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Newsletter - Aug 2013

 
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PM Essence

In pursuit of excellence to provide value added service to our members, Chapter is pleased to organize two special sessions for the participants of PMPC 2013. Special Programs are available only for Early Bird Registrations. At the time of registration, the participant can select the program to attend, provided seats are available. Please note that PMPC early bird registration offer will be valid till August 9, 2013.

The programs are:
(i) The "Deeper Issues" that Hurt Leadership, Collaboration and Project Management and
(ii) Enterprise Project Portfolio Management: Driving business transformation success. These programs are scheduled on 12th Sept 2013 from 11.00 AM to 4.00 PM.

Interested delegates may register for either of the programs without any additional cost and earn 4 additional PDUs. Since seats are limited, registration is on a first come first served basis. For details visit Chapter Website or contact the Chapter officials.

“Deeper Issues" that Hurt Leadership, Collaboration & Project Management

Everyone knows that there is something deeper than behavior that matters a lot. Some call it motivation, others call it character, and many call it attitude. Everyone knows that when this deeper thing, whatever it is, is off in some way—when one's attitude is poor, for example—this deep deficiency undercuts personal integrity, hurts teamwork, collaboration, project management and diminishes performance. The trouble is that most people lack clarity about what this deeper thing is and how to change it. But what if these deeper matters could be managed concretely? What if these issues have seemed mystical and soft only because we have lacked a language that equips us to accurately perceive and address these deeper matters? This 4 hour session clarifies the deeper issue and answers the fundamental questions to optimize collaboration and outcomes in projects despite the constraints one faces. Key Takeaways - Participants learn, apply and leave with a robust framework and tools to heighten their awareness and nurture and embed practices that strengthen collaboration and optimize project results.

This will be presented by: Mr. Senthiyl S S G & Mr Shankar Thayumanavan, Arbinger Singapore

Enterprise Project Portfolio Management: Driving business transformation success

Oracle Primavera will discuss the challenges facing executives, leaders and project practitioners responsible for driving enterprise strategy, execution of corporate initiatives and management of the project portfolio. Demonstrations will show how executives and users alike can benefit from EPPM solutions to easily review and gain insight into all aspects of their project portfolio. Therefore enabling senior leaders and managers to better manage and address the growing demands of complex, risky large-scale projects and gain a clearer insights to make better informed business decisions. As well as presenting the Primavera solution road-map, the program will cover case studies that will highlight the business benefits project management solutions have delivered. It will also touch on some of the best practices being implemented.

Finally the program will discuss how companies are utilising project portfolio management solutions to improve financial discipline, increase operational efficiencies and proactively identify and mitigate risk in order to enable the successful execution of their projects.

This will be presented by: Mr. Vijay Govekar, Oracle Primavera.

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PM Essence

Gandhiji's Management Principles behind Project Independence

By Shikha Vaidh, PMP, Capgemini
Being born after India's Independence, the 'freedom' was unconditionally doled out to me and I consider this as the greatest privileged I enjoy today. On the eve of our Independence day, I got into a pensive mood and tried to reflect how Mahatma Gandhi, aptly regarded as the Father of Nation, could unite the Countrymen and other luminary leaders during his time to the common vision of getting Freedom of our country from British rule, then mobilize them to 'execute' the vision by exemplary leadership, strong communication and execution plan. Being a project management professional I myself was naturally inclined to imagine that 'Independence' can also be considered as a 'project' where Gandhiji was trying to provide something 'unique' to his motherland.

As we all know MG was the lynchpin of the India's freedom struggle. Let us try to understand Mahatma Gandhi efforts in successfully executing his mission of giving freedom to India from the British rule.

So, let me highlight few strategies and leadership qualities our Father of Nation applied for gaining independence from the British and how those methods and leadership strategies can be mapped to today's Project Management strategies.

