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Newsletter - Oct 2015

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PM Essence
PMNC 2015

The most prestigious Project Management National Conference, PMNC 2015, was held in Bangalore from September 10-12, 2015. The special edition of PM Essence in September edition covered highlights of PMNC 2015. Here are some more highlights of the Conference on third day (12 September 2015) of the event.

Role of Supply Chain Management in Infrastructure Projects


Dr. Tapash Kumar Ganguli, Senior Professor and Dean-Executive Education, NICMAR started his session by highlighting the complexity of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and its variation from industry to industry. He explained the intricacies of SCM in infrastructure construction projects and how we can reduce waste and reduce cost of the projects.
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Last Link Project Management in Automotive World


Mr. Yogesh Kulkarni, Program Manager, Mahindra, explained the four phases of a typical product development process in automotive industry. He also emphasised how organizations invest on improving skill set of team involved in the first three phases but neglect the people involved in the fourth phase, which typically involve mechanics, drivers, second owners, spares dealers, etc. He explained that if organizations uplift the skills of fourth phase resources it can have significant impact on the product development
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Creative Thinking for Effective Project Management


Mr. Debabrata Pruseth, Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy Consultant, Global Consulting Practice - Tata Consultancy Services, started his session briefing on new creative thinking advances like System, Lateral and Design thinking. He also explained how challenges in different project life cycle phases can spur the opportunities for innovation. He took real life examples to give implementable recommendations.
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Keynote Speech

Mr. BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman of Cyient India Ltd and Chairman, NASSCOM, started his discussion saying this world is going towards more. What was great yesterday is normal today and new better things to be emerged. Mr. Reddy elicited that due to ever evolving need of innovations, Project Management is even more required. He stressed on using multi facet approach by explaining how Projects, Technology and Skills role interplay and how industry is in dire need of Project Management talent.


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Keynote Speech


Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman and Founder Narayana Health was introduced by the MC as Henry Ford of heathcare. He was kind enough to present over Skype, as he had some emergency case to attend. He explained how his organization has worked towards providing healthcare at cheaper rates and how it is working towards reaching the poorer section of the society. His effort towards signing different MOUs for betterment of general public was tremendous. In his address he showed that healthcare can be made affordable by understanding the economic drivers and developing a sound business model. He made an emphatic statement that “Charity is not scalable, but a good business model is” which drew big round of applause from the audience.
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Valedictory Address


Mr. C. B. Ramkumar, Founder & Managing Trustee, Green Dreams for the Planet started his inspirational discussion on climate changes and its effect on every one of us. His real life examples and insights of effect of current life style and ignorance to climate were eye openers for many. Session was very well recieved by audience with a pledge to take back some tips and help towards environment. He said, Mother Earth is very beautiful but needs our attention, else it will crumble. It is the right for us to raise a collective voice to tackle the environmental Issue. We have used the power of social media to make our voice heard against social issues like women security and corruption. It is an apt time, we do the same for our environment abuse.
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Conference Closing Remark


Mr. Vijay Paul, Secretary & Treasurer - PMI Bangalore India Chapter gave the Conference closing remarks and formally invited the Organizing Committee Members of the Conference on stage. He thanked all the partners, sponsors and congratulated Mumbai Chapter for being the host of next year National Conference 2016.
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PM Essence
Five points to make your business proposal stand out above the rest 
                                                                        - Suchitra Mishra, Oorja Biz Ops 

A Business/Sales proposal is often the first strong knock on the doors of a prospective client. Whether it is in the form of a word document or presentation, it has to be impressive and paint such a compelling picture that the customer just can't wait to pick up the phone and schedule a face to face meeting with you. You get the entry that you need to pitch your product/service and abilities. Writing and reviewing hundreds of business proposals has made me realize one thing –there is a method to this madness and no proposal is too big or too complex–if you follow certain basic guidelines in the creation process:


Poin #1: It is not about You–the goal of any proposal is to address the specific customer requirements and pain points. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and structure the proposal in the best way that answers the customer's stated or implicit questions. Persuade them that you know the questions and have the answers through your proposal. To do this, ensure that your proposal and every section in the proposal addresses five questions Who, What, How, When and So What:


Who–will do this?

