes the truth is that I am not motivated enough to write on motivations these days... the simple fact been that there has been lack of Intrinsic Motivation off lately...

Well that also made me think on what keeps me motivated? I feel everyone we work with is bonded by the fact that intrinsic motivations work... somewhere and somehow and such factors really affect the growth and downfall of talents... In reality the downfall is seasonal and the growth is continous, specially due to the fact that anyone who is not motivated (Or on a downfall) tends to switch to either another job or a role or open the disaster doors... and this leads them to the begining of the growth... isnt it?

Yes. I thought I would share with you on what I feel keeps me motivated.. and maybe it applies to you as well...

1. Challenged and Challenging Job: I think this is the biggest motivation to anyone... If you are not been challenged in a job you take it easy and when you take it easy it is no more helping you. I have seen highly productive engineers performing bad just becuase the challenges were not thrown at them... Now wonder why Deepesh , Amit , YN, Savio and Rhushi always need to be kept on their toes?

2. I need to be listened? Yes.. If you are not implementing what I say is still OK but at least listen to what I want to say? The de-motivation of anyone begins when we dont listen... Recently I went through a phase analaysis where one persons Ideas were rejected in and out analysed the reaction and it appeared that the moment this happened the person started to look for a change.. He was off for a few days attending interviews?

3. Where is my share? Everyone wants to be recognised, human nature. Its Managers duty to ensure that everyone doing better is recognised in an appropriate way. This recognition should also be linked to the Business results for instance: The 4 Quarter delivery we achieved is yielding us to a another bigger contract with the customer, This is due to the hard work from Rama, Yogesh , Deepesh, Savio , Rhushi , Nikita , Ani , Saket , Natwar and many more...

"Congratulations guys, Your efforts are getting us through a bigger more contract and this will definitely help us in achieving broader and bigger goals for the next few quarters"

4. Pay me peanuts?
This is a sensitive and a bigger part of Motivations, Top talent always wants to be paid appropriate. You pay to what they do and contribute. Usually top talent is over looked and this really causes frustration. The compensation is also linked by the talent to the goals they achieve... for example when Nikita last time told me that "My average appraisal mean that I will get a average compensation change" it showed that a person contributing value to the growth expects an at par growth for what they are making in terms of money.

5. Where do I go?
Uff... The Roadmap.. I need to advance... I want to grow.. I want to change the direction of myself and my organisation. I want to fire missiles from the bullets that my organisations has given me. All of this means that I need to see how I can grow with the people I work with and the organisation I am into. It is important that a timely and frequent review of growth options is discussed with top talent or to that matter every mammal that can be motivated.

6. Too much in the office - Too less in socials
Some balance should be maintained. Lot of hard work also means lot of frustrations and lot of road blocks. People who work hard , smart and effective also needs time to have a good social life... I have seen several people who leave the organisations when they are growing or are on a better growth path, just becuase after a few years they are frustrated becuase all of a suddent they realise that they did not have any social life for the time they were with the organisation. I feel that people who work long hours in office and on weekends will have a average 1-2 year relation with their organisation as opposed to people who balance their lives well who may stay for 4-5 yrs.

Now do you think its important to ask people not to work on weekends and also leave office early everyday?

7. Love each other
A healthy environment is required where team likes to work with each other. The fact that it is very important not only to have better Team compositions but to also have better understanding and chmistries between the Teams to deliver at peak. Team members that value and love each other.

Now can you tell me if there is anything more that keeps you motivated?

I am sure everyone of us wants to grow.. and

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

What can ruin your Project?

You definitely dont need to list down the elements that will ruin your projects, its simply because anything and everything can ruin your project. Considering the fact that usually it is been blamed on:

1. Technlogy
2. Bad Project Management
3. Poor communication

What do you think you will answer if this is asked?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

A Manager's Commitment

Reading Tom's post on Manager's Commitment really throws light to the world of Accidental Managers. Many of us don't know if they are prepared to be Managers the only fact that People will report in to ME and/or I will have a better say/word in the Team or organisation makes them move towards it. These Managers usually grow on the other side of breed that I call Semi Task Oriented Self Centered Managers.... who don't know what the Team is about but instead want to get the work that was assigned to them correctly at any cost.

Accidental Task oriented Managers are good when it comes to deliveries, but not necessarily are the stars of the Project teams. They do or get their jobs done but while this is happening they don't care about the Team, People or even maybe the Quality side of it. This usually makes it difficult for the Team to run in a long run and you see problems arising every other day.

When the management throws a new Reportee to you I think it should be made as a point that you think:

1. Am I eligible to get this person report in to me?
So what if I am senior most, so what I am the only person in the Team,so what if I can do it better... its not the question of if I can.. its a question of If I should. Moreover you don't need reportees if you want to help make the project success.... The root of the cause needs to be digged here that if You get someone in your Team would you be able to help the person accelerate in his/her growth?

