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Newsletter - May 2016

 
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PM Essence
Editor’s Note
SoumenDe Dear Friends,

Greetings from PMI Bangalore India Chapter!

 

Amidst the state election in five states and the onslaught of IPL fever that has gripped the nation, another interesting thing happened last month that enthused the social media community. The Haryana government announced that Gurgaon, the sprawling suburb outside Delhi, will now be called Gurugram. The reason, as per erstwhile Gurgaon Mayor; “this name would bring people closer to the 'rich heritage' that Gurgaon once had”. It is said that the Pandavas of Mahabharata gifted the village to their teacher or “Guru”, Dronacharya, and the area was later known as Guru Ka Gram (village of the master) before becoming Gurgaon. Since Gurgaon has been heralded as a 'Millennium city' and is home to IT and corporate giants, many people opined that this name is not in sync with the status and style this city is known for.

I am not sure if the majority of citizens really care about calling a city in a different way. Even though Bangalore had been renamed as Bengaluru few years back, I still see majority of us referring the city by its old name. Renaming cities by administrators or leaders may be due to political compulsion or their most convenient way to leave a legacy effect, but I was wondering if there is a merit in renaming project in a cool or catchy way...

Gurugram
Calling the new quicker customer connect system as “version 3″ is fine but so generic that looks meaningless. Naming it like “Customer First” may look like more cool and connecting both with the end users and project team members. Every project including your project and yourself are unique. Don't they deserve to be like a brand? Getting your project a unique name will enhance the brand perception of project, which in turn will motivate the project team members. There are cases when a project failed to garner good team members, as the project did not have a strong project name or brand. So why is project branding important? Because your project can suffer in the absence of a compelling brand. Broadly speaking, a brand can be defined as a unique value proposition expressed in a relevant and differentiated way such that it creates preference and loyalty among key audiences. A quick Google Search can show many important projects having very smart looking names or acronyms. One HR initiative in one company was called PRIDE as it was supposed to inculcate pride and drive excellence in their workforces. PRIDE was very innovatively codenamed for Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence. It is observed that Project Leaders who embrace a brand mindset will be in a stronger position to achieve their goals and deliver on the organization's business strategy. So next time you own a project make sure you name it in a way that enhances its brand perception
Thanks and Best Wishes,
Soumen De, PMP
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Technology Support : Ramesh Chandra Pathak, PMP
Editorial Assistance : : Smita Joshi Pant, PMP
Editorial Assistance : : Anand Lokhande, PMP
Editorial Board
Murali Santhanam, PMP
Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP
Rama K, PMP, PMI-ACP
Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP
Soumen De, PMP
Sujata Sahu, PMP
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PM Essence

Leadership Lessions from Alexander the Great

                                                                 -Raghavan Parthasarathy
The saying in the picture clearly shows Alexander's views on leadership. He is clearly stating the importance of a leader here.
1

We all are taught that Mission and Vision are important and basically Alexander the great and his soldiers knew their mission and Alexander too clearly communicated his vision (perhaps he called it a dream to go after). To dream and to perform great came naturally to him and this puts him as a great leader of all times. He also inspired his men and empowered them with the much needed passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to perform in the same way. He was also adaptable as seen by his use of elephants in battles. Apart from that, he also was a very confident and resourceful person.

 

Alexander was born in Pella, the Macedonian capital, at about the time his father, Philip, became the king of Macedonia. Philip's expansion of the kingdom, an unfolding saga of glory and excitement, was Alexander's boyhood.

 

 

I did some search and found the qualities of a good leader online and then analyzed what Alexander possessed or lacked. But sticking to Alexander, it perhaps mattered that his tutor was the Greek philosopher Aristotle. He perhaps got the vision from his father Philip of Macedon who was assassinated. It is recorded that Philip said "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambition. Macedon is too small for you." He was first brought up by his father and his mother Olympias princess of Epirus. At the age of 7, he learnt the crafts of a warrior (such as sword fighting, horse riding, physical exercises fit for a warrior) through Leonidas, a relative of his mother. At the same time, Aristotle taught him rhetoric, language and stimulated his interest in mathematics, science and philosophy. At the age of 13, Lysimachus taught him the cultural aspects of the world, appreciating fine arts like drama, poetry and music. He also learnt to play the lyre. This tells us that Alexander was a knowledgeable and cultured man.

2

He also was a very ambitious man. His one worry as his father conquered was that nothing would be left for him. Of course, there is lot of debate.

