Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project success i= 80% expectation management and 20% delivery

I have seen enough project stories to see that inability to manage expectations internally or with the customer results in project failure.  However since all project failures can be reduced to inabilty to deliver on time or with quality or meeting the scope or within budget (typically a combination), they look like they are always delivery failures.

So how do we attack expectation management part?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When to write email and when to talk?

This is an important distinction that I notice many employees do not consciously make. Often the choices are influenced by convenience not keeping in mind what would be most effective to deliver the outcome.

When to write an email --> Only when you are conveying pure logic or facts

When to pick up the phone --> when you you are conveying emotions or anticipate an emotional response from the other side.

I have seen many emotional emails that make poor reading and I have also been in calls where logic is intimately explained. Logic explained on the phone cannot be traversed back and forth and hence is difficult to grasp on the phone.

the above approach has worked for me and hope it does for you as well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reflections on the indian cricket team's losses!

Why is it that no one wants to see a match where your team is loosing and are super keen when your team is winning. I am happier watching re-runs of matches we won than those that we lost.

Why is it that most movies have a positive end.? May be we like to keep the hope on and losses simply switch off some genetic button.

Why is it that in an organisation ver few are interested in bad news and good news is over broadcast/ spoken/ emphasized atleast in official channels. One can really see this in sales presentations where wins become folklore!

What about project failures, how much do we really learn from them? Are we even keen on doing so? I believe that we would any day gloat on a heroic effort where we managed to cross the line against all odds.

Just me reflecting on my emotions and thoughts as India lost its 202/20 matches to West indies and England on successive days!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

A great Question for every product team member --Why are we doing what we are doing?

As a member of a product development team, one encounters the challenge of there being no single customer and instead a "Product owner" becomes the Proxy" customer. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

A really useful technique many project managers could use - Do you know baselining?

...SO you are a project manager taking over a failing project right in the middle-- what would be your first step?---Baselining

Far too many good project managers end up becoming martyrs simply because they do not use this technique. This used to be a question I often asked project manager candidates!

One technique to help you work well in a matrix organisation

A lot of us work in complex organisation structures that are organised across geographies, product lines and nature of work itself (In technology companies this could be Engineering, Professional services and Support). we then are subject ot directions and expectations of multiple "bosses" who typically operate at higher hierarchy levels. At a more nuanced level personalities and style of management of these "bosses" further complicate matters.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Who is an exceptional professional?

What is the main purpose of one’s life? It is constantly realizing your full potential”. “Even Grass grows”

An exceptional professional is one who is constantly operating close to at his/ her potential at that point in time.