2. Do I have time to spend with ?
Uff... the usual trouble. Managers find it difficult to create or steal time for people. This time is not the time you spend in meetings with them or talk personal stuff with them... but its a combination of time spans that you spend with such Team member on helping his/her career plans, performance, growth and so many other things.

3. Do I add value to the person?
This is another part that most of us are ignorant about... and it includes me too... lot of times we cannot add value to a persons day to day life, career or long term plans... just due to the fact that we are more engrossed in our daily work and routines. For instance the biggest related part of our lives Motivation goes unheld when the manager cannot handle value add to the Team member.

4. is the Learning going to be Vice Versa?
I have seen managers who don't know what the Team wants to learn from him nor they know if they are learning anything from the Team.... pity but if you are getting a new member added to your Team ensure that you would note points that you need to learn and the member needs to learn from You. Remember the moment there is no or one sided learning the bonding breaks.

Finally its not about reporting or managing... its about creating a missile in your store which can be as good as you can be. The test will be not in JUST GETTING WORK DONE but in Getting work done by learning several thousand things.....

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The Atheist, The Agnostic and the Theist!!!

Well I don't go into the depths and definitions of the title... but when it comes to GOD some of these are always discussed... and while we work for the IT world of Software Services where Customer is the GOD... I thought I would bring the point on why the various splits in beliefs are done... For a simple reason the Atheist do not believe in God, The agnostic believe that it is impossible to know if God exists and the Theist believe in God completely.... Now when I get back to my normal work and routine I see our Customer to be as God, The process we follow as rituals, The delivery we made as prayers and finally the blessings as our Feedback... so whose the Atheist, Agnostic and the Theist amongst us?

Well as far as Project roles are concerned I find that the Techies are usually the atheists... for a simple reason you will hear a lot of times from them that THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE , IT CAN BE DONE BUT THE TECHNOLOGY IS A PROBLEM HERE and several other excuses no?

There is a group involved in the cycles called QA who are completely agnostic... they believe that they can make the God happy but dont know how, they know what they have to test but dont know how.. so many other things that really get them in this category....

The third is the Theist... which is the Project Manager and the group above him in form of Stake holders from the delivery side... who ONLY believes that Customer is GOD and we should make him happy...

O Wow what a definition of Project roles... now lets get to reality brothers... The Theists of the Projects are the Technies , the QA , the Project Managers and the Business Analysts or to that matter everyone involved in a project only if they believe that The GOD (Customer) can be made happy (delivered with quality and possibly in time) if the entire team believe in the daily rituals (processes defined for the project) and prayers (frequent communication channels) with the help of a priest (A Customer representative involved in every single part of the project), and this is not all... care been taken by every one that required offerings are made from time to time to the GOD (Offerings of Quality code, reviews, updates, re-plan , refactoring and technical rebinds) and the sins(Retrospectives) be accepted to make the life easier for everyone. Confessions(necessary updates be given to the client way in advance about the progress really made) be made and subsequent actions be taken....

Remember with God you cannot manage perception ;) and with Customer some point he will know the truth....

Anyways to me the Theists of the system are :

1. Those who believe yes it can be done
2. Those who believe that following and evolving processes will help them achieve it.
3. Those who believe that fooling anyone is not going to help but just been honest will ease the way
4. Those who believe that creativity will help the God progress in life
5. Those who believe that work done is what should be said as work done
6. Those who believe that Quality in work is going to make things better for future
7. Those who believe Technology will help solve problems, NOT create problems.
8. Those who believe that if you have focus even jingles and bangles cannot break your concentration
9. Those who believe the word impossible is just the beginning of making things possible.
10. Those who value principles and have principles to have values.

Do you think you are the Theists who can make GOD happy by actually delivering?

Monday, 14 April 2008

The KRAzzy effect

Yes... Another movie that was mis managed... I happened to by chance watch this Movie KRAZZY 4 that just got released over the weekend starring 4 of the silver comedian of the Bollywood eventually.. there was a big co-incidence in the words that made the movie name and words that would help me in the next year (if at all....) and the words sound pretty similar.... KRAZZY 4 I read it KRAZZY FOR.... KRA my Key Results Area are making me ZZZZZZYYYYY (Yes you are right making me zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).... and eventually the movie did the same thing to me...

For some reason I have always been sure that the moment you set goals for yourself you tend not to surpass them... however some PUNDITS say that if you dont have goals you cannot reach anywhere....but do setting the KRA's in a tool actually help you pass a goal? Well the answer is no at least to me for some reason... Though I believe that KRA's are as much important in a profession as important his salary is... how many of us vigilently and knowingly work towards our KRA?
No One?
Are you here still?