Alexander wanted to unite the known world at that time. He came to power in 336 BC and in a war lasting three years, defeated Persia. He spent the 12 years in warfare travelling 22,000 miles up to the Indus river in India (he died in 326 BC, and he was born in 356 BC). He changed history more than any other one person and is also one of the most famous leaders of all time. In history, he is considered most successful world leader, most celebrated conqueror, warrior, and a great legend. His accomplishments were greater than any before or after him. He was a precocious child and this along with his mother's influence made it easy for him to want to surpass others.

 

The map shows the countries he conquered and the route he followed. For any other Europeans to travel eastwards farther than Alexander had, would take many centuries. His first move after his father died was to put down therebelby the Greeks. Even before that, Alexander subjugated the Thracian tribe (in what is now Bulgaria) and established his first city - Alexandropolis.

3
 All this he did in a short lifespan of 32 years!!

 

The Greek city states saw Philip's death as an opportunity. But Alexander showed his talent as a strategist. He destroyed Thebes, one of the rebelling cities and sold all the inhabitants as slaves. He even borrowed money to pay his soldiers to send back home. He travelled thousands of miles, through deserts and cold and icy Himalayas, and fought some 70 wars without losing once.

 

Looking online I found traits with supporting examples. This list is copied here -

• Leadership Lesson #1: Have An action orientation

• Leadership Lesson # 2: Care for your people

• Lesson # 3: Be seen caring for your people

• Leadership Lesson # 4: Dare to innovate!

• Lesson # 5: Lead by personal example

• Lesson # 6: Live your values

• Lesson # 7: Reward your people

 

There was another list I saw - Honesty, Ability to Delegate, Communication, Sense of Humor, Confidence, Commitment, Positive Attitude, Creativity, Intuition and Ability to Inspire. I feel his personality was such that his vision was communicated in a manner where it became a common vision of his army. He also cared for his people. When he saw elephants used in battles, and saw the advantages, he too employed. He was also innovative.

 

It is also said that he wanted to share a helmet of water when he and his army were tormented with thirst. From the lists there seem to be qualities not demonstrated or at least not recorded in history. One weakness we probably can say was his expectation from his army. They actually ended his conquest by refusing to move with him forward, but wanted a break and go back home. Perhaps my friends can add more traits, and I will be thankful and I especially thank Konstantinos Kontzialis & Grigorios Nikolopoulos for pointing out present locations.

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PM Essence

Conference Management System for PMIBC

                                                                 -CMS Team PMIBC

PMI Bangalore Chapter (PMIBC) enjoys the status of one of the most active chapters in Asia with its series of programs and activities. What started as a couple of events at small scale, today, it has grown into multiple events at much larger capacity and is destined to grow further. The Project Management Practitioners' conference (PMPC) is one such example which has become today a much awaited event by Project Management Professionals every year in Bangalore. Managing such events comes with its own challenges, intricacies and it requires tremendous coordination of volunteers. So what makes it possible? The answers is – involvement of volunteers in planning and execution months before the conference.

 

PMIBC has been running PM Practitioners' Conference for several years. There is a growing need for small conferences also and due to lack of a proper system for coordination, the wheel was reinvented every year in terms of creating templates, processes etc. PMI BC PMO comes up with some projects every year and one of such project was to set up a Conference Management Software System to help the volunteers to manage conferences like PMPC and other new upcoming events in much easier way with enhanced efficiency. The scope of the project was to identify, recommend, commission and implement an application tool before Project Management National Conference 2015, which will provide a system to organize and manage large and multiple events & conferences hosted by PMI Bangalore chapter.

 

A team was formed in first quarter of the year to do make or buy analysis followed by evaluation of various tools available in the market for the required functions and features as per the need. The decision was in favor of buying a Conference Management tool available in the market with comprehensive set of functionalities to manage events and conferences and enhance it further as per the needs of the chapter. The Conference Management System (CMS) was procured by PMI BC after the recommendation was approved by the Chapter Board members.

The Conference Management System is a configurable system based on parameters to set up a conference or event. The various functionalities helped in various areas of creating an event with detailed planning, creating the conference content, providing a mobile application with real time program schedule and event guide, emails for correspondence, one consolidated dashboard view of all the events and activities including tracking vendors, sponsors, exhibitors, delegates registration and payment system, budgeting and financial tracking, post event feedback collection, individual reports and many other important significant features.

