Sunday, 8 November 2009

Path to Organizational Success - Be Demanding?


Everyone of us is demanding, very demanding... we want good salaries, we want regular promotions, we want everything that someone can offer and someone cant... We crib for what cannot be offered more than what we get already... in other words we are too demanding.. I am sure when the Managers discuss this they discuss the same... Eventually I think its not too bad to be Too Demanding... But it would be worth for an organization if you change the perspective...

Demand from Yourself than demanding from Others....

I spent my weekend running through the TED India Live streams on a vulnerable Internet connection that kept dropping... one of the speakers Nandan Nilekani spoke about India's future in this TED India event... I link it to the demanding paradigm.... if we have to see the future of India to be great in the future tech world, we need to be Tooo Demanding... Yes too demanding with ourselves.... Too demanding for every thing.. and it doesn't apply to Organization it applies to individuals who are in place as leaders , managers and also Team players...

Imagine working on a new product where the Management expects a product out in the least time... Yes the Management is already too demanding... Project Teams in such cases start to fail, sometime they sustain other times they too become Too Demanding but for reasons that fall on the other side... Both Teams and Management have a good goal in mind... but the expectation is a killer here... If we have to help in this case what will happen if the Project Team becomes too demanding with itself not just in developing a product in time but also a product that can change lives of everyone involved?

To make the future of our company, our nation.. we have to be Too Demanding, but for:

1. Innovating - Demand to much of Innovation from yourself

The key to success of any Team is the amount of Innovation the Team brings into the Project and the organization. Innovation here really means on how you see a Value Proposition through an idea that can change the lives of your users in the best possible way and in turn change the lives of your sales Team?

Imagine in the era of Photo sharing when some guys innovated Video sharing ... what we see in the MeMe (Me Media as Aaron Cohen always called it) has reached enormous journey already...So get your Teams together... Ask them a question... What have you Innovated? What would you like to Innovate? And what do you need to do it?

Involve your team in process of Innovation... make them go find ideas that can change the way the product is used. A simple way of doing this that I plan to implement and what came to my mind while I am writing this... Put an Item on your Story board... "Most Innovative idea of the Month with the person's name who ideated next to it.." Appreciate the effort and try to bring the innovative Idea to implementation... keep a track of all such ideas generate a leader board... help organization understand and get the Idea funded. Be too demanding from your Teams and As Team players demand too much of innovation from self...

2. Ensuring Quality - If you cant turn the quality chart up who can?
Yesterday while I was having a quick chat with Yogesh our Architect over some code quality elements he made a comment saying that "I am not accepting this quality code, even from myself" I was amazed on the commitment. He stayed until late evening on a weekend just to make sure that he reviews every line of code a developer has written and added comments to refactor the code. Is this not to much demanding about Quality of code you do? Imagine if every developer makes the same statement for himself...I am sure we would have some real quality Softwares.... what it would result in is of course what can help our company finally grow...

3. Optimizing usage of self within the Team

I am assigned X , Y and Z... but I had some time on my plate and I did A B and C, can you make D happen now and this can maybe help us more...

I can only write Server Side code, but I have some skills in UI technologies, databases and some of the config tasks... I may be a Jack of All... but the Team can find me handy when X Y or Z are not there...

Get yourself into a arena where you can optimize every skill of you that can help the project teams. explore yourself and the technologies when you are not sleeping, watching TV , spending time chit chat with unknown faces on face Book.

This can make a multi value Individual and a multi value Team.. and when you have a Team that can do anything and every thing... is your Sales Team going to sit quiet?

4. Productivity - Improve it by 100% every day
Can you? You cant? Well you can... and you dont need to keep the counter to infinite... but Imagine.. today you cover 5 story points... cover yourself to achieve 5 the next day but with JUnits and some tests covered... darn you have increased by 100% already?

Next day cover 6 story points and some documentation... add it with the JUnits and 6 story points with the next day... reset your counter to 5 story points again end of week.

I am sure not only you will have a greater value of achievement but also a greater deal of dependency on tight projects...

5. Setting and delivering expectations

We all fail here... We dont set the right expectations with ourselves when we start... for instance a developer when starts on the feature starts with a mind that this is too difficult to achieve in the stipulated time... even if you tell the developer that a feature that was estimated for 1 week he is given a time of 1 month to finish... Always monitor 2 levels of expectations... 1 that you keep with your Lead and another that you keep to yourself... we usually mistake by keeping higher expectations with leads and lower with self... reverse this. This will have a severe impact on how and what you deliver...

The next top 5 will come next.. But if you start on increasing on your demands with yourself now.. even if people call you too demanding.. can actually help you achieve your actual demands easily ;)