Yes the answer is people who move towards acheiving the KRA's are really working ONLY towards the KRA's do you think by any chance they will get to achieve something that is not the KRA? To give you an example.... One of my KRA as a Project Manager is Better communication... ufff its a Jargon isnt it? Communication with Client, Team, Management, Process, Tools blah blah .... Now if I simply focus on this do you think I can be innovative in managing the C of the communication? Well if your answer is NO then I have these reasons why I feel No too....

1. My Goal would be to have better communication not communicating better.
2. My goal would be to update clients not involve them
3. My goal would be to comminicate well with the Team... not let the Team communicate well within themselves..
4. My Objective would be to Stream line tools and modes of communication... not find better way of interacting..

The other side of the story is many of us today have KRA's related to our Appraisals and not really to our personal growth's... No? You wont find many whose KRA's are adding value to what they are outside office...debatable that many would disagree here, but thats the sheer truth.... My weakness is I am not managing my time effectively.. now if my KRA states that I need to effectively manage my time across Teams and Projects and Meetings how do you think it will help me grow personally? I dont agree that if I am managing my time well in the office I can manage my time everywhere else.... Logically it should happen .... but there is a big difference in should and Does... for example... if I effectively Manage my 9 hours in office and work for 9-5 do you think I can manage my time well everywhere? the answer is NO.... Managing time effectively will lead me to score negative on managing perceptions that I am a hard worker ;)... just kidding but isnt that the truth? and even if I am working 9-5 how do I beat the traffic? Ideally my KRA should be to manager Traffic well and then I can manage my time welll ;)

Anyways.... so its a week for me to set my goals and I am just going to play around with the KRA's starting tomorrow.... lets see what I come up with and will be good to discuss the KRA's I set for myself here so that you can add some spice to them...

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Do your Team have a workspace?

Well! If you are a Team then you definitely have a workplace... but do you have a workspace? In the last few years of my career I have relaised the more productive and creative Team you have the more you need to facilitate the workspace... and this workspace is not necessarily the space they need to move around but also the space they need to be agile all together and utilise the best of their Ideas with the Team.

As an Agile Team We always feel the need for:

1. Projectors : Now what a silly thing to ask for... but Yes projector plays a major role as the Agile Team always want to come together and collectively find answers to the solutions and problems.

2. Whiteboards : A Board that displays the status, emotional progress, Team Ideas, backlogs and so many other things that should be taken care across the project or organisation lifecycle for any team member.

3. BullPen Sitting arrangements : A Sitting structure that allows everyone to freely access everyone in the Team. Visibility and reachability been a core Idea a bullpen structure allows the agile Teams to be real close. Lot of times I read the cubicles to be blockers as they dont let free movements for the Team.

4. Post its / Color pens and Markers : We usually fall short of it no? Postits around , color pen to mark legends and markers around can make life easier as you dont need pen and papers but instead can use the boards and markers to draw better Ideas and answer questions effectively.

5. Scrum Halls : Husssssshhh.. these are not the usual meeting rooms with a phone and projector and table and seats .... a scrum is like a open lobby where the Team can meet ... these halls come handy when you have to play agile games, manage scrums have interactive sessions and debates...

6. Cameras : Last I know in a Lifecycle module when Savio , Me and Rama had a long long conversation... along with the Team... we really had to call Ani to take a snap shot using his cell phone of the user board we made.... whoa it took 3 months for him to get the pic onto to a machine (honestly I was lazy)....

7. A Kickass Entertainer : Yes... every Team should have one entertainer who keep everyone on the toes... its not only Agile Team its any sort of Team.... I remember we had many in our Team.... one always was active all the time :) which made things easier for us .... Be it Shaik or Laxmana or Natwar or Saket... or Amit Jathar or Diptajeet.... if none are awake be it Savio or Samee....

Now would you PM mind going back and check out some space for your Teams?

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Get your UI right?

OK... A Software Engineer , A Web Developer , A Programmer... now what does each of these mean to you? Well each of the section treats software web projects differently.... e.g A Programmer thinks more about code and the standards than anything else in the application... A Software engineer talks about the architectures, performance and robustness of the application... A web developer talks about the components and frameworks and usability for the UI.... why the hell do we not get all in one?

If you are doing a web project or to that matter any IT project please ensure that you think about the
UI First
UI second
UI third

and then in priority bring the other aspects to work... specially becuase the client or end user will look at your UI first and this is how your web tool is going to make an impression on him.... now how many of you Managers, Programmers or developers think about the UI before anything? As a Project Manager here are the answers and problems I usually face:

a. I think we should first get the feature work or the code work correctly and then get the UI fine...

b. UI is just cosmetic , can be done anytime ;)

c. It wont matter if the client see the functionality fine ... UI is just a kiddie pool....

Luckily I got to work with a whole lot of guys like Veda and Rhushi who think that prototyping is the first step in moving towards making a project successful. Now its not about mockups.... its all about prototyping to generate a first cut UI to go into being Agile and create a Fantastic UI for the end user.....

