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May 2017

Newsletter May 2017
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Members Corner

pme may 2017 18.jpgWe welcome all new members and Thank members who have renewed their membership in March 2017.


 Appended is the list of few FREE web-based seminars (webinars) for April 2017, we have shared same list to your registered email; this is a good opportunity to earn PDUs and claim at PMI to maintain your credentials.


1. 03-May-17 11:00 AM EDT Tips for Improving PMOs Value

2. 03-May-17 2:00 PM EDT Lead the People Manage the Process!

3. 10-May-17 12:00 PM EDT February Book Club Q&A Closing Webinar-Project and Program Turnaround

4. 11-May-17 12:00 PM EDT How to connect with Organizational Culture and Enhance Meaningfulness

5. 16-May-17 1:00 PM EDT Implementing Innovation Processes: The Basic Implementation Guideline

6. 18-May-17 1:00 PM EDT Lessons Learned: Implementing a Common EMR Across the Province of Ontario

7. 18-May-17 1:00 PM EDT Project HEADWAY: Managing The Unmanageable

8. 23-May-17 12:00 PM EDT Culture as the Ultimate Impediment to Deploying Agile

9. 24-May-17 1:00 PM EDT March 2017 Book Club Q&A Closing Webinar - How to Manage Complex Programs

10. 25-May-17 12:00 PM EDT Building Options at Project Front-End Strateging: The Power of Capital Design for Evolability

11. 30-May-17 11:00 AM EDT Coaching for Project Managers: Improving Personal Efficiency

12. 31-May-17 2:00 PM EDT Let's Talk About REAL Project Risk Management

13. 31-May-17 10:00 AM EDT What it takes to be true Lean Agile Project Manager?

For more webinars, please logon to ProjectManagement.com with your PMI credentials.

For any queries or suggestions, please write to Balakrishna Kasibatla, PMP, VP Membership, PMI Bangalore India Chapter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PM Essence
“The mission of PM Essence is to facilitate the exchange of information among professionals in the field of project and program management, provide them with practical tools and techniques, and serve as a forum for discussion of emerging trends and issues in project management. PM Essence is YOUR Newsletter and Bangalore Chapter welcomes story ideas and/or suggestions to make it still better. More information can be found on the Chapter's website.”

All articles in PM Essence are the views of the authors and not necessarily those of PMI or PMI Bangalore India Chapter. Unless otherwise specified, it is assumed that the senders have done due diligence in getting necessary copyright and official clearance in respect of all letters and articles sent to PM Essence for publication. PMI Bangalore India Chapter is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury to unsolicited manuscripts or other material.
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. T +91 80 6583 3671, +91 80 2211 5772, +91 98868 14078 http://www.pmibangalorechapter.org
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Event Calender for June

pme may 2017 17.jpg
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What I learned from Bollywood Songs

- Sukumar Mishra

A song has the potential to change the mood. A good tune in the morning keeps the mind happy throughout the day. When one returns home tired in the evening, listening to some good music can take away all the tiredness, pain and refresh the mind. In India, Bollywood songs have remained the major source of music. Although Bollywood songs are meant for entertainment, there are many songs which convey a deeper meaning and can teach us many lessons in life in a simple yet effective way. Here are few songs that have deeper meanings and have helped me to learn lessons of life.

‘Main Zindegi ka saath nibhata chala gaya’. This song from the movie "Humdono", composed by Jaidev and beautifully sung by Mohammed Rafi, it is a marvel when it comes to learning. The first line tells how to get rid of worries and unnecessary thoughts and move ahead in life continuously. When setbacks come don't be disheartened as there is no point in doing so. Rather celebrate the moment and move ahead. What I got, I accepted it as my luck. What I lost, I forgot about it forever. The last line is my favorite. Where there is no difference between happiness and sadness, to that level of consciousness, I am taking my heart continuously. The lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi had beautifully used words to explain such a nice philosophy of life.

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Second in my list is a song from the movie "Imtihan", "Ruk jaana nahin tu kahin haar ke". Beautifully rendered by the immortal voice of Kishore Kumar. Whenever the mind is negative or everything is not going on right with you, listen to this great number to raise your spirit up. The song talks about the eternal journey of life and the need to walk continuously without stopping at small roadblocks or difficulties. When one is determined to continuously walk along his own path, the entire nature (like Sun here) works in the same direction. The next lines penned down by Majrooh Sultanpuri are the best part of the song. "Sathi na karvan hai; Yeh tera imtihaan hai; Yoon hi chala chal dil ke sahare; Karti hai manzil tujhko ishare; Dekh kahin koi rok nahin le Tujhko pukaar ke". The exam he's mentioning is the difficult times one is going through and at such difficult times normally you are alone as the difficult situation is in front of you and you only can sort it out by walking continuously keeping an eye on the destination. Whenever such a difficult situation comes in life, we can be assured that this is the tipping point and after this, the final destination is waiting. It's not time to give up, it's time to walk alone and keep away from negative forces who may stop you on the way.

