Author: S Srinivasan

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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Forming the molecules of self-organizing organizations

We have all heard, seen, and some of us have even experienced the benefits of a self organizing team. You hear all the time about the push by organizations towards self organizing teams, more so in the tech sector. Despite all its benefits, very few organizations have been fully able to fully realize it. What I have seen is, the larger the organization, the less the ability to make it happen. So, let’s go back to look at our early days of chemistry for a moment. We all know about the differences between a mixture and a compound. Even...

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CHOW #46– How does Shyam handle this acquisition leadership needs?

Shyam was an offshore business head in a large technology company, Big Tech Inc. Big Tech had recently acquired a focussed company called Nimble Verifiers. Shyam was given the accountability to take over Nimble Verifiers and integrate them with Big Boss. The team at  Nimble Verifiers, had not seen their salaries raise for about 18 months. Their salaries were in the bottom quartile of the industry. They were told that post the acquisition, they would reap the benefits of BIg Boss, which was in top one-third of the industry pay. Shyam started to meet the team at Nimble Verifiers, and he soon realized their expectations – when will their long overdue salary change happen, and also in line with BIg Tech salaries. Big Tech, despite being in the top one-third had deferred the salary hike for all its employees recently, as their margins had plummeted to just 3%. They were making only a limited number of counter-offers (About 0.25% of the team per month). Shyam noticed that the financial projection by the exiting owner of Nimble Verifiers had forecast a moderate increase (8% – 12%) in salary, as necessary, to retain the team. The outgoing leader had tabled this request to Big Tech management, as the need to stop the resignations. However, when Shyam saw the resignations that came in (5.5% of the team in his first month, 6.0%...

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