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Newsletter - July 2014

 
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PM Essence
Chapter News

- Capt. L. N. Prasad
feb2014 chapnews
PM Footprints session: This month two Footprints sessions were held. On 5th June 2014, Ms. Padma Sathyamurthy Independent Agile Coach and consultant, Fountainhead consulting Pvt Ltd., spoke on the “Challenges of Transitioning to Agile - The Team vis-à-vis PM”.   
 
In this session, Participants learned how the transition from traditional methodologies to agile is happening in today's world. Padma touched upon broader categories of challenges and shared insight on “Team” level challenges one faces during this transition journey.
This was a very informative session for Project Managers to understand how one can add much needed catalyst in creating selfdisciplined self-organized team.

On 19th June 2014, Mr. Gopal N, General Manager - Quality, Alcatel Lucent India Ltd., Spoke on “Agile Journey-Brick by Brick a Transformation Journey and Lessons Learnt from Pilot to Large Scale Adoption”. This was an interesting discussion to get insight on large scale transition from traditional to agile/lean kind of environment. Step by step movement with lessons learned during the journey was the primary takeaway, especially for telecom domain participants. Session was ended with a check point on whether the transition made the organization/department really Agile? This was an important question which made everyone think how one should qualify such transitions'.

feb2014 chapnews
feb2014 chapnews
Agile Foundation Program:On 28th June 2014 the Chapter successfully held a one day Agile Foundation Program at DHI Leadership Centre. This event provides opportunity to learn about Agile Project Management and how you can apply that at your workplace.   
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PM Essence
DidYouKnow
Q. What does a method, which enhances normal project management techniques through a focus on outcomes (the benefits) of a project rather than products or outputs, is called? 
 
A. This method is called Benefits realization management (BRM) enhances normal project management techniques through a focus on outcomes (the benefits) of a project rather than products or outputs, and then measuring the degree to which that is happening to keep a project on track. This can help to reduce the risk of a completed project being a failure by delivering agreed upon requirements/outputs but failing to deliver the benefits of those requirements.
 
An example of delivering a project to requirements might be agreeing to deliver a computer system that will process staff data and manage payroll, holiday and staff personnel records. Under BRM the agreement might be to achieve a specified reduction in staff hours required to process and maintain staff data.

[Source - Internet]

We like to hear what you think!!

Please complete the sentence below with your thoughts in 10-15 words and send them to. The best entry will win attractive goodies from PMI Bangalore India Chapter.

"It's said that Project Manager spends 90% of his/her time in communication because"............

Please provide your response by 28th July 2014

Chapter will select the best slogan and felicitate the winner during a Chapter event.


List of past winners:

 

Abhishek Roy

Deepak Barua, PMP

Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP

Pradeep Chankarachan

Rucha Mahale, PMP

Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP

Srinath Devarshetty, PMP

Vedamurthy M, PMP

Vimal Prasad R, PMP

Vivek Saurabh, PMP


Please contact Chapter for your prize, in case you have not received it already.

 

Please note that you do not need to be a PMI or Chapter member to contribute articles for Essence and participate in monthly slogan competition. All are welcome.


The Lighter Side of PM
humourdec2013
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PM Essence

raghunath      Shilpa Gnaneshwar, PMP

Shilpa has over 10 years of experience in the IT industry having worked on projects across industries and technologies. She is specialized in Product Development, Software Services, Infrastructure Management and Business Intelligence across Healthcare, Supply Chain and Manufacturing. Presently she is working as an IM Project Manager Business Solutions in GE Aviation responsible for defining and executing the roadmap for partner integration within Supply Chain.

She has a MSc In Informatics, from the University of Edinburgh and is PMP and CSM certified. She has been associated with PMI Bangalore India Chapter for the last 5 years and is currently the Director for Volunteering.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My desire to achieve and belief that I can inspire myself to reach for the stars.
 
Technical skills or project management skills. Which is important and why?
Irrespective of the industry you are in it is important to have the technical expertise so that the project manager understands the nuances involved and be hands on as and when required. A successful project manager is one that has a good mix of these skills or is ready to learn and adapt.
 
What is your description of an effective team work?
Effective team work is purposeful and goal oriented, having good balance of skills and personalities working together collaboratively to deliver projects within project management constraints.
 
PMI Volunteering, Professional Commitment, Personal Commitment - How do you balance the three?
I love what I do and I am lucky to have family who appreciates and respects my interests. Managing time and interests with discipline has greatly helped me in balancing my life with my career and volunteering. I am very passionate about PMI volunteering, profession looks promising and personal life has never been better.
 
A good manager has to also be a good leader - your thoughts
Not all good managers are good leaders and vice versa. Leadership is a quality that cannot be inculcated but should be cultivated. Leaders are visionaries, self-driven, motivators and thought leaders; it will be good to have these qualities in a manager.
 
The greatest project management lesson you have learnt?
Project management lessons include Comprehension, Communication and Collaboration. You cannot do one without the other. Over the years I have realized that a combination of this really drives good project management.
 
An accomplishment, professional or personal that you cherish and like to share with us?
I have been on the Board of Directors for the past 3 years. This has given me an opportunity to learn from colleagues who have decades of experience, have been excellent mentors and has given me a chance to give back to the PM community.
 
Tell us your hobbies, or things you are passionate about?
I love trekking; the mountains keep calling me again and again. Also travelling, reading, painting, gardening, interior designing to name a few. I like trying out and learning new things, so the list just keeps going on.

 

Shilpa Gnaneshwar, PMP

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PM Essence
Editor’s Note
SoumenDe Dear Friends,

Greetings from PMI Bangalore India Chapter!

If there was one international news item that dominated the print and digital media over the last 4 weeks, it was undisputedly the FIFA World Cup 2014. This is the biggest singleevent sporting competition in the world played in Brazil this year. 
The Google home page's iconic logo which captures the most significant event represented the World Cup event throughout this duration to acknowledge this marquee event. The football World Cup was tenaciously fought between 32 countries, with a total of 64 matches being played across 12 cities in Brazil. Soccer game, like many other team games, provides useful tips for Project Manager (PM) like us. First lesson for us - it is always better to get the results (win) within allocated (planned) time of 90 minutes, or within 30 minutes of extra (buffer) time. Else you do not have much control on your results. The results, then gets decided by the gut wrenching penalty shootout which is ridden with suspense till the last shot. It inevitably comes down to individual errors, luck, nerve factor, and often ends with ugly surprises. Soccer or football, like any project team, need players who can demonstrate speed, skill, strength and self-belief. But more importantly it is coordination and team work, rather than individual brilliance that helps the team win the match. In the finals, Argentina depended heavily on its superstar Lionel Messi, while a much more coordinated team Germany defeated them 1-0. Many of you may have watched this semifinal playoff match. Five times winner, Brazil took on Germany, without it star players, Neymar and Thiago Silva and got very thoroughly defeated 1-7. Many attributed the defeat to absence of those star players, but a winning team should have enough confidence and strength to shoulder the responsibility to ride through such crisis to achieve the desired results. One more leaf we can take from that match is, unlike Brazil, we should not get complacent with our past successes and winning track. Like soccer, also in business, we need to metaphorically keep our “foot” planted on the ground as we set up for our next goal. PM like us, can always look around and learn from events and situations happening outside our regular project environment. As they say, it is good to learn from one’s own mistake but it is much smarter to learn from mistake of others. Hope, you will like this edition of Essence and continue to learn, share and grow with us.
Happy Reading!

Thanks and Best Wishes,

Soumen De, PMP
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Editorial Board
Murali Santhanam, PMP
Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP
Rama K., PMP, PMI-ACP
Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP
Soumen De, PMP
Vittal Vijayakumar, PMP
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PM Essence

Leveraging Organisational Culture to Transform Offshore IT Service Delivery Teams
- Dr. Wolfgang Messner, PMP, PMI-ACP - GloBus Research
 
I believe high attrition rates in India' offshore service delivery centres not only put any provider's knowledge management and transfer processes to test, but they are also a common grievance of end clients often resulting in a critical stance of the entire offshore delivery model. In order to make fundamental changes in how IT service delivery teams are organised, it is critical to understand the specific antecedents to employee commitment in the services sourcing industry in India.
 
I feel organisations should cultivate ingroup collectivism and performance orientation. Other dimensions of organisational culture show a varying degree of positive and negative influence on employee commitment. We conducted empirical research in 2012 with 291 software engineers and managers working for two different offshore service providers in Pune and Bangalore linking employee commitment to organisational culture which reinforces the need to continuously invest in programs, processes, and systems that target organisational culture and thereby improve employee commitment.
 
We have published the results of this study in the Journal of Indian Business Research, Vol. 5 No. 2, where a detailed data analysis can be found; this article summarizes the findings and explains the changes proposed in managing offshore teams in order to increase employee commitment and bring down high attrition rates.
 
The Challenge of Attrition
 
Demotivation of the employee base, even if it is unintended, often leads to attrition. Attrition can be expensive potentially impacting a provider's bottom line which is especially true in an industry like India's services sourcing ('offshoring') industry where employees are the most important assets. There is a sense of urgency in the industry, which is a good starting point for a transformation activity. Yet, there has been little research for the services sourcing industry in India directly linking the constructs of organisational culture with employee commitment.
 
Managers were made to make connections on their own, who created very inaccurate links; empirical research is a conscious attempt to show managers in an objective way how proposed new approaches, behaviors', and attitudes can help to transform business.
 
Both companies participated in a larger intercultural up-skilling activity with ICCA™ (Intercultural Communication and Collaboration Appraisal, cf. Messner & Schäfer, 2012). Employees were invited by their managers to participate in this study on a voluntary basis and received a confidential assessment of their cultural predisposition, intercultural competencies, and organisational commitment fit as a tangible outcome and motivation to participate. The average age of the 291 respondents is just above 30 years and 25 per cent are female reflecting the typical demographics of India's services sourcing industry. Respondents have an average professional work experience of 7.4 years and have on average been 3.2 years in their current company; 52 per cent are executives without personnel responsibility and 37 per cent are typical offshore team managers heading teams of up to 10 people.
 
Construct 1: Employee Commitment
 
Employee commitment is a multidimensional and distinguishable construct consisting of three factors:
The affective factor describes an employee's emotional attachment, identification with, and involvement in the organisation and its goals. It results from individual and organisational value congruency.
 
The normative factor reflects the sense of moral obligation to remain in an organisation, an old-style value of loyalty and duty. It is expressed by the extent to which an employee feels obliged to make personal sacrifices and not criticise the organisation.
 
The continuity factor exhibits the individual's awareness of the costs of leaving an organisation. Close working relationships with other employees, community involvement, acquired job skills being unique to the organisation, and monetary investments, such as contributions to pension funds or stock options, can make it look too 'costly' for an employee to put in the papers and seek employment elsewhere.
 
Construct 2: Organisational Culture
 
Through references, I am certain in management circles, culture is often viewed as something which can be used to manipulate employees; 'shaping the culture' is an often cited priority in balanced scorecard projects. Just as often, culture is viewed as the humanising element of corporate business, which helps to establish expectations between an employee and the organisation the employee works for, foster trust, facilitate communications, and build organisational commitment. Organisational cultures form with or without clear intent.
 
On the contrary, it is much more of interest to understand what variables measure- integrated appraisal framework how organisational culture is perceived by employees.
 
• Power distance is the degree to which people expect and agree that power should be shared unequally through an organisation.
 
• Institutional collectivism is the degree to which an organisation encourages and rewards collective action and team spirit, even at the expense of individual goals, and whether being accepted by other team members is important.
 
• In-group collectivism is the degree to which employees have a feeling of pride and loyalty towards the superiors and the organisation they work for. And vice versa, the degree to which the organisation and its managers show loyalty towards their employees and take pride in their individual accomplishments.
 
• Assertiveness is the extent to which people should be assertive, aggressive, determined, confrontational, uncompromising, pushy, and tough in social relationships.
 
• Future orientation describes the orientation towards planning vs. muddling through and aspiring long-term future rewards by sacrificing instant gratification.
 
• Uncertainty avoidance is the extent to which rules and processes are established to guide people and ambiguous situations are avoided through detailed planning, even at the expense of experimentation and innovation.
 
• Performance orientation is the degree to which an organisation encourages and rewards its employees for performance, excellence, and innovation; this includes how employees drive themselves to improve their own performance by setting challenging goals for themselves.
 
• Gender egalitarianism is the extent to which gender role differences are minimised while promoting gender equality with respect to education and professional development, management positions, physically demanding tasks, and sports.
 
• Humane orientation describes if employees are – in general – sensitive, friendly, generous, and concerned about others.
 
Outcome: Impact of Organisational Culture on Employee Commitment

There are nine dimensions of organisational culture were now related to employee commitment using correlation and multiple regression analysis.
 
The strongest correlation can be found between in-group collectivism and affective commitment at ñ=0.628; it is also correlated to normative commitment (ñ=0.450) and continuance commitment (ñ=0.203), always at á<0.01. Performance orientation is also strongly correlated to all three employee commitment factors (affective at ñ=0.576, normative at ñ=0.375, and continuance at ñ=0.233, always at á<0.01).
 
Regression analysis in simple terms:
 
When there is a reciprocal feeling of pride, loyalty, and active support structures between employees and the organisation, employees become emotionally attached and commitment increases. The management of service providers should lead by example so that employees can look up to them the same way as they revere elders in their family circles. Active support structures comprise both provisions for employees in need as well as encouragement of team working and networking.
 
When employees work in an organisational environment which they perceive to encourage and reward them for performance, excellence, and innovation, their commitment to the organisation increases. Performance based pay as well as non-monetary reward systems based on group recognition of individual achievement appear to be important.
 
Changing an organisation's culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges because organisational culture is a system of goals, values, processes, roles, practices, and assumptions. Single-fix changes are not likely to be successful, because the interlocking will take over and manoeuvre the attempted change inexorably back into the existing system (e.g., Denning, 2011). When employees shift from project to project, from one client assignment to the next, they practically shift between organisational subcultures; they are exposed to and need to adjust to different expectations and procedures of working. Organisational culture measures need to take this unique phenomenon of India's offshore services sourcing industry into account as otherwise the sub-cultures will write over organisational culture.
 
Finally our research unveils a number of implications for transforming the management and leadership practise in India's IT services sourcing industry. We realize that in academic research, the recommendations are made to sound a bit too simplistic. In reality, successful human resources transformation efforts are messy and full of
surprises. But a relative simple guiding principle is needed to steer organisations through a major change and simplicity can reduce the error rate.
 
Realigning the way employees are managed and work together by transforming selected dimensions of organisational commitment will help teams in India's services sourcing industry to boost employee commitment, contain attrition rates, and deliver constant quality in a rapidly changing economic and working environment.