What–needs to be done?

How–will you do it?

When–will all the milestones occur?

So What – will the customer benefit by having you do it?


Pointer #2: Format and Template – Usually the customer specifies the format and structure of the proposal. Comply with this religiously. Any additional information that you think would be useful in nudging the customer decision in your favour should go into the appendix. If the customer hasn't specified the response structure, then create the template keeping in mind the questions in Pointer #1. Your proposal should be easily readable and information should be easy to find. Use indexing and linking within the proposal. Use headings for your sections and labels for your diagrams to draw attention. For some large RFPs (Request For Proposal), especially in government and public sectors, different departments could be given different sections of the proposal to evaluate. So it is important that every section by itself has the context and the references to other sections that might be relevant. Don't make your customer work too hard or spend a lot of time puzzling his way through your proposal.


Pointer #3: Optimize against Evaluation Criteria–Most proposal requests lay out how they will score the vendor for the response. If not, ask the customer about their key evaluation criteria. Compliance to all aspects of the bid is very critical to pass the first stage. So read the fine print carefully before you start putting your efforts to it. Check the submission date and create a timeline to ensure that you meet the deadline. Focus and give more time on those aspects that are most important to the customer and will give you the scoring edge.


Pointer #4: you do need a Super Executive Summary– Your introduction in the form of the executive summary should actually be the“conclusion”of your proposal. The rest of the proposal serves to provide the supporting points to add credibility to your introduction. Brainstorm on what the customer needs (as opposed to wants), how you are going to satisfy those needs and why they should do business with you and none else. Summarize the salient points of this into your executive summary first and then start with the rest of your proposal; again it should be more about the customer than about you.


Pointer #5: Keep it Simple–Minimize buzz words, don't overwhelm with information just because you have some great content ready, make it visually attractive–sometimes a picture does speak a thousand words. Give a day or two to proofread and review the proposal. Spelling and grammar are very important–you don't want to project yourself as someone who does not care about the details enough. First impression is everything in hunting and winning business. Use your proposal to stand out in the crowd and make a lasting impact.


Reference : www.oorjabizops.com

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PM Essence
Analytics : Is it Required? 
                                                                                            - Ankit Gupta 

Analytics, is the most lucrative and talked about word in today's businesses. Every big enterprise is trying to prove its mettle in this field - be it by beating World's No.1 in Chess Game or crunching petabytes of data in seconds.


It's been decades, since enterprises are using analytics, starting from Excels to much more complex tools to drive meaningful insights and predict the future. On a lighter note, if one can't afford this kind of analytics then they can rely on Astrologers, as can also predict the future. All of this is to increase business revenues.



In today's business environment where we get so advance analytics tools at our disposal, things have become difficult with too many options. Now businesses tend to do a pre-analysis like the ones mentioned below before doing the actual analysis:


Should I use Descriptive Analytics?

Should I use Exploratory Analytics?

Should I use Predictive Analytics?

Should I use Prescriptive Analytics?

Should I use Suggestive Analytics?

Should I use Unstructured Analytics?


Think about it, Can the analytics be only done by machines. The answer will be thumping NO….Human is an intellectual being, who is doing analysis from centuries, that's the reason we are at top of the food chain and evolved. We analyze all the times starting from “buying the vegetables” to “buying a businesses”. There were massive empires which had been setup and run successfully without all these sophisticated tools. We have always used data, no matter how small, and oure experiences to take the both business and personal decisions.


Human being is an intellectual being but with finite capability, which also differs with each individual. In today's world the amount of data which gets generated in a year is far more than the data which got generated in the past. Besides the stakeholders (like privacy regulators, IT etc) in a enterprises have also increased significantly hence it's no more one man show..


“Necessity is mother of all Inventions”


This holds true even for analytics, with ever growing size of data and its stakeholders. There is now a need for consistency, so that everyone can see and comprehend the data in the same manner.