Now if you think why my looks change every few weeks ..this is the answer!!!!!!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

How to loose your Best Guy?

OK with reference to my earlier post on How to loose you best guy... My mentor has finally decided to go... It was his last day yesterday and one of the most vulnerable days of my life... Not closely working with a mentor is like not been with your family... and the respect I have for Kari as a mentor and as a friend cannot be just sentenced here....

on How to loose a guy like Kari from your team here are the tips:

1. Keep him away from work and people for long
2. Drive all his ideas into Trash
3. Do not let him do what he is Best at
4. Do let him do what he does not like
5. Help him loose his confidence by doing things that a Data Operator can do
6. Do not let him learn and earn experience from the bigger brains

follow a few or all of this and it wont take more than moments to loose such a Gem from your Team.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Lost and drowned

I am a bit lost!!! and drowned and low and aggitated and irritated and angry and furious and upset
Now is the time for me to be back on track and remove the blockers that have been causing so much of pain to the projects...

Now if every Manager thinks this way I am sure no project will go over budget, costs , quality and time? Ofcourse this should be done frequently by the Managers and not at the end when you already have put the reputation of your team at stake...

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

How many Projects do you manage?

Reading Johanna's post about How Many projects are you managing? gives a clear touch to what Me and Kari had always been talking about... If you want to complete a project or to that matter anything that you want to do in life thing with quality and standards you should keep focus on it. the moment you manage more than one thing you tend to pull down both... No wonder we have a whole bunch of Managers who think that doing multiple things will save them or keep them in the highest positions where we feel that doing multiple things will probably not let you focus on any one thing...

How vulnerable it is to say that "This thing Project is not a Quality becuase I was managing another Project?" Sometimes I dont wonder why multi tasking OS ($Soft at least) tends to crash more times than anyother OS. I believe when you manage more than one project or thing you just manage them... you dont lead them. And as Johanna said in her post :
1. You are not checking what it means when it is said done.
2. You are not there for the Team when they need you.
3. You are not with the Team to help them manage it well.

Gosh!!!!! God change these managers from being Damagers of the Industry

Monday, 24 March 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008

[Humour] Performance Appraisal and the real meanings

This is really funny and ingenious idea (Not mine though)

Outgoing personality-Always going out
Great presentation skills-Able to bull shit
Good Communication skills-Always on the phone
Work is first priority-Too ugly to get a date
Active socially-Drinks a lot
Independent worker-Nobody knows what he does
Quick thinking-Offers plausible excuses
Careful thinker-won't make decisions
Use logic on difficult jobs-Use someone else to do it
Has Leader ship qualities-Tall or Loud voice
Exceptionally good judgment-Really Lucky
keen sense of humor-Knows lot of dirty jokes
Career minded-Back stabber
Loyal-Can't get a job anywhere else
Relaxed attitude-Sleeps at work

Now apply this to you colleagues.......

Monday, 10 March 2008

A blog post a day keeps the visitors Awake!!!

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away!!! that is what is said when you want to stay fit n fine. To keep me fit n fine these days I am on different diets and medicines ;)
Yeah. I am very fond of medicines these days. I am having medicines of:

1. Empowered Speeches - To empower and regain my lost passion
2. Fiction - To get back my lost creativity
3. Soar calmness - To control my anger
4. Passionate Love - To be lovely and lively

And because I am so fond of medicines I have decided to medicate my blog too thinking that "A Post a day would keep my Blog alive and Visitors Awake!!!"

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Startups and hardwork

While lots been talked about How to save money at startups a few points that trigger me and what I second also are :

Fire people who
are not workaholics
. don’t love their work… come on folks, this is startup life,
it’s not a game
. don’t work at a startup if you’re not into it–go work at the post office or starbucks if you’re not into it
you want balance in your life. For realz

Yes. You need hardworking members if you want to succeed as a startup. There is no scope for people who do 9-5 tasks here or depend on others to finish there tasks. As a startup or to the matter any Team that wants to reach the Google Miles should have a culture where Everyone is privileged to do everything in the Team at the same time everyone in the Team should be ready to run the extra mile.. The hard fighter group of hard workers are the most precious weapon in the jungle war of internet and why not!!! a few months ago I got an Idea of having a jarhead to bump all my social networking data to my desktop and people already have the Open Social Media live into action.

Startups need hardwork to survive first and grow later and if you depend on bench warmers who believe in delegation and "Its Not my Job" then you are going to suck it up badly... Startups need hard people to bring the product to the market in the right time. So when I told Kari that I dont want to get into become a consulting partner for a startup I really mean that the expectations are different ... for startups you need hard working people who sit and slog with you ... The Outsourcing Model Sucks here for various reasons...