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To inspire and bring more involvement from Indian citizens Gandhiji utilized, several principles which are termed as AGILE principles today are described below:

AGILE Principle(s) -
(i) Satisfy the customer through early & continuous delivery, 
(ii) Tangible milestone (Working software) is the primary measure of progress

As we know the success on project Independence was achieved after crossing multiple milestones. Gandhiji invented and used nonviolent methods. Some of the Major Milestones and freedom struggles from British rule led by him are,

a) Non Co-operation Movement - September 1920–February 1922
b) Civil Disobedience Movement – March 1930
c) Quit India Movement (Bharat Chhodo Andolan) – August 1942
d) India Independence Movement – August 1947

AGILE Principle - (iii) Build projects around motivated individuals

Impact and success of each milestone (movement) inspired Indian citizens towards project goal, every man; women and child began dreaming of a free India. This helped him to build the team of motivated individuals around him.

One of the main tactic in Gandhi's fight against the British which was what he called “Satyagraha”, which means “Soul-Force” or “The power of truth”.

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His belief was and inspired people to be true to life can make their life easier. We may face a lot of failures and setbacks initially for being truthful and on the right path, but at the end we will emerge as a true winner.

Similarly, in today's world making the customer aware of the right status and situation helps Project Managers to get the customer buy-in to understand their vision as well as team buy-in to take further necessary actions based on the received feedback.


AGILE Principle(s) - (iv) The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from selforganizing teams
(v) Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility

Gandhiji was very open-minded and had a tolerance towards all religious. He believed and communicated that the paths of all religions lead to the same goal of achieving 'Truth'. He looked participation of people of all religion, caste & economic status in his movement (Workforce Diversity), diversity results in better performance on complex decisions and problems; this helped him to understand the risks issues in a diversified manner during all his movements. Similarly, it is important to be an open minded leader who is always prepared to welcome and accept changes. Gandhiji preached people to learn the value to truth, self-restraint and ahimsa or nonviolence and made sure he kept on reiterating the same thing whenever he addressed his countrymen. Gandhiji always taught only those things which he himself practiced. Sacrifice, Commitment, Heavy emphasis on self - awareness and discipline. He always kept his commitments, and walked-thetalk. He had high degree of emotional intelligence and showed great understanding of understanding human behavior. He believed in the power of patience and perseverance in getting 'quality' results and said “Patience & perseverance can overcome
mountains”.

As Project Managers we know learning gives the real empowerment to the people. Domain or functional knowledge always helps project managers and leaders to lead teams and manage the projects in a better way, absence of which can lead to multiple issues like understand the criticality and priority of things to be delivered. Once we keep learning new things it improvises the knowledge which in turn helps managing the team, delivering the right deliverables on time with better quality.

Agile Principle – (vi) Keeping things “Simple” is an important tool for effective communication and gain 'acceptance' from different stakeholders

Simplicity is essential, Gandhiji's way of living, teaching, books and even quotes were very simple and admirable. Simplicity was his greatest virtue. Simplicity is the basic mantra for any successful project. Have a vision towards the goal, plan for it and work hard to achieve it.

He was an excellent listener, Gandhiji wanted to make villages self dependent. He developed local leaders at grassroots level i.e. he built leaders by delegation (De- Centralization). As we celebrate our 66th independence anniversary we can take a leaf from volumes of articles written on Gandlhi's leadership and motivate ourselves to push the boundaries to execute our projects despite the inevitable challenges and barrier we might encounter down the way.

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PM Essence

Rediscover your 'Agile Quotient'!!

By Madhavan S Rao, PMP, Assurance Consulting

There is no doubt that Agile Project Management Methodologies are getting increasingly adopted by many organizations and Project teams.

However, not having the immediate opportunity, to apply formal Agile Methodologies, need not inhibit any of us from being basically 'agile'...

If you have heard yourself or your peers reflecting on the below questions; this article would interest you.

“I have done my ACP (Agile Certification). However my Organization is yet to adopt Agile methodologies in their Projects. What do I do?

“My team proposed using Agile for this outsourced Project. However Client is not willing!”. Am I struck?

“I am using Agile Methodologies in my Projects. However the collective learning curve is quite steep!”. Will it take a long time to demonstrate the benefits of going Agile?"

If you refer the English dictionary for 'agile' – you would see: nimble, supple, lithe, sprightly, alert, responsive, swift, active, dexterous etc…. It is obvious that 'agile' describes the mindset.

So here goes: Below are 6 Project situations. Each is a simplified version, for sake of brevity.

