Author: Ananth Natarajan

CHOW #69– Never enough time

I have recently joined a GIC as a Delivery Manager looking after a portfolio of projects and support engagements for the U.S. parent. John is a Project Manager looking after one of the support engagements. John has grown fast as the GIC grew in India and has taken on quite a few responsibilities. He is married with a wonderful two-year old girl. He often feels he is doing justice neither to his job nor to his family. “How are you, John?” I ask, as we sit down for a 1:1 session. John slumps into the chair with a sigh....

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Productivity: My tricks of the trade!

Note: This post is reproduced with permission from https://thequestforyou.blogspot.in/2017/06/productivity-my-tricks-of-trade.html by Vetrivel Natarajan Here’s a list of things I do to keep myself up, running and super productive. While some may resonate with you, some may not… find your own holy grail!     Love what you do: So first of all, you need to love what you’re working on! Without passion, neither is it possible to keep at it consistently, nor does it make sense to spend your time on what you’re doing. Have a scheduled work plan with tick boxes: The first thing great achievers do is make a schedule...

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CHOW #44– Whom should Raghavan recruit as a Scrum Master?

I got a call from Raghavan, from the HR team of a company, handling recruitment. His question was: I am filling the post of a scrum master. The requirement is urgent, this team needs to become Agile in order to work well with other related teams working on the same platform. I have three candidates who have been rated favourably by an interview panel. While there are some comments on the three persons, I understand that getting an ideal fit may not be easy. Can you help me rank the three candidates, so that I can make the offers in that sequence as preference? The Challenge for this week is to help Raghavan. Please share your ranking and reasons for the ranking. Here is the summary of the three candidates.   Candidate Total years in IT # years as scrum master Comments Krithika G 4 3 Joining as a fresher, she has handled the scrum master role of coordinating standups for the team for 3 years Though the juniormost in the team, when she joined, she has been well accepted in this role [actually, she said that nobody wanted to be scrum master] most of her time is spent in scheduling meetings [resolving calendar conflicts is not simple] and share the summary of meeting minutes Anant Arora 7 2 Anant started as a developer, then moved to QA after...

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CHOW #39– When the stakes are high

You are a senior project manager in a software start-up with around 100 engineers. The start-up has had an initial round of funding from a reputed VC. In terms of quality of work, it has been an enriching but demanding environment. Over the last two years, you have a built a reputation as a highly capable and professional manager and have responsibility for multiple projects. Your compensation has been above industry average and you have been awarded ESOP as well. One of the development projects in your care has been especially demanding and has numerous tight milestones and the...

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Leadership lessons from a warrior

I live in an apartment complex built for retired defence officers. I hear stories from them about engagements where their own life and lives of fellow men were at stake. While I could understand logically what they would have gone through, it was really difficult to relate to those stories emotionally.  All that changed recently after my wife, Rathiga, passed away after a battle with cancer. IT projects that we get stressed out about hardly involve such high stakes. However, we could learn valuable lessons from such survival battles. As I reflected on the past few months (that actually...

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