Saturday, 8 March 2008

I resign officially

Just waiting for valleys to dry up so that I can smoothly flow out of this... I resign officially out of the scores of my Myspace account now.. here are the reasons:

1. I dont check it too often
2. There is nothing new now since the CEO last announced.
3. Too many ads that get blocked in my home and Vista firewall
4. Too much of unrequired friend invites
5. Every Single invite I get thinks that I am a desperate Dog to watch the girls on their private cams.. Holy Shit!!!!
6. I better like visting a PORN site then myspace.. now
7. I have no friends left on myspace.. they have either moved to Facebook or I catch them up on twitter

So while I suck it up with Myspace.... I would still take some time till I get active on FaceBook

Friday, 7 March 2008

Pissing Off on Opportunities

So when I posted my last post on I AM SICK I got help from several people and before I could actually utilise the help I realised that I have learnt to Piss off on Opportunities badly.... here is what I have done:

1. Missed to follow up with a critical prospect over the next meeting on getting the business move -- I Pee!!!

2. Missed to change the pre-sales presentation to give a glimpse of Behavirioul expertise.

3. Missed to timeline the web site launch

4. Could not finalise on the Name of the organisation while I am already running 2 months due

5. Dismissed 2 offers for an unknown reason

6. Could not get Rohit backed up on Sales Model...

Now while I was doing and missing all of this, I have decided to spray my time on something more important so I achieve one of the stabilities mentioned in my earlier posts...

Dealing with difficult people II -- The How to

So I could finally save some time today and try to write up what I started a few days back... Dealing with Difficult People - I So when you are dealing with Difficult people who come as Hostile Barbarians there are a few things that need to be taken care unless you really want to ruin the democracy in the Team.... The Hostile Barbarians as said are the species who want to run their own things no matter what it takes and what anyone has to bear....Usually I practice to bring the lava down by using sweet but straight and polite questions instead of directions...There are different ways in dealing with such people a few of them are here:

Usually the hostile barbarians try to pull the trigger in the meetings when the entire Team or people are around...such points it is important you stand up to them... simple way is:

1. Boss I Disagree!!! IMO this is how....
2. XXX think you really know about this, but why dont you tell us more so we understand what we are planning to achieve and what you want to implement is in same lines?

At times it is better to name and give a soft cover to handling the barbaric situation.... somewhat like "Sameer! I Know where you come from, But I think if we take this direction it may help both of us..."

This also comes to a fact that dejecting or rejecting Ideas, suggestions from such people can create more hostility so the best way to deal is to let them say without them interupting the flow. The barbarians that love sarcasm or taunts and this needs to be handled behind closed doors. I prefer the sarcasm side of the barbarians to be taken to a closed door where you can be direct and make clear that such things do NO GOOD. It is obvious that the damage is already done when they pass on sarcastic comments but closed door direct talk can help avoid further situations....

The other side of the barbarians is that they explode... as a Manager you may have to investigate the past and do one on ones to explain the importance of not getting into emotional cyclones... The other way round is to get some serious help for such people... The only way I try to handle this situation and it works is Just look in the eyes and say nothing.. I am sure it gives the message "Do you realise that you just created a tantrum?"

The hostile barbarians prevent getting on the solution side of the problem... the realistic approach would be to try and get them on the other side without letting them create the unrequired CHAOS...

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Dealing with difficult people - I

I wanted to write about this on the day I decided to move on the the next chapter of my Book Work Better than Sex, however thought I would still study more and add to the species so that you know more about the difficult people you have to deal with all your Manager career....

All through our work life we are bothered, harassed and humiliated by some people we purely name them "DIFFICULT" in one form or the other... the best thing of having to face or deal with a difficult person is that they add a lot of value to our careers... Believe me it taste's bitter but results in Sweet... it is that sour grape that you dont like raw however in its liquid form turns to be a exotic wine.... I decided to get on these difficult people in our lives by categorizing them in its best and putting down how to deal with such... in my earlier attempt to write about the YIKIT's I identified these other species....

Based on the findings I would like to introduce you to these difficult people one by one....Lets talk about the Saddam's and Hitlers...who also are the hostile barbarics... these are those type of people you deal in your team who always want to push there own agenda or views, no matter whether they stand for good or not. These barbarians are also very hostile and at times you find them quite the next moment ready to blast like a nuclear bomb... They go to any and every extent to put forth what they want and are really a trouble as far as the Team is concerned... A few characteristics of these aggressive species are:

1. They critise just for the sake of it.
2. They are sarcastic when not required and arrogant always
3. They love playing cats and dogs
4. They like to get people down
5. They see themselves as smarter than anyone else..and deprieve the best talent under vein.

A lot of times the barbarians corrupt the teams and morales and cause tremendous amount of unrequired pressures. Now this species of the difficult people is not really very difficult to handle... Just the right things need to be put in the right places to ensure this works well.... Keep following to know the How To ;)

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Being Sick Sucks

I am Sick... Completely Sick. Mentally, Professionally, Emotionally and Physically.... the last few days have been troublesome... everything is going against time and Wish. Every single thing I am doing is getting myself in the bestest of hell as possible. This is how every Project Manager feels when he is in the middle of any critical project, whooaa the deliveries and projects for me though running smoothly I feel something is lacking.