 

Immense benefits were reaped in Project Management National Conference 2015 in terms of cost and standardized process. One such benefit was the cost benefit as the mobile app was encouraged and hence a less number of programme brochures were printed. This also helped us to move to certain extent of going green

 

The second immense benefit was to overcome the challenge of volunteer run organization where it is very important to create a central repository for all the artefacts for next set of new volunteers in future along with a set procedure and processes. It helped to keep everyone on one page with a unified view and also keeping the artefacts for reuse in next PMPCs.

 

The successful implementation of the CMS tool at Project Management National Conference 2015 has triggered the usage of the tool for all the events hosted by the chapter like PM Footprints, PM Primer, PM Enrich etc. The team is constantly enhancing the tool in order to meet the new demands of the team and is constantly learning and updating the system to better manage the upcoming events and provide a seamless experience to the end users. Also, team is planning to bridge the gap in the tool that was encountered during Project Management National Conference 2015 to further improve the tool and to provide further benefits in management of upcoming events.

 
 
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PM Essence

                                       PM Industry Symposium 2016

 

 

Mr. Vijay Paul started the PM Industry Symposium for Engineering & Construction on “Excellence in Construction Project Management” with the welcome address and shared the challenges PMs face these days including environmental factors. He touched upon the point that PM should get out of all the constraints. 12% of cost invested in project goes waste because of poor project management. Even if a small (of about 3%) cost saving is generated by applying good project management practices will make the good impact for the entire nation.

Syposium pic 1

 

Mr. B.S. Sudhir Chandra kicked off the event with inaugural address as Chief Guest. He spoke about the primary goals for the project managers to deliver the project in economical way within time and low cost with high standards. Delegation of powers is important.

 

Symposium pic2

 

 

Chart and plan the requirement at the right time. Managing 5M's: Men, Machines, Materials, Money, Methods are important for successful Project Management. Money management is tricky as investments are high but is possible with good planning. Project leaders should be tactful and get best of their man power and resources.

 

Key practices which Bangalore Metro Railways applied while managing the projects are:

• No hierarchical ladder but lean organization. All Chief Engineers work from Sites.

• Solve the problem of contractors then and there.

• Laboratories to test finish work at the early stage.

• Trust based Payment to vendors as they want prompt payment. 80% of the payment on the face of bill by RTGS with no check on bills. Check later - the detail checking is done for 20% of the bills. If false, contract is stopped and if find repeated then blacklist the contractors.

 

 

Employee Care

At the recruitment stage 2-3-year promotion, project allowance to everyone, opportunities to travel to foreign countries to attend conferences, seminars; to give the exposure of the outside world. Celebrations with the families on achieving milestones.

 

Keynote Address

Mr. J.D. Stuart Macaskie

Followed by the inaugural address from Mr. Sudhir, Mr. Stuart shared the very inspirational thoughts on the career vision and tips for growth.

 

He highlighted the point that “Better to avoid change but change is expected in a project and it is essential to manage the change and minimise the effects of those changes.” HSE – Health, Safety and Environment are the major factors for Project Managers.

symposium pic 3
 

 

 

According to him, the risks are of two types - Fixed and variable risks. Classify average and high risks, decide what are you going to do with that risks. He advised to share the updates on risk analysis in monthly reports. The psychometric test should be part of the recruitment process while hiring seniors.
Mr. Kalyanaraman Vaidyanathan shared the great insights on Lean Construction - Eliminating waste
 

Mr. Kalyan insisted that the war room is negative term instead they do planning in Big Room. 6 weeks of rolling plan ahead of commitment cycle. Look ahead planning which helps in constraint analysis for future so that today's deliverables are met with.

 

He shared the ambiance where reds can be eliminated by getting paid on time, getting material on time etc.

 
symposium pic 4
 

In Lean Construction industries labour movement is not preferred. Keeping idle labour is better than doing rework on getting them again. He said that they encourage experimentation innovation and failures. Only then one can learn and improve. Encourage a culture which is flat system based, with a good flow & collaboration.

He also explained about BIM Model: Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition. At last Lean is a journey not a magic. It also requires the right planning and execution.

Mr. Nimish Mehta, VP – Marketing and Communication, Honoured the sponsors for supporting PMI Bangalore India Chapter for organizing E & C Symposium.

