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Newsletter - Dec 2014

 
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PM Essence

The Little HR Lie That Increases Productivity

 

By - Victoria Pynchon
Want to get your work team out of the doldrums, off their Facebook pages and away from office cooler lolly gagging, backbiting, and malingering? Try lying to them.
 
As the New York Times explained in 32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow (No. 18, the Liar's Workout) social scientists who engaged in a little "strategic lying" produced improved performance in the research lab. As the Times explained.
 
For a [recent] study, human cyclists were pitted against a computer-generated opponent moving at, supposedly, the exact speed the cyclist had achieved in an earlier time trial. 
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In fact, the avatars were moving 2 percent faster, and the human cyclists matched them, reaching new levels of speed.
 
Psychoanalysts and child development experts have a benign term for this sort of white lie when mothers tell it to their toddlers and therapists to their patients. It's called positive distortion. And when it's done with positive emotion, it's called positive affective coloration. All mothers, therapists and employers have to do to enhance performance with these slight beneficial falsehoods is to act as if their charges are able to speak or act just a little bit better than they're actually able to. Baby says ba and mom, clapping her hands in delight, says good baby! Ballllllll.
 
Ba to Balllll and the two percent increase used in the research lab take place in what psychologist Lev Vygotsky calls the zone of proximal development. This is the space in which all learning takes place. It permits baby, client and employee to take a manageable stretch from fumbling to reliably catching; from inattention to diligence, from biting all my finger nails to biting only nine, then eight, then seven. This is the environment in which new habits can successfully be formed and old ones broken. It's the relationship that allows the baby to get from ba to BIGBLUEBALL without undue effort.
 
Psychoanalyst and healthcare manager Dr. Anne LaBorde says everything good that happens between a therapist and a client or between and manager and her team, takes place in a manageable stretch. Step by step, she believes, absolutely anything is possible. As she said in an interview with me several years ago.
 
As biologists, we pretty well know how we evolved from fish in the sea. But if you and I were living on fish planet and I told you that one day the fish would become human beings, you'd call me crazy. But that's exactly what happened, in manageable stretches, over the course of evolutionary history.
 
Manage the Stretch
Go ahead and give it a try. Don't expect the worst from your human resources. Act as if your staff is doing a slightly better job than they are and see how long it takes them to live up to your positive distortions and start delivering the highest quality work product necessary to survive in this postrecessionary economy.
 
As Anne Lamott said in her guide to writing for beginners, Bird by Bird, E.L. Doctorow said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.
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PM Essence
Faster Time-to-Market for Industrial Manufacturing companies

Economically, things seem to be getting better, but slowly. For manufacturers, it's a climate of opportunity. New measures of economic value are emerging that make the supply chain a key indicator of growth. Manufacturers that can accelerate their new product development (NPD) process, and reduce time-tomarket, will establish strong and sustainable leadership positions. How to gain visibility, collaboration and control for agile NPD? http://goo.gl/NrTDvT

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DidYouKnow
Q. This is a term often used in the context of safety-critical and safety-involved systems such as medical software and this software is not developed with a known software development process or methodology?

A. SOUP stands for software of unknown (or uncertain) pedigree (or provenance), and is a term often used in the context of safety-critical and safety-involved systems such as medical software. SOUP is software that has not been developed with a known sof tware development proces s or methodology, or which has unknown or no safety-related properties. Often, engineering projects are faced with economic or other pressure to embody SOUP into their high integrity systems. The problem with SOUP is that a) it cannot be relied upon to perform safety-related functions, and b) it may prevent other software, hardware or firmware from performing their safety-related functions. The SOUP problem is therefore one of insulating the safety-involved parts of a system from the SOUP and its undesirable effects. SOUP is now a defined term ("Software Of Unknown Provenance") in some medical device regulations through the standard IEC 62304:2006 "medical device software – software life cycle processes". It is not prohibited to use SOUP but additional controls are needed and the risk needs to be taken into account.
[Source - Internet]

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Please provide your response by 30th December 2014. Chapter will select the best slogan and felicitate the winner during a Chapter event.

"The Lighter Side of PM”
Humor
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This monthly newsletter is a forum where everyone can contribute through articles on Project Management and related topics. You can also claim PDUs for your contribution under category D (Creating new project management knowledge). Additionally it helps you in improving your writing skills. Use this opportunity and excel in the field of Project Management.
 
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Managing Positive Attitude by Project Managers

By - A.K. Manjunatha, PMP
Project Managers always aims at having the project completed successfully within defined goals. One of the important parameter in the course of achieving this is having the positive attitude throughout the project journey.

Lets look into the details of this parameter “Positive Attitude”. “The Attitude”, by definition means manner of carrying oneself or a state of mind or feeling, or an arrogant or hostile state of mind. Attitude plays a major role for the Project Managers. If we look into the depth of the “attitude”, we can see it comes from lot of factors to a person which are mentioned in the figure 1.

PMArticle1A
If you want to know your attitude, just ask yourself below questions,
 
How is your behavior with your team members?
How are you reacting in front of your colleagues?
How is your behavior with your boss?
How is your behavior with your customer?
 
Also, attitude needs to be maintained positively all the time, at all the situations especially when we are handling the projects.
 
Next, let's see what are the positive attitudes a Project Manager should have? This is given in Figure 2.
 
The most important attitude the Project Manager should have is the 3 P's which are - Passion, Persistence and Patience..
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1. Passion - By definition passion suggests living the facts with energy and positive attitude. A Project Manager should have a Passion to carry out the project at all the times successfully.

 

2. Persistence – Indicates not to lose hopes at first time. Project Manager should have the persistent attitude when she wants to convey her idea to the team members during the tough times and also look for the arguments to convince others. Project Manager should also know the team members attitude to influence them positively.

 

3. Patience - This means to be calm all the times. Project Manager’s main job is to guide the team to achieve the goals. It's not easy to handle the multiple cross functional teams to achieve the project goals but it is not impossible. It takes time and we need to have the patience. One more important point to understand patience also has a limit and PM can take a call when to escalate.

 

In order to have the positive attitude, Project Manager should always acknowledged that the things will not happen as planned. Below are the few simple steps that can be followed.

 

If something is not going good as per the plan in project, look for what we have learnt, in order to avoid repeating same mistake again.

 

If something failed in project, don’t focus on people, analyze what happened. Never stop, move forward and continue to learn.

 

Always be in the company of optimistic professionals.

 

To summarize, Project Manager’s “attitude” is the corner stone for the project success. Also it's important that without any positive attitude, it is not possible to manage a project properly. Always control your attitude and don't focus on failures. Learn from the failures and look for opportunities to make the project successful.