Its time for me to sit back and retrospect what should be what and correct it now else it will screw me up like anything...and you would not see more of me until I get my nerves back....

P.S This post was written 5 days back and now I am just getting myself on the right possible track....

Thursday, 21 February 2008


I read this in an email forward and found it funny... the best part of the humour below been at least there was some planning ;)

Once upon a time, a British company and a Japanese company decided to have a competitive boat race on the River Thames. The Japanese won by a mile.

The British firm became very discouraged and morale sagged. Senior Management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found and a project team was set up to investigate the problem and recommend the appropriate action.

Their conclusion: the Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering. The British team had one person rowing and eight people steering. Senior Management immediately hired a consultant company to do a study of the British team's structure. Millions of pounds and several months later they concluded that too many people were steering and not enough rowing.

To prevent losing to the Japanese next year, the team structure was changed to four 'Steering Managers', three 'Senior Steering Managers' and one 'Executive Steering Manager'. A performance and appraisal system was set up to give the person rowing the boat more incentive to work harder and become a key performer.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles. The Executive Steering Manager of the British companywas heard to say: "Next year that lazy SOB is going to have to row a lot harder!" But his underlings laid off the rower for poor performance, sold off the oars, cancelled all capital investment for new equipment and halted development of a new boat. They gave high performance awards to the consultants and distributed the money saved to Senior Management.


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Do Hell with Retrospectives!!!

A Failed Project, A toxic leader, A Butt checker Team, A furious client, A meeting to decide who is to be blamed for the failure of the project.... Wow How best than this can you define UNTEAM. A developer blaming on the UI designer, The designer blaming on the developer, the QA blaming both, The Manager blaming everyone and the client blaming the development Team all of this has become common now... even with the Agile teams.... somehow I am getting a feel that the best of the processes that are introduced are getting screwed just becuase people dont understand if they are using it or following it correctly...

Surprisingly I see a (so called)Agile team that does not believe in retrospectives... the fun part of it is that retrospectives are not known, people do not know what , why and when about retrospectives.... As an agile Team I always believed that somebody or everybody in the Team needs to know what goes right and what we can do to make it more effective, morever it is also important to know what is going wrong and what best can be done to make it work right. So when the Agile Teams call Hell with retrospectives the projects are going to fail.

Now do you want a weekly kick off to happen to discuss what is going right and what is going wrong rather than discussing who did it wrong and that what was done wrong?

Monday, 18 February 2008

Make your Organisation a GRAVEYARD

If you think you want to get a FLAT hierarchy in your team or a culture that lets you work with every level without having a feel of hierarchical protocol... You need to make sure that you make your organization a GRAVEYARD... Yes this is the only place where equality is religiously followed.... You would see the Poor and the rich, the nun and the witch all in same place...

While I keep myself busy and upset about so many things... I think I should now take the time to build the graveyard back in my own organization....

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

You get rejected if?

Yesterday I interviewed a Sr. Business Development Manager for my new venture, the role involves everything a Biz Dev Manager has to do plus be a potential CSO. Unfortunately he got rejected inspite been tremendously talented the only reason been there was a lot of "I" in the conversations... when Rama asked me last time on how to ensure that we get a person with the right attitude I had thought of a few reasons... but becuase most of the people think I am a sadist I would put it in the best possible negative way. Here are the reasons why we would reject you for any position in our Organisation no matter how talented you are:

1. You think you work hard while others dont.

2. You use a lot of "I" in your conversations.

3. You want to do everything on your own.

4. You talk great about your company and Boss and bad about your peers and collegues.

5. You want to grow personally and professionally alone.

6. You think creating your importance in the team will secure a permanent place for you in the team.

7. You like to control.

8. You like to make decissions on your own.

9. You think you are smarter than anyone else in the world.

10. You dont have 5 reasons we should hire you

11. You dont know what comes after been a CEO of our firm.

12. You like to keep trade secrets.

13. You think becuase of you many things work.

14. You think change causes disasters

15. You dont have a great sense of humour.

16. You only want to succeed in your life without failing

17. You think you can make or bend careers of others.

18. You dont like your Boss, Collegue or your peer

19. You think Hook or Crook is the right way to survive...

20. You like to work late and hard.. ( Geez did I just loose my job?)

Now this is just my base version of list... I have a technical version of it that can tell you more about our way of choosing the Teams....Now what do you think when you hire someone?

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Employees makes Brands and Cultures not Management

I happened to visit Planet Ford office at Pune for the regular servicing of my car eventually when everyone coming to me started asking Me for and about the car I felt to be like GOD and why not this is what makes you believe that there are people who still think Customers are God. When I peeped around I realised that the employee who had joined just a day ago was also behaving the same way the most senior person in the Team... Wow is this what is called culture? is this how you make a brand? Well the answer is Yes....