The landscape of analytics is changing with the kind of data getting generated and the speed at which it's getting generated. Now with the advent of social media the capability of each individual to generate the data has increased hundred times, which makes them all the more important. So now the companies have to focus more on individuals rather than on groups, and it is impossible for a human being to remember everything about their customers and their preferences. So a tool which can store their customer information and prompt them when required, is needed.


Similarly, smarter machines are made, which creates data every second and send it back to their owners. With the advent of Internet of Things (IOT) different machines will talk to each other and share information and learn from other machine's experiences. Something which was confined only to human beings until now.


All this is important because the dynamics of businesses are changing very fast; brands which were made over the decades are ruined within days, risks are much higher, and competition is fierce. Business has to stay ahead of others, hence they need to make correct decisions in least amount of time, and reap the benefit of early mover advantage.


Why Management needs Analytics?


The people who run the businesses are different from the owners, so they have to back their decisions, that's where analytics come to their rescue and act as their job insurance in case they are being questioned about their moves.

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PM Essence
Q. This is a tool used to conceptualize the influence of a person or group. This also helps in focused decision making at individual and organization level?

A. Power mapping is a visual tool used by social advocates to identify the best individuals to target to promote social change. The role of relationships and networks is very important when advocates seek change in a social justice issue. The power mapping process entails use of a visual tool to conceptualize the sphere of a person or group's influence. The power map tool helps to visualize whom you need to influence, who can influence your target and what can be done to influence the identified person with power. Power Mapping is often politically focused and is frequently used to persuade decision makers to alter how they may vote on an issue. It can also be used to convince an organization to take a stand, persuade a foundation to give your organization a grant, or compel a newspaper to write a favorable editorial.
[Source - Internet]
PMI-ACP® exam is changing in 2015 – Important note for aspiring PMI-ACP® exam takers this year

PMI-ACP® was introduced in 2011 as the pioneering Agile certification from PMI, USA. As a practice, PMI continues to improvise the content through large-scale survey of certified PMI-ACP® holders and non-certified agile practitioners to help revise the domains, tasks, knowledge and skills, as well as tools and techniques. As an outcome of the Role Delineation Study (RDS) involving over 1,000 agilists from 60 countries, few changes have been introduced in the PMI-ACP® course content. A new domain called Agile Principles and Mindset has been added to the already existing list of domains. Also, 62 tasks have been validated in context of the seven domains of practice.
The reference material for the exam has also been revised to include books on Kanban, Scrum and Extreme Programming. All details about the revised PMI-ACP® certification is available at with links at the right pane of the page.
It is extremely important for aspiring candidates to review all the books as the past exam questions have been not just on Scrum but on Lean, XP. In this year, candidates can surely expect on Principles & Mindset domain given that it has been added recently this year. It is also highly recommended that candidates should leverage the groups on LinkedIn where certified professionals share tips and tricks notonlyon the preparation but also on clearing theexam successfully.
For people who are taking the exam between 15-Jul-15 and 16-Aug-15, PMI is providing reabate on the exam fees. The new exam would be in effect until 14-Oct-15 (starting from 15-Jul-15) with results staggered till 22-Oct. Candidates are requested to view the revised exam content outline at http://www.pmi.org/certification/exam-changes/pmi-acp.aspx
The Lighter Side of PM
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PM Essence
Agile Metrics and Business Value
                                                                                                                      - Harish Vasista, PMP, PgMP

It is a fact that more and more projects are being done according to the Agile model. Those who want to switch over to Agile, commonly ask about its benefits, as compared to traditional models. Management will want to know the business impact of Agile. These valid questions need to be answered effectively to convince that Agile is the way forward. Metrics other than the burn-down chart and the velocity of the team need to be identified. Care must be taken to measure the outcome and not the process. Albert Einstein rightly said, "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted."


So, let's look at some of the common metrics that can be collected during an Agile project.