As you read through them, try to identify (to yourself) the agile attributes practiced by the Project Manager/Team member.

1) Client was taking an unduly longer time to review and approve the SRS document prepared by the offshore Project Team. The PM gauged that the delay , was due to voluminous documentation (necessary!). The PM connected with the Client and proactively offered to “To do a walk through session of the SRS to the Client Business Analysts and answer any queries”. The client agreed and the session was arranged.Based on the feedback and few modifications, the SRS document was approved by the Client. The PM and team could effectively utilize the time and resources, without the idling status – “waiting for sign-off”.

2) In a Maintenance Project, there was occasional spare capacity between work requests. The Project Manager proposed to the client to assign a set of low priority work requests that could be taken up in an interrupt mode. The team could start and stop working on this, based on the regular work requests that had an SLA based turnaround time. This additional productivity helped the Client with further value add. At a later date, when the PM requested for an increase in the FTE resources for the Maintenance Project; the client was more than willing to approve.

3) Several work requests were being handled simultaneously by various teams. The team members were dynamically reallocated, balancing the flow of work requests and availability of skilled resources. Whenever any work request was on the threshold of breaching the SLA's ; an automatic message would go up on an electronic LED display in the Hall, where most of the resources were collocated. Surprisingly a team member from another project, would approach the PL of the troubled project with “ I have the skills for this work request. Currently, I am free. Can I help?”. The task of providing additional resources for a troubled project was a seamless and realtime process, without eating into the time of Project Manager and Management, to the extent possible.

4) PM to team “ If we do not deliver this work request by 25th this month, we would be paying a SLA penalty of $2500?”. This message (in quantified terms) getting communicated to every team member, normally galvanized the team to higher levels of productivity. It also prompted the PL to clearly state, what assistance was required to complete the work in time.This pre-empted 11th hour surprises on completion status.

5) Status update from a Team Leader to the Project Manager – “ The Project has 4 Modules. For 3 of them , we have things in control. The 4th Module involves some research and uncertainty on time lines. Will update you much in advance in case we need more expert resources or need to negotiate with Client for additional time and budget. We will not have occasion for a last minute surprises, rest assured.”

6) The Client had proposed very tight and (an unreasonable) schedule for a proposed project to the Vendor partner. The Vendor PM had a huge challenge in saying a 'NO' to a Platinum Customer. A YES would also result in ext a unbilled resources being put into the Project and it becoming an unprofitable account. After initial deliberations with the Client and team, the Vendor PM proposed the Project be sliced into 2 parts. 1 smaller part to be executed by the Client at Onsite and the 2nd larger part to be executed by the Vendor offshore. With this arrangement, it would be possible to meet the schedule timelines. (whether this suggestion was accepted or not by client, is another matter. The PM conceiving of proposing such an Execution model is indicative of the desired mindset). These are just indicative examples, where Project stakeholders did “What More was Possible!”, besides applying the Processes and Methodologies.

When we continually strive to think on “What More is Possible?”, we are complementing and supplementing the Process action points with 'agile', action points.

Visualize the cascading impact of a team that thinks 'agile'. If you have a team size of 20 or 100 or 200, and each of them deliver 1 'agile' action point a day , we have sown the seeds of success , not withstanding uncertainties and Murphy.

Like to call this Murphy++. - Delivering unexpected positive surprises. This is possible by thinking 'agile'.

When you are determined to come up with 1 'agile' action point daily, you will find that you can. The human mind is easily reprogrammable to rediscover its true nature – basically agile!!.


Try this out and- Rediscover your agile quotient.

Best Comments for the above 6 examples to 'agile mindset' will get a special mention in future edition of Essence surprise. Provide your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject Line “Rediscover your Agile Quotient”.

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PM Essence
Disruptive Project Management

Balasubramaniam Vedagiri, PMP, Mphasis
The word disruptive means something that rudely shakes the current beliefs or practices and makes people think. When Copernicus declared that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way, it shook the very basis of knowledge of the earth that we possessed. The word “Disruptive innovation” became famous when inventors started looking for groundbreaking innovations in products and services.