The third and last song in my list is "Zindegi ek safar hai suhana" from the 1971 movie Andaz, composed by Shankar Jaikishan and sung by Kishore Kumar. This one is more fun loving and a song which can instantly make one's mood happy and positive. As the song starts on a high note, it declares the uncertainty of tomorrow and inspires to live the present moment with zeal, full of happiness and singing. And while living the present with happiness, focus on your destination and move ahead. "Haste gate jahan se guzar; Duniya ki tu parvah na kar; Muskuraate hue din bitana; Yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana". Never be worried about what others will think and go ahead while singing and laughing. Finally Hasrat Jaipuri talks about the unnecessary fear of death in people's mind as it is inevitable and going to happen one day. "Maut aani hai ayegi ik din; Jaan jaani hai jayegi ik din; Aisi baaton se kya ghabrana; Yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana; Zindagi ek safar hai suhana; Yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana”

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Why should I split my stories ?

- Rachana Dalmia

This article is about WHY you should split your user stories while working in agile projects and also how to split the user stories.

The obvious reason to split a user story is when a story is too large to fit in a sprint. But this is not the only time you should think about splitting your stories. Breaking a large story based on all its variations and complexities will allow your Product Owner to prioritize the most valuable variation either based on usage or other business criteria. Some of the variations may never bubble up in priority over other features.

Example: I worked on a portal where documents could be shared with different groups of people. One of the requirements was notifications to the users when a document was shared with them.

• I broke the user story for different notification channels:

• Email

• Text message

• Notification center on the portal that shows all the messages sent to the user.


-PO was able to prioritize the notification channels separately

-Allowed for faster time to market

-Based on the usage and feedback, we were able to eliminate the notification center completely, saving budget for more important enhancements

-Smaller stories allow the team to provide more accurate estimates


-Ensure that there is an Epic that ties all your split user stories together. This will allow your development team to think about the architecture/design.

Teams that are new to splitting stories tend to split the workflow Epic by each workflow step and implement it from left to right until the flow is complete. Splitting this way is dangerous because

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this does not give the user time to provide feedback on the workflow until it is too late and the entire workflow is implemented. This defers learning and creates additional project risk or in the least does not allow you to retire the risks.

A better way to split a workflow is to do a thin slice through the workflow focusing on one variation or to focus on the stories that actually deliver value rather than every story in the workflow.

Example: I had a client who wanted a portal that allowed patients to schedule healthcare appointments with the doctors. They had inventory of thousands of providers and their availability.

1. Patient would login to the system

2. Lookup the doctors by speciality, insurance, proximity to them and other criteria

3. Once they found the doctor, they had to look up their schedule

4. If they found a time slot that would work for them, select the appointment, provide all the required information

5. Book the appointment

6. Show confirmation for the appointment

In this workflow, the value is only derived once the appointment is booked. So, we discussed the fastest way to get the patient to the appointment.

- Once we started breaking this story

- We found that 80% of the appointments were patients with their PCP (Primary Care Physician)

- The other 20% were either new patients looking for a PCP or other specialists

- The complexity in this workflow was looking up the doctors based on the various criteria.

- So we implemented the thin slice of the workflow where the logged in user's PCP availability shows right away and they can book an appointment.

- We were able to release this feature and add the complexity later on.

- Earned quick ROI.


- The client can go to production with just this variation implemented and the other flows can still be a manual workflow saving time on at least one flow.

- The team learns from implementing this one small variation without adding complexity to the system.

- The team can now estimate the other variation(s) more accurately.

We split user stories to get to value/feedback faster and to only build what is valuable.


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Lessons Learned From Projects – The Essential First Step

- Vishwanath Thanalapatti

In theory, a project closure is logically complete when the Lessons Learned are documented. The rationale underlying 'Lessons Learned' is using the information in other similar projects so that the success criteria is emulated, while the setbacks are tracked for avoidance. To set the contours for compliance, there are two extreme possible positions for 'Lessons Learned'. The first one where each new project 'Kick Off' starts with a session (on the 'Lessons Learned') that is 100%; the other is to ignore all and move on with the new project that is 0%. The reality lies somewhere in between. In this write up I pick up 5 top lessons which are learned but not considered that could have minimized risk, done at less cost in quicker time and delivered stakeholder value. The readers from the Project Management discipline I am sure will be able to relate to a few, if not to all of these.