1. Quality/Defect Containment

A measure of the quality of the product/release. The entity measured is the number of defects reported by the customer. This gives a clear indication of how good the development process is in catching the defects earlier in the cycle.


How to Measure : Keep track and count the number of defects reported by the customer per release. This can be a negative value depending on the number of defects reported by the customer. Care must be taken to include only the defects that are relevant to the product. There will be cases where customer-reported defects may not be directly relevant to the product developed (examples: fiber cuts, power outages, problems due to other elements in the network, etc.).


Defect containment (DC) = [1– (Dc/Di)]×100%



Dc = Number of priority 1 (P1) and P2) defects detected by customers for a release

Di = Total number of defects detected internally


2. Feature Waste

A measure of the amount of effort spent by the team on features that are "wasted" (features that the customers are not interested in). This is an important metric, as elimination of waste is one of the big ideas in Agile.


How to Measure : This is relatively easy to track, based on inputs from the Product Owner. It is measured as the number of features that are not used by the customer and expressed as a percentage of the totality of the feature set available in the product.


Feature waste (FW) = [1 - Fu/Fa] ×100%



Fu = Number of features or effort spent on features used by customers in a release

Fa = Total number of features or effort spent on features delivered in the release


3. Flexibility Index

A measure of the agility of a team. The entity measured is the amount of undone work left at the end of the last sprint. The rationale of measuring this is to determine how quickly the team can react to market changes. If the amount of undone work is high, it means that the team is not Agile enough. The lower the amount of undone work, the higher the flexibility index.


How to Measure : The actual amount of time in weeks required to complete the undone work. Measure the amount of time from the end of the last sprint. It is expressed as the ratio of the undone time to the total duration of all sprints (number of sprints sprint duration).


Flexibility index (FI) = [1 – UT/(Sn Sd)]×100%



UT = Undone time (in weeks)

Sn = Total number of sprints in the release

Sd = Sprint duration (in weeks)


4. Customer Satisfaction Index

The traditional old-school metric is what we ultimately strive for. It is an indirect measure of how the changes in the development process have impacted the customer. It should be noted that customer satisfaction is dependent on a lot of other factors, such as service quality, on-time delivery, response to issues, etc. But it should continue to be measured to ensure that Agile does not adversely impact customer satisfaction.


How to Measure : Measured on a scale of 1-10, based on end-customer feedback. Customer satisfaction surveys can be conducted to arrive at this metric.


5. Efficiency Index (EI)

A measure of the value-add (VA) time in a project. In traditional models of development, the efficiency index is 2-5% due to the immense number of pre and post-development activities. It should be significantly higher in the Agile model, as value is continuously added to the product.


How to measure: Keep track of the amount of time that value is added to the project. These activities include design, development and end-customer documentation. The EI is the ratio of the VA time to the total time for the project.


Efficiency index (EI) = (Vt /Tt )×100%



Vt = Value-add time in weeks

Tt = Total time/duration of the project in weeks


Note: There should be a clear definition of what activities contribute to value addition. For example reviews, testing, and fixing bugs found in testing should not be considered as valueadding activities.


6. Early Defect Detection Index (EI)

A measure of how effective the iterative development process being followed. If the process is really effective, a higher number of defects tends to be detected earlier in the cycle.


How to measure: Keep track of all the P1 and P2 defects detected during the sprints, as well as the P1 and P2 defects detected during the undone phase of the release.


Early defect detection index (EDDI) = (Ds/Du)×100%



Ds = Total number of P1 and P2 defects detected during regular sprints

Du = Total number of P1 and P2 defects detected during undone phase


There are other business-value metrics, such as EBV (earned business value) and RTF (running tested features), which try to quantify the business value delivered in each sprint. These metrics may not be applicable as long as we have a significant amount of undone work planned at the end of the last sprint.


In summary, the six metrics explained above, in addition to the velocity and the burn-down chart, provide views of both the status at a given time and also the trends being established - without their measurement adding significant overhead effort. It is not necessary to measure all six. Scrum teams can select the metrics that make sense to them and are applicable for their projects.


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