Following the same line of thought, what can be “Disruptive” in Project Management? Like everything termed “Disruptive”, the Disruptive Project Management emerges from the need to adapt differently, bring in newer thoughts & ideas in managing the projects, pack more autonomy within team and raise productivity in delivering successful projects. It brings in creativity, innovative thought process and clear communication practices to unleash the best outcomes without taking untoward risks in today's highly competitive global market place.

Disruptive Project Management Strategies

Disruptive method of project management involves strategic thinking. Here are some ideas around which the Project Manager can evolve Disruptive Strategies:

1. Discard pre-conceived notions about typical project management methods, tools and techniques. Be open to newer ways of doing things. Here are some newer ideas that can be considered :

a. Consider “Social Media” as an alternative to emails and meetings for better communication and co-ordination among collocated or distributed teams.

b. Evaluate “Tools on Cloud” as against traditional owned environments for a quick start.

c. Make the team understand that the Project that they are involved in is aligned to the organization's “Business Processes” and “Strategic Initiatives” so that the decisions can be based on the value of the project.

d. Short of team! Are your team members playing multiple roles! Does the project require short assignments! Explore “Crowd Sourcing” within the organization as an alternative to traditional team assignments.

e. Adapt “Mobile Computing” for better agility, quicker communication, faster resolution of issues and efficient tracking.

2. Have a bigger box than thinking outside the box: “Inclusive Project Management” helps the project benefit from more heads. Consider burning in “Think Time” for each member to look at the work and explore better ways of doing things.

3. Learn from others: Study other projects and practices to change the way you manage this project.

4. Imbibe new working culture: Increasingly, Project Managers realize that the chances of taking informed decisions are more when the project manager plays the role of a “catalyst” or of a “coach” rather than that of a manager.

5. Be selective but still effective: By focusing on “the Important” without wasting energy on “the Urgent” the Project Manager can focus on delivering value. The ability of the project manager to distinguish the difference between important and urgent to maintain a balance is key.

Disruptive Project Management Techniques

Some of the popular techniques that are used in other fields or industry can be of immense benefit to the Disruptive Project Management.

Intelligent Disobedience: One of the important factors contributing to the Project failure is the Scope Creep. The Intelligent Disobedience technique empowers the project manager to push back when he/she believes that a proposed change will create undue risk to the organization or client.

Empowering Project Team: Too much management is counterproductive. When you manage, your people don't solve problems but do what you tell them to do.

Project Blowback: This is a term used forthe unexpected consequences of a project productivity attained by a project manager by utilizing some components developed at low cost that are re-used to the advantage of the client's project. Disruptive project blowback help better price performance levels for those developed in a low cost model to reap higher returns from a high maturity markets.

Reverse Brain Storming: Whenever faced with a project challenge, the Project Manager could use this technique which is both fun and enlightening. While in a typical brainstorming session, the actual problem statement is stated to arrive at a fish-bone diagram, the Reverse Brain storming is the opposite.

Project Analytics/Intelligence: Building a predictive Project Analytics or intelligence to identify and mitigate potential risk will help the project manager wade through the project life cycle seamlessly.

Orchestrated Immersion sessions: Though this concept is oriented towards brain based learning approach in a classroom, the same can be applied in a project environment.

Ambidextrous Decision Making : Disruptive Project Managers need to learn the art of developing ambidextrous decision making ability relying on data/analytics as well as gut feeling.

Implementing Disruptive Project Management techniques in a project requires support from key stakeholders:

• Senior Management support is required to handle stiff resistance from internal groups to change or align their support to the project needs.

• Customer Buy-in for disruptive techniques cannot be assumed. It would help if the Project Manager loops customers at every stage to help them evaluate the benefit of disruptive techniques with data pertaining the business benefits, project progress and relative impact on the project financials.

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PM Essence
Statistical approach in the Agile Framework

- Priyanka Dutta, R.T. Sundari, CDAC

Business in current scenario is different from what it used to be a few years ago. Here we will see practicing Agile Framework in a project Pre-Examination Process Automation System (PEPAS) to design, develop, maintain and host the application to perform the task easily at client end. We will also discuss, how the probability of project success increased by applying proven principal and practices of statistical approach such as Quantitative Project Management (QPM), Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) and Individual Moving Range (XMR) to mitigate the challenges.