 

Panel Discussion

PSS (Mr. P. S. Somasunder) moderated the Panel Discussion, “Overcoming Challenges in Construction Industry”. Discussion was very healthy and focused on the challenges construction industries are facing today. The dignitaries discussed how it is important in construction industry that the Quality and safety is never compromised.

symposium pic 5

 

They touched on some thoughtful points, in our country carpenter does not want his son to become carpenter because there is no recognition. Recognize people for their job. Provide opportunity to get the staff trained in carpentry and the good benefits like accommodation, transportation etc. to build and maintain the dignity of job.

 

 

Mr. Gururaj said drawing is important in construction projects. Success of a project based on the right structure. Drawing in itself is the project so that the construction work should not get impacted. GFC: Good For Constructing drawings are the key.

 

Mr. Gopal shared his thoughts on the question that clients come up with. i.e is Project Management necessary? I don't need PM I will manage myself. Challenge is to get the right people and right contractor.

 

Various pillars cause the delay. Dependency on man power is the biggest challenge. Construction industry are highly dependent on that. Time has come where we have to go towards mechanization. And it is the time to go for more modularised thing. He shared a good example on pre designed material.

 

As per Mr. Manish Motwani: In Real state, 3 big challenges are:

1. Safety 2. Scheduling 3. Quality

symposium pic 6

Change management is the big issue in construction industry which can be overcome by Mechanization. Team work is the key for successful project completion. Market research says the changing trend in industry to ensure timely delivery: modular and Residential, pre cast and steel structure.

 

Mr. Sushanta Singh Takhellambam shared the technical insights on Mumbai T2 Terminal and shared the complexity and strategy adopted for execution of T2 terminal master plan. He also highlighted and spoke on the challenges faced during Mumbai T2 Terminal. Some of which are:

• Enormous volume and little time to do the work

• Disrupt to airport operations were not allowed

• Landlocked

• Limited access to the airport premises

• Height Restriction

• Existing U/G services

• Security threats

• Logistic issues

 

Executional Challenges: Unique roof – First attempt of such roof in India

 

The construction of new rapid exit taxiways (RET) helped in increasing flight handling capacity

symposium pic 7

Mr. Venugopal A.N. talked about individual attributes and leadership traits in an organization. Project Manager is a leader with varying skills to manage people from initiation feasibility to close out as per stakeholder requirement. Negotiator is a learning mind set.

 

“The P in PM is as much about 'people management' as it is about 'project management'.” - Cornelius Fichtner

 

The E&C Symposium was concluded with the valedictory address by Dr. Mangesh Korgaonker. He shared his knowledge and experience on Emerging Paradigms in assessing the performance of project management. He clarified the need of this new paradigm and golden triangle - scope, time and quality. Our view of assessing project management is changing. Time, cost, quality is already covered as part of project performance now.

symposium pic 8

He suggested the new paradigms for project assessment by identifying and classifying the projects for different types i.e. Earth (Engineering), Water (Product Development), Air (Research and Development) & Fire (Application Software) with the help of Goal and Method Matrix.

 

He explained any project should be an Earth project to start with. He also explained how and by considering what parameters a fire project can be converted into an earth project. And shared the example of Milau Viaduct which was an air project and were available in theory. Dr. Mangesh suggested five frameworks and shared the statistics of their application in Milau Viaduct Project.

1. PMI Framework

2. CSF Framework

3. CSK Framework

4. Diamond Framework

5. Lean Project Management

The key take away from his session was to understand the type and nature of the projects. Nation building project are majorly depending on quality but time and cost can vary.

 
 

PM Poster Sessions

We had four expert speakers who shared their case studies and expertise to the audience.

 

Mr. B. R. Nagaraj of Home Inspektor showcased the service offering which is highly customizable and helps new home owners to audit and inspect their homes before occupation. The Home Inspektor is readily configurable service and is ably supported by highly qualified SMEs. Mr. Nagaraj explained the advantages of a structured approach in evaluating properties and ensuring they remain in impeccable condition.

 

Mr. Nambiappan of AACE International took project controls process to the next level by explaining in detail about how a standardized approach will help projects be successful. He explained with case study the application of the TCM framework which recognizes Earned Value Management as a tool for integrated projects control. Mr. Nambiappan explained the ANSI/EIA standard which is based on 32 criteria which are guidelines for implementing an EVMS based management system.

 

Mr. R. K. Gautham of responsecities.org made a very interesting presentation on how smart cities development agencies should pursue their objectives. He presented the interventions which are very necessary to ensure smart cities function smartly – for e.g. digitization, use of ICT and sensors, establishing command and control centers and lastly use of technology to create analytics through incessant data collection.

