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Being the change helps teams succeed

Being the change like Mahatma Gandhi said, is a great leadership Quality. Its universal law applicable in personal, professional and social planes.

Personal context : Walking the talk, practising what we say to our kids be it reading, hard-working, maintaining consistency in efforts at tasks, waking up early are best performed than told. Children are more likely to follow these healthy habits if it was done by parents than told to them. Contrary to these habits, watching TV Shows, Mobile gazing, procrastinating, being inconsistent will be impacting kids in way that’s unbelievable, they pick up very quickly. Yes, bad habits are easily picked up as they are short cuts to momentary happiness.

Professional Context : Showing up on time, being committed, caring for details of tasks and giving attention to teams’ goals/ efforts in addition to managing the projects will be having significant positive effects on teams commitment and motivation. Most of the time team will follow suit.  Obviously lack of commitment from the project manager will be reflected in the team’s attitude and performance.

Social context : We need not over emphasize, less said the better. Treat people in a way you want to be treated. Always be good and helpful.



Win during practice or performance

You win during practice or performance.

Rational mind feels happy during the performance, the final, the test. Indeed it rings true in the rational world. You pursue a doctorate,  after Bachelors and Masters at any filed in science / engineering. Then slog it out completely for three to five years in research, hard work, thesis, dissertation and defense. You get through the doctorate successfully. Awesome feeling indeed.

Rhapsodic mind knows that the path taken with perseverance and passion was indeed beautiful. It would want to have the same experience to be continued.  Now you are a PhD. Awesome feeling. Placed in great position at an amazing company. Work on some of best projects.  You start to feel happy and terrific. What an achievement and recognition.Yet you may miss the the practice.

Real mind is something that combines rational and rhapsody. You start reflecting upon what sacrifices you made like working in the trenches etc. You missed some plum offers along the way during campus placement at Bachelors and Masters levels.  So, you chose the preferable over the pleasurable. PhD over plum offers. Hard work over student pleasures. Now you are rewarded  with a doctorate. Won’t you feel elated over the entire journey, the path as well as the destination. Real mind focus on sustaining the journey by continuing the efforts towards still better challenges for the self like creating innovative super products, solving huge problems faced by the industry / society. You go on to develop many PhDs along the way. This way the Real mind combines both rhapsody and passion . Real mind enjoys both the practice and performance. Revere the path and enjoy the journey.

You win during practice as well as performance.

What do you think?

One Global Optimum

Sage of Kanchi, Mahaperiyavar has given a great reference of Non-Duality (Advaitha) appearing in the Elegy penned by great poet Shelley for John Keats. Here goes a piece from the elegy with explanation from Mahaperiyavar.

The One remains, the Many change
Heaven’s Light forever Shines, Earth’s shadows Fly
… Life like a dome of many-coloured Glass
Stains the White Radiance of Eternity!”

Sage in his inimitable style explained the above verses like :

One remains – refers the permanent nature of the Absolute entity. (Adwaitha Philosophy). Many change refers to the changing nature of plurality (Dwaitha philosophy). He goes on to explain the “many-coloured Glass Stains the White Radiance of Eternity!” in an awesome manner as follows:.

Just as White light when enters the prism it gets separated into many colours , the Absolute One entity manifests as many on getting reflected at individual levels.

I was awestruck on reading the explanation of the part of the Elegy. It rings true with Eli Goldratt’s Theory of constraints where he recommends achieving One Global optimum as Goal as against focusing on local efficiency at individual levels.

Happy New Year 2018!


Form (ever) Follows Function

Ice, Water and Steam- Three forms of the same source serve different purposes. Each form serves multiple unique purposes. Force fitting these forms for functions not meant for them, don’t help and fails miserably.sample

This is a great natural example of “Form Follows Function” theory expounded by great architect Louis Henry Sullivan through his favorite design phrase, “form (ever) follows function,”

All great concepts like SAFe, LeSS, Lean,etc do insist on achieving the Goal collectively as an engaged organization. TOC nicely summarizes and advocates to Increase the throughput to maximum using leverage points / constraints.  Choosing a or a combination of any concepts before applying to any program should be judged by the function it should deliver rather than fitting the function into the templates of pre-determined concepts.

Common causes of failures of new initiatives in my experience are attributed to predetermined “Management flavor of the season” initiatives rather than focusing the function that need to be served.

What is your experience? please share your thoughts.

When fix is painful than defect (Medicine pains more than illness) – Get to theory- 3.4 couplet

When fix is painful than defect (Medicine pains more than illness)

Get to Theory

~3.4 couplet

A small half cup (like that of cough syrup bottle) will contain 1 KG of water vis-a-vis around 74 mL of water. This is the practical way of informing the density concept to children, instead defining in formal physical terms like ratio of unit mass to unit volume expresses in kg/cu.m etc.

However as the child grows perception of density becomes a concept and understand the definition formally. When the child was not able to visualize concept, a direct visual demo was required as the child could not apply the density with just basic perception. However when the child becomes grown up, it will need to understand and extend the concept to broader areas and will be able to derive the density of various substance on its own use the property of density in the relevant application.

The point am trying to suggest is that quick and hot fixes in the name of Agile, will impair the long term solution/product rather than strengthen it.  Here we need the help of theory and concepts. Addressing the root causes and systematically eliminating them will make the model more solid and ensure that product / service is evolving in consistent and effective manner. There are cases where the fix is taking so much effort and cost than the leaving the actual defect in the system, resulting in more CoPQ.  Looking at this way also predictive capabilities if remain the focus and applied in true manner, then will ensure meeting long term objectives of all customers.

Solid grounding on basic concepts will help, in the words of great Toyota way provide the customers with what they want when they want and in the amount they want.

Whats in a name – ceremony or practices

Agile ceremonies like sprint planning, stand-ups, visual boarding, refactoring have been sounding like very formal customs that must be practised by all teams. Hence some people/teams prefer using the words practice instead of ceremony.

IMHO it is contextual, and can be used interchangeably. For instance a team that’s new to Scrum project management it should consider the activities like scrum planning, estimation, stand-ups, collaboration, review, refactoring et al, as ceremonies as these need to be minimum steps in ensuring project deliveries.  For a team that has matured through many sprints these activities become practices, implying that customs/ceremonies put into regular routines and