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Agile methodology was adopted to execute the project due to constraints of time in developing, testing and implementing the project and to respond to changes quickly and smoothly.

Implementation of Agile in Project

An error – free speedy interface is vital for successful functioning of the system. Most of the promising objectives of any software development method
or process are delivering working software on time, quality and budget. There were many challenges while building the application:

“This does not mean that an unfinished product is delivered, because of the that 80% of the project comes from 20% of the system requirements.”

1. The work order from start to finish is of very short duration of 25 to 40 days.
2. The date of completion of the project is not flexible as it is published in newspapers
3. We had to consistently fulfill all the requirements of the client even though it comes at the last moment.
4. Minimize the maintenance cost of the application and increase its productivity/performance at the same time due to short duration.
5. The load on the system is not known and is unexpected.

Consequently, Dynamic System Development Method (DSDM), a key agile framework was put to use for rapid application development. Using DSDM in our project, the time and resources for development are fixed and the functionality is decided accordingly. Our focus is on business need and timely delivery of product. DSDM talks about many core techniques but we implemented the following listed ones: Time boxing, MoSCoW, Prototyping and Testing.

Project was divided into two parts. Timelines were set for each and every activity and a work plan was made at the beginning of the project. Constraints were highlighted. For each part, number of requirements was selected according to the MoSCoW principle. Because time and budget were fixed, the only remaining variable was the requirements. So if a project is running out of time the requirements with the lowest priority are omitted. This does not mean that an unfinished product is delivered, because of the Pareto principle that 80% of the project comes from 20% of the system requirements, so as long as those most important 20% of requirements are implemented into the system, the system meets the business needs. The prototype model was developed and accepted by client. After acceptance the client placed different work orders. For every work order, customization of the base model was to be made as per the requirements. This was done at an early stage of the project.


Statistical Approach in Project Management


Research has shown that Quantitatively Managing the project produces better result and improves product quality. For practicing the Quantitative Project Management (QPM) following steps are to be followed:

1. Establish the Project Objectives
2. Select the Organizational Process Performance Model (PPM) that aligns with the project objective
3. Quantitatively assess the project status
4. Select the process that needs the improvement

Efforts efficiency can be attained by improving the Defect Density (DD). Hence the organization PPM of DD is selected for monitoring project progress and predicts the quality of the product.

The above PPM has SRS Review Effectiveness, Design Review Effectiveness and Code Review Effectiveness (CRE) as the coefficients. Crucial for this project is Code Review Effectiveness (CRE) and this has been chosen for statistical management. The goal for achieving DD was set as 4.2. At the beginning of the project CRE was at 39% and the probability of achieving DD 4.2 was 66%. After simulations it was concluded that with 43% Code Review Effectiveness the probability of achieving 4.2 DD was 97%. The values indicated that there was a need to improve the process.

D.D = 1.34 - 13.9 SRS Review Effectiveness + 2.16 Design Review Effectiveness - 1.40 Code Review Effectiveness.

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Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) is done to identify how to increase the effectiveness in code review to make it a capable process. For doing Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) we used 5 Whys technique. The 5 Whys is a questions-asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem with the goal of determining a root cause of a defect or problem.To monitor the progress of the project towards achieving the established goal, Individuals Moving Range (X-mR) control chart was chosen. Compare to all other control charts X-mR chart is more relevant for software projects. X-mR chart is a pair of control charts for processes with a subgroup size of one. It is used to determine if a process is stable and predictable, it creates a picture of how the system changes over time. The individual (X) chart displays individual measurements. The moving range (MR) chart shows variability between one data point and the next. Individuals and moving range charts are also used to monitor the effects of process improvement theories. Above chart shows the progress of the project. In the chart, before corrective action the mean value of the Defect Density is 5.65. This was higher than the upper specification limit of 4.3 DD. But after the aforementioned improvements we started monitoring the progress of the project using X-mR chart, there is no major deviation towards negative side of the project goal. At the end of the continuous monitoring, the natural limits start falling within the range of specification limits. The mean value of the Defect Density also reduced to 1.35.