 

Mr. Tony Jacob, an experienced project management professional, demonstrated the importance of lean construction through his case study. According to him, systematic approach towards planning and awareness of the team on sequential project activities goes as long way in cutting down redundant activities and eliminating waste. Daily variance analysis helps in adjusting the project progress and ensuring continuity of long term goals. Risk planning is also the most essential component of this exercise which resulted lesser cost escalations.

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PM Essence

               Lessons from a Carrom Board Game

- Sumukha Rao

We like to play and play hard, be it at work, business or at home.

 

Carrom is a "strike and pocket" table game of Eastern origin similar to billiards and table shuffleboard. The objective of play is to use a striker disk with a flick of the finger to make contact with and move lighter object disks called carrom men / pawns, which are thus propelled into one of four corner pockets. The aim of the game is to pot (or pocket) one's nine-carrom pawn and the Queen before your opponent. It is a very popular game in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and surrounding areas.

 

Carrom is a tad different and can be played as an individualistic game where you compete with other three people playing around you or can be configured to be a team of two players playing with the rest two. In short, it can be an individual or a team game.

 

Well, I am not here to talk about the games that we play but what I have observed and understood from it.

 

The Carrom Board – Playing field

 

A Carrom board is a level playing field that gives equal opportunities to the players to achieve the goal. The field is generally finite with boundaries and set targets.

 

In business, we have market share and size that determines the goal and regions, which provides the boundaries to work within. Once you know what you want to play, you also need to know where and how to play to be more effective.

 

I am a firm believer that god sent us all with equal brains not keeping colour, sex and religion. The way we condition it to work for our benefit is the path we choose.

 

The Red Pawn / Queen – Goal

 

To achieve anything in life, you need a goal. In Carrom, the goal is in middle of all the pawns. You may clear all the other pawns before clearing the red / queen or can clear the red / queen earlier if you have the clarity and the path. That means to say that to achieve the goal, you need to have clarity before embarking on a journey to achieve the end result.

 

You may have many distractions or walls to climb, but you will be able to scale the heights only when you have a goal, the path to take and the dogged determination to achieve.

 

Striker – Idea

 

You may have a goal but you should have your ideas to achieve it. In today's fast paced and high networking world, people tend to pick someone else's idea and run with it but are they achieving their goals? The striker in your hand is what you use to strike and not others.

 

You are the idea and idea is you. You will have people around you, who agree, contribute to your idea and be a part of success.

 

Pawns – SMART Goals

 

You need to clear the pawns on the board, however you can also use them to distract others and create a barricade against your competition. The pawns I generally call are SMART goals that allow you to measure your path to success. To achieve a larger goal that may be currently distant from you, you need to be able to see the progress and these pawns / SMART goals allow you to measure.

 

You cannot eat the entire plate of food all at once. You need to eat it one spoon at a time. SMART goals allow you to slice, create smaller chunks and measure the progress.

 

Red Spots and the lines – SOWT Analysis

 

There are boundaries and set guidelines in any game. You need to play within the limits. However, there is some space to manoeuvre you moves. Understand that every move you make is maybe to your advantage or your competition's. Taking a measured approach is always better and SWOT analysis gives you the pointers for your Do's and Don'ts. Being prepared is always better than reckless driving.

 

Opponents - Competition

 

Don't underestimate your competition. You may be good today but they will come back better tomorrow. You may have a weakest player against you but the moves you make determine the outcomes. While you maybe only one playing against him, he may have a good backing behind him cheering him to win.

 

Understanding and respecting the competition is important. Learn from them.

 

Powder on the Board – Team

 

On a carrom board, the powder plays a very critical role. It makes the journey of the striker which is on its way to hit the pawns or the red / queen smooth. A team is very important, a team that believes in your idea, the organizational goal and willing to put themselves behind you to ensure success.

 

The better powder / team you have, the better and faster the results would be.

 

Direction Indicators – Directions

 

There are direction indicators on the board suggesting you the paths to take. These are guiding principles. While some deviations are allowed, it is important that you follow the rules and regulations of the land. Also be ethical and maintain trust with employees, customers and ecosystem around you.

 

Integrity with personal credibility is most important to run right business.

 

The Game

 

Finally, being passionate and enjoying the game is important or else you will lose the steam to continue your pursuit to achieve your goals and the success at end.