The culture is made by the employees and not Management, when a culture prevails it does so only because the employees are enagaged to prevail it through... They are the ones who build it and they are the ones who flow it horizontal and vertical.... The reason why I say that Management does not play a part here is I have seen several service shops where employees work hard or do their jobs right only when the Boss is around... talking to such bosses or owners or managers I get to feel that such bosses know how to be focussed towards quality and services but dont know how to enroute the same to their Teams....

So when I see several smiling faces around ready to serve the most arrogant customers with the best of their smiles and attitude in the car Service Station it makes me believe that the best cultures can only be run by employees....

Are you all set to kick off the best cultures in your Team? I am up for it....

Monday, 4 February 2008

TechShepherds is a NO NO!!!

My New Venture is starting to trouble me even before it started... the first thing that went wrong was my decission to bring in the change to the Business Model ;) and now my decission to bring up a name for the business that will help me accelerate the organisation and venture. Yes it was in my mind since long on not to anymore continue with TechShepherds however at this point my thoughts turn concrete as finally the name matters.... though my Ryze Page says "Whats in the name". I think there is a lot in the name atleast when it comes to business ;)

Here is why I feel TechShepherds is a NO NO to my Business name:

1. It does not say what the business is doing... I mean its clear that its not a technology company all together.

2. It does not trigger attraction to my customers... of course it does not. The name does not carry a simplicity buzz that can help me attract business clients.

3. The domain is no more with me.

4. The name drives only technocrats and not business crabs ;)

5. It does not go with the buzz around like names Yahoo, Squidoo, Bebo, meebo.

6. I really believe that in the world only 2 things sell well Sex and Shahrukh Khan and TechShepherds is not one of them, it defines a wague term and hence doesnt kickstart.

7. It doesnt make much sense to say "TechShepherds Software I am Sameer how may I help you?" specially cause I need supporting names like Software, Technologies, Solutions, Associates etc to give a weight to the name...

And now with all of these things rotating around in my mind I am just waiting to think the best possible name for me... here are the few things that jumped my mind:

1. MakeitWork
2. Qualitized
3. iBullShit
4. QualityQuest
5. Qyloo

Do you guys have any suggestions? Its lot of time you guys got to send your suggestions over the name at sameera.cmc@gmail.com as I am known to take time before finalising names...

Sunday, 13 January 2008

This is not my job!!!

Oops... yet again. This is something that pinched and inches me deep... Why do people define what they have to do and what they dont have to? Ideally speaking this is not an attitude its a mentality that creates a huge drift in making better workplaces suck ;). Today I was surprised to hear this from the leader (Bet another toxic one) when he/she said that its not my job to get employees together... honestly been a employee representative how could you say that?

After this note going back to the basics of my nature I thought I would gather my thoughts on what they actually mean when they say "This is not my Job"

This is what the crude form of team members think

1. There is someone who can do this, and he is supposed to do it.. so why should I even bother to look at it.

2. Oops another responsibility and that too without enough compensation?

3. The last time I did something of this sort they did not even bother to Thank or appreciate my effort.

4. I think its a waste

The toxic form of members who are also smart A** think

1. No authorities , No responsibilities.

2. Why should I do something that someone else is going to get credit for?

3. Where the hell does this come from... I am paid for what I am supposed to do and this is what I am not paid for.. Am I?

4. Will my failure doing this job affect my performnace elsewhere?

Now come the fine group of tremendously talented teamies who just dont want to do it

1. This is not the right way to do it

2. I dont think this can be ever done.

3. Do you think I am smart enough to do this?

4. I could have done had I had time available from my existing bullshit.

So next time when someone says that this is not my Job slice him vertical into one of the 3 categories and then you will know what he actually means ;)

Monday, 7 January 2008

The 5 F's of Appraisal

So back to the Appraisals, the yearly appraisals in our organisation are finally over... and with no approvals or KRA's on my head I thought would be worth writing a short complain email....when 9 yrs ago my first appraisal happened I was shocked, surprised and confused... with several questions in mind and in brains, lot of emotions in heart and soul. Over a period of time my view and reactions about appraisals changed from a 0 to 360 degree vertical.... its fun been on both sides of the table... however one thing I realised had always been a problem is many times the appraiser and apraisee both dont know why appraisals are really held, why waste 3 hrs documenting what you have done in the last year and then listen from your reviewer on what you havent done and how good you are NOT. To subsidize this find a letter of appraisal saying that you ahve received a 2% hike in your salaries due to appraisals as Motivation... Boy what a Motivation ;)

There are a few things that Managers need to understand and mind it they need to understand this well and right...if the 4 F's of appriasal are handled well they wont lead to the 5th one ...