• Core banking transformation projects in India:

The business of banking in India predominantly is very similar, be it across banks or regions. The products are standardized, reporting structured and the one major difference is in volumes. This gives us a model of the basic software solution. Like said earlier, can be packaged and implemented in quick time, at a lower cost, minimizing risk; if it is on cloud, even quicker. However, each bank goer has gone through a very harrowing experience.

Lessons learned

After the first few projects 'Go-Live' the banks could have come together and defined a standard model solution and on top of that customized specific products unique to a bank. Say, branded products. The combined association of banks with its negotiation power would have driven the costs down. One project plan and one model solution would have been a clear winner. A single general ledger pme may 2017 14.jpgstructure would have made regulatory reporting much better.

Mantra: Going forward, banks should look at a Cloud Based Solution (private community cloud) and insist on a prepackaged solution, rather than go through the pain of 'Bottom Up' implementation.

Main Benefits: Minimise Risk, Lower cost, Predictable and Lesser time to implement.

• Data Cleansing

Data is the 'Prana' - the breath of life for an organisation. Given the importance, one of the essential 'first steps' organisations must do is to clean up data as part of implementation process. This will help in the design of information architecture for classification of data (for example 'Mission Critical, 'Important' etc.,) that will be of tremendous use to an Information System Auditor for Data Migration Audit. And for leveraging technologies for exploiting 'Big Data' to give desired results for decision making.

Lessons learned

The Management must mandate data cleansing as one of the critical 'first steps' for any implementation. The decision for 'Go' 'No Go' forward with the project must hinge on this. The planning process must have this as a mandatory step and the execution must start with a sign off by all stake holders. The importance of information architecture structured around clean data cannot be overstated for correct decision making. Any investment in Visual Analytics, Data Analytics etc., is as good the underlying data.

'Clean Data' must be a strategy for any Organisation. This must be an ongoing project that feeds into all projects.

Main Benefits:Minimise Risk, Create Data as an Asset, Leverage Technology.

• Process change and optimisation

Project Management is mainstream. A large number of projects if one looks closely do have similarities. The world is full of lessons with a repository of examples to learn from. Vendors on the other hand have a global view and experience. Over time software products have come to incorporate global best practices. This makes 'COTS' approach for implementation a very good option with minimal customisation. This is an opportunity for an organisation to change its business processes.

Lessons learned

Organisation start customizing solutions bought off the shelf. The internal fault lines between Business, IT and Senior Management drag decisions towards customisation to the point where COTS will start assuming the form of in-house developed software. The very objective of technology upgradation, improved productivity, optimisation of business processes take the back seat. There are copious examples of projects that go into a tailspin due to extensive customisation.

Mantra: Choose a Global Vendor, Change Business Processes and implement with minimal Customization.

Main Benefits: Maximise Investment, Stay Competitive, Pioneer Change.

• Right leadership and People

People are key for the success of a project. Strong leadership, right skills and full commitment takes a project across the finish line. Professional Project Management and PMI processes give the necessary structure, direction and governance. The bottom line right people make successful projects.

Lessons learned

The first signs of the good people leaving a project always starts with a trickle and is seen in mid and senior management. When it gets viral, the cracks develop all over and finally descends to mediocre leadership, at this point it is beyond repair. The investments and funding dry out. Projects are kept on hold and gradually loose traction, soon forgotten.

Mantra: Reward people well enough to keep them in the game. Role clarity and participation to be communicated and maintained. Don't change responsibilities randomly. Aim at quick success, the so called low hanging fruits. Have a regular track of success and recognition in place. Make sure a good talent management person is in the team.

Main Benefits: Ensure Project Success, Deliver Stakeholder Value.

• Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned from a project is the guiding light to future projects. It is an organizational asset. The repository will have success stories and pain points from all previous projects. If not all at the least transformational ones that are disruptive (in the positive sense) for business.

Lessons learned

The success stories are all fine. More important are the 'Pain Points'. The focus on 'Pain Points' and its relevance cannot be overstated. The repeat performance of mistakes and resolution is at a cost and risk, more so from projects that have not been delivered or gone into the breach orbit of time and cost. In a projectised / matrix structure the PMOs office is ideally the owner of 'Lessons Learned'. The stakeholders for each project must sign off on the 'Lessons Learned'.

Mantra: Lessons Learned must be an indispensable first step for every project an organisation undertakes. Factor that in all process / dependent process steps as an 'Input'.

Main Benefits: Minimise Risk, Maximise Project Success.