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Newsletter - Nov 2014

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PM Essence

Human Mind - Key to Better Management for Managers

By - Neha Verma, Director - Marketing, Tinder-Box

Centre of the Atom is the proton and a field of negative charges orbits it. Similarly, we too have virtues at the centre of our being. One has to realise it, to cease roaming the outer orbits. Open your senses to learn some virtues from every part of the world- Best Teamwork from Japan, Accuracy from Germany, Impressive Marketing Strategy from United States, Politeness & Refinement from British and Superb Human Values from India.
Concrete + Abstract = Human Life, where Body is Concrete & Mind is Abstract.
Every negative and positive thought emanate from the same brain. Do you know very little about yourselves? I think, yes!! Being better aware of our own mind helps us to understand life better. Human Life is structured just like an atom.
Perfect Management Source - Inner Transformation: Motivation & Inspiration
Some Approaches are maximum times Short-Lived & also have a Temporary Effect because motivation comes from outside but on other hand Inspiration is more Effective & Long-Lasting as it comes from within. For Project Managers, workplace should be source of inspiration to work enthusiastically. How Project managers handling such tricky projects, can achieve personal excellence? It is a need of this hour for over all personal and organizational growth. Above all, Sense of Belongingness!! Transforming the Human Mind is the key to driving success.
Depression has become a common phenomenon in today's workplace,. Maximum selling drugs these days are antidepressant in premium colleges/ universities etc. Big Chunk of population in Europe is depressed; with slow down in economy and various other reasons. If people around you in the office are taking anti-depressant, do you really believe them to deliver best results? Answer obviously is NO.
Patience and poise – Important Ingredient for Young Budding Managers
Managers require sharp intellect, patience, endurance and presence of mind. But have we ever taken a close look at our minds to gain these two? I have no idea what to reply this question- as this is on individual. But in my opinion, our true gain comes from our seven levels of existence: body, breath, mind, memory, intellect, ego & self. So start looking on these things slowly, patiently listen to your inner dialogue, look closely to certain matters and then come up with your opinion.
Yes we are very spontaneous in our speaking, decision-making, overall actions etc but we need to look closely at ourselves, our lives and the roles we are playing at any given time. I am sure we'll be able to gain patience and poise easily. Above all, sign of true success is the ability to smile at all times.
Something lies at Back Of Our Mind- Time to Nurture same
Complete ABC of life, most vital prerequisites to progress in any field and need of this era in all businesses & industry.
Awareness + Belongingness + Commitment = ABC OF LIFE
1st Requisite - Awareness
Are we too greedy? Too materialistic? Too much unethical? And simply destroying our planet? We need to hone our awareness on various levels- Environmental awareness, awareness of human values, awareness of ethics in our business.
2nd Requisite - Belongingness
Do you have this sense or are you creating sense of belongingness in people around you? To run a corporation we need to bind its people together, indulge a sense of belongingness in them. And you'll be amazed to see success of any business and individual also depends to a great extent on the degree of belongingness among its people.
3rd Requisite - Commitment
Simple, need to give more encouragement and time and you'll achieve sense of commitment easily. This is one of the contributing factors to progress which gives you direction to achieve certain role. So finally, alertness in the state of mind and conscious of what mind is saying to itself can create a big transformation in your work place.
Mind Struggles - Between Spiritual and Material Happiness!
Are Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and Vishnu (Protector of the World) filing for divorce? Are they fighting with each other? If they can both live together very happily and you all, also believe them then why don't we integrate Spiritual and Material Happiness? Where is the struggle in our mind?
Relax your mind, negative charges will definitely orbits it but we have to take some time off and dedicate ourselves to some spiritual life. Basically to find out the answer of, what is the purpose of our life? It helps you in getting some soothing mind; relax from your stress, and getting a real joy, which is really missing somewhere. Change your mind from 'Joy of getting to Joy of giving'.
That is what makes your life very rich and satisfied.
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PM Essence

Change Management in Projects

- Indu Sharma, PMP
“Change is the only constant thing in Life” and in the same manner Changes are inevitable in Projects too.
Changes in projects can be a client scope add request, a small suggestion from team member, change in frequency of status meeting, change in any legislation which may impact the project or it may be replacement of a team member. Anyone or everyone can raise a change request in a project. It is the responsibility of Project Manager to have a Change Management Process defined for the project and adherence to this process in case of each and every change request.

Now question is “What is Change” As per PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition, 


“Change Request is a formal proposal to modify any project document, deliverable or baseline. “


The reasons for a change request can be:

Preventive actions – Pre-emptive action for potential non-conformities in the project

Corrective actions – Actions to correct non-conformities in the project

Defect repair - Rework against the identified defects

Request for any change in project specifications, whether resource, scope or cost related or any change against project baselines.


For exemplification, let's take a scenario: 

Imagine yourself as Project Manager of a big size , complex sof tware product development project. Design phase has already been over and all design artefacts are baseline. You have a baseline Project Management Plan as well, which is supposed to be followed in the project. 


In stakeholder meetings, different stakeholders suggest changes in the product.


The intention of few suggestions is to improve performance and few talks about Gold Plating the product i.e. Let's do these Changes, surely Client will like it. There is no harm is contributing suggestions for product feature or performance enhancement, but for EVERY change, project's change management process need to be followed.


Let's come back to our story , you decide to implement the suggested changes in the product without following any formal change management process and the assumption is that these are “Good to have” features for Client, ignoring the part that client has already given all the requirements and scope of project is baseline. Product delivered to the client with assumption that client will be happier with more features added than asked.


First delivery of Product to the client with specifications from Scope Baseline and few added “Good to Have” features was planned, but the things didn't turned up like what had been assumed. Emails from client informing about flunked Product and all the defect metrics of your project resulted in outliers with respect to defined upper control limits.


Let us work in finding out the Root Cause of this scenario. List of few causes:

• Features added without taking formal consent from the client,

• No Impact analysis done for the changes added,

• No approval taken for any change,

• No change in baseline project plan done.

In waterfall or traditional lifecycle projects, this is very usual mistake many projects tend to follow. Non-compliance or lack of Change Management process costs a lot to the projects. As per the graph shown below, the relative costs of changes which are identified at the later phases of the projects are very high compared to the changes identified earlier. Logic is Very Simple, Cost is directly proportionate to the impact on the project, earlier you identify the change, lesser will be the impact and cost.

Adaptive life cycle is meant for the projects where several changes are anticipated and in Predictive life cycle projects a Change Management process is required to have change management strategies defined for the project which can reduce the loss to the project because of cost of changes which are not managed.


Change Management for any project need to follow the following features:

Log the Change – Don't see size of change, Remember that change is change. Whether a good practice, an extra feature in product, a resource change or a defect reported by client, each change need to be logged in Change register or Change log (we need a place holder for all the changes).


Impact Analysis of Change – Is the project manager alone working on project? Involve everyone for impact analysis like team members, SMEs or other stakeholders, who can provide inputs for the impact of proposed changes. Like in the example taken above, client was looking for a lower grade product and the gold plated features which were added without taken consent, have increased the maintenance cost of the product taking it to another grade slab, so the product delivered was deviating from the primary requirement of the client. If impact analysis would have been done in the above said example, it must been analysed that the feature suggested is not complied with the basic requirements of the customer.


Decision on Change - Decision authority for approval or rejection of change need to be defined in project management plan. In most of cases, it is recommended to have CCB (Change Control Board) for the project and Project manager can be part of this board. CCB can take decision on the proposed change taking Impact analysis as an input.


Approved Changes – For approved changes, update project management plan and all subsidiary project management plans to incorporate updates against approved change request. While incorporating changes, take care of configurable items version numbers. Keep configuration status accounting intact for the project with the updates done. Update Change log with the changes done against logged change request.


Rejected Changes – Few reasons for change request rejection can be, change request doesn't come under the purview of the project objectives or cost of change is too high or intensity of change is too high, advisable to start a new project itself. In all the cases of change request rejection, change log need to be updated for the change request status as well the reason for rejection. The change request originator needs to be informed about the rejection of change request along with the justification.


Adherence to project's change management process for all identified changes save projects from unnecessary risks and help project to meet its objectives successfully.

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PM Essence
PDUs and Fame - Write a Technical Paper

- Lt. Col. (Retd.) L. Shri Harsha, PgMP, PMP

Communication skills, both written and speaking, are some of the critical factors for growth in the professional career, that can be mastered with practice. Capturing technical thoughts and achievements on paper is the litmus test of one’s writing skills. Another added advantage is that the authors can earn vital PDUs useful for renewal of PMP certification.

Some tips for writing a good technical paper, based on my experience are summarized for the benefit of the community.


Abstract : This should summarize the entire gist of the paper and should draw the attention of the audience to explore further.

Introduction : The theme of the paper should be introduced to the audience. Point to note here is that the target audience is not laymen, but intellectuals. So avoid generic introductions, try to focus on why the subject is the content of the technical paper.

Main Content : This is where the meat of the paper lies. This can be organized under various heads as appropriate to the subject being discussed. However, a couple of headings which should not be missed are the challenges/lessons learnt/ future roadmap. This is not a summarization of the information already available. The “Cut copy paste” style will not help in writing a good technical paper. Use others’ thoughts on the subjects to generate discussion on your thoughts. Extend the discussion on how you leveraged the already available thoughts, concepts, technology etc. Alternatively, if it is a new philosophy which you want to advocate, do so with rational justifications defining how it can be done and use the already available information to substantiate your claims.

Conclusion :
This portion should trail off with some thoughts that the audience can explore and extend your thoughts to the next level. It is not a summarization of what has already been said in the main content.
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PM Essence
Humor in Project Management

October 2013

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February 2014

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PM Essence
Q. This is a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks, ranging from Usenet and mailing lists to blogs and forums? 

A. Netiquette i.e. Network etiquette or Internet etiquette, is a set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks, ranging from Usenet and mailing lists to blogs and forums. Like the network itself, these developing norms remain in a state of flux and vary from community to community. The points most strongly emphasized about Usenet netiquette often include using simple electronic signatures, and avoiding multiposting, crossposting, off-topic posting, hijacking a discussion thread, and other techniques used to minimize the effort required to read a post or a thread. Similarly, some Usenet guidelines call for use of unabbreviated English, while users of instant messaging protocols like SMS occasionally encourage just the opposite, bolstering use of SMS language. However, many online communities frown upon this practice.
[Source - Internet]

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