F for Fair :- The first appraisal of my life taught me that if the Appraisal is not fair it may lead to distress and dissolution of teams.. Culture, Team, Spirit, bonding all will be lost and most importantly TRUST. I spent some time analysing the mentality of any person Jr. or Sr. after he comes out of appraisal... believe me not many come happy out of this... A developer thinks that his Manager never spoke to him for all year and now he says that I was not doing well. To the matter of fact many of the times clear allegations are made that the following person is biased and thus my appraisal is bad, several times personal conflicts are allegated to play a role in negative appraisals and some times they are true ;).
So how to make the Appraisal fair?
It's easy if you follow it ;). The Appraiser needs to appraise and the employee needs to review if the appraisal is done correctly ;). It has to be clear and finite with definately Positive and Negative comments that are comprised from the events and incidents that had taken place in the past few days... A simple example for the Managers is maintaining a sheet that speaks about every resource's incident diary for all the good and "wana improve" elements covered...

F for Fulsome :- "Today I had 3 " sounds so incomplete, just imagine if the feedback is incomplete what will it cause? Every single person on the earth needs complete information.. so why are the appraisals incomplete? Just mentioning you did not deliver on time doesnt make sense... however it makes sense when you mention that the following day of the following release is one example where we could have done XXX things better to make the delivery XXX in time might probably give more effect. In one of my previous organisations I tried a very different approach when I had to make it more complete... I channelised a few activities that included seminars, games and debate sessions and discussed all of the persons KRA's, the fact that appraisal lasted for 5 days ensured that the appraisal process in its entire was appreciated and ended happily...

Another problems with appraisals are that most of the appraisals are meant to consider only the sliding down parts of a persons work year... meaning only positive climbs are considered in the appraisal and not the Negative climbs(For those who dont understand Negative climbs these climbs are those steps that you took which lead to failure but gave you a good experience).

F for Feedback :- The misery of appraisals is that it is reverse in action then what it means... the Feedback part of the appraisal is not really treated to feed back the actions for the last season or feed with inputs for the next season, instead it has become a formal way of communicating the displeasure ;). The feedback has to be clear and sound and should be given with the right state of mind in a right state of mind to ensure that it is treated as feedback..

F for frequent :- Once a year appraisal is like once a year Sex.... Now because my blog talks about sex quite often I think no one here would be wanting to have it this late? Well honestly the more of this you have frequently the more healthier the relationship is... A every month feedback is the best approach for a bigger team while a weekly or bi-weekly for a smaller Team... Feedback has to come from all ends and frequently to get someone accelerate fast in the careers...

I asked one toxic and one Alpha Manager to expand the 4 F's with whatever words they can recollect instantly in relation to appraisal and the answer they gave themselves can tell you what would be the appraisal like:

Toxic Leader / Manager
F - Flexible
F - Formal
F - Framed
F - Faded

Alpha Leader / Manager
F - Full
F - Follow up
F - Factual
F - Fanatical

When I derive the context to the words they re-collected I spell them like this:
Flexible :- The Appraiser can decide what it means ;)
Formal :- It is just for the sake and more formal than casual.
Framed :- Because it is framed it is also flexible and formal ;)
Faded :- Nothing comes out of the process

while for the other part:
Full - Says everything in the most positive manner possible
Follw up :- Appraisal is complimented with a pre and post follow up and continous feedback.
Factual :- Real , Completely real.
Fanatical :- The appraisal returns in a fantastic outcome of successfull future ;)

Many a times and Many of we Managers fail to follow up on one or all of these F's that surely leads to the next F of appraisal and that is FUCKED UP Appraisal. Yes if any or all of these 4 F's are missed your appraisal is the 5th F.. now dont hesitate to tell your Boss that if he is up for your appraisal he ensures that he is prepared with the 4 F's ;)

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Time to Retrospect?

Its time to Retrospect... Yes. After my June 6 post over my Misery of blogging.. I tried retrospecting the blog for the last few days and here is a brief version of what I thought....

1. Write atleast 100 Quality posts.
I completely failed here... Think the simple reason is my bad timing with blogging all over.

2. Earn atleast 10 Guest posts
Failed badly. I got in touch with some bloggy biggies but could not get them write on a highlight post topic yet. The plan is to better up this time.

3. Enable the comment postings so that a wide audience can put up their views (atleast 100 comments , 1 per post).
Enabled, however because of lack of publicising the blog it went un-noticed.

4. Earn atleast 10$ from this blog.
Earned 2$. Not good but I am happy 6 months 2 dollars not bad.

5. Get 5 Blogs on My Roll
I Suck here. This is just something I am lazy with.

6. Get Listed on atleast 5 Blog Rolls
Bad Blog Management. Still to be my priority.

7. Breakup the Posts in terms of topics (Dont you think these just comes randomly?)

Ufff.... missed this completely.

So finally the retrospective has a clear NO EFFORT SPENT remark. I definitely need to carry on with this for the first quarter.