Author: S Srinivasan

Chow #80- When your project health reports don’t tell the full story

Shanks was the 10th employee of his company. Over the last 10 years it has grown to a 1000 strong organization. He’s now been made the head of the Program Management Office. Just prior to this he was based in the US managing customer relationships. In his new avatar, the mandate was to provide a good forecast of the projects that are running. He looked at the project reviews that were happening – there were plenty of slick graphs and data. He followed that with coffee chats with the various internal stake holders – nobody believed in these reports...

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Measuring Project IQ to Sensing Project EQ

Over the years I have managed projects, programs and businesses. One of the fundamentals of managing is to measure the progress, report it and take actions based on it to meet the objectives. In this process, I have gone thru the process – early on by measuring the pre-defined set of organizational measures and metrics, to defining a larger list of measure that I felt were relevant to measure our progress, to finally focusing on the critical few. One thing was common across all this – it was always the measurement of what was tangibly accomplished in the project/...

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4 words to test motivational level

Over the years, most of the time, most of us, do the job that we are assigned to do. Yes, the outcome of our hard work is dependent on many factors – our capability, the outside environment, our luck (yes, it does play a part). There’s one other factor that decisively impacts this – our motivation level. In this post, I wish to discuss a very simple, yet powerful test, in my perspective to measure our motivation level. With the help of the scenario below, we will sense the response – and measure our motivation level. This post is...

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CHOW #66- Being motivated in tough times

Ram, is running a fixed price project with a team of 24. He has built this team over the last 6 months. They have completed two early releases, and 4 releases are due over the next 12 months. Ram has built a good rapport with all his team members, and is well regarded by his team. Ram, is sensing that the organization could soon be laying off 10% or so of the people. He’s very concerned about the impact that it will have on his team? Can you analyze Ram’s motivation level? (Remember, his own motivation level will, generally,...

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CHOW #58– Setting Goals in a Cross Functional Team

Over the years Ram had been setting goals/ KPI for his team with ease. For the  development team, it would include lines of production code, # of defects that were detected by the test team; for his test team it would be # of in-process defects detected, # of defects found in UAT; for the business analyst group it was defined by the number of complete specifications he would provide, the quality of it being measured by the number of times he was changing the specifications. This year, the organization was moving towards a cross functional team, and Ram had to adopt it.  So Ram asked his three leads (development/ test/ analyst) to double-hat as the lead for each cross functional team as well. In over two months, he found that everyone who belonged to a different capability than the lead, was unhappy. Ram found his apprehensions about the cross functional team coming true. Ram listened to his HR lead telling him – “What gets measured, gets done.” Why did Ram land in this situation in the first place? What would you recommend to Ram, continuing from what the HR lead told him?   Suggested Solution Here’s my perspective on what could have caused Ram to land in this situation: 1. The leads are able to understand from their past in their own area… and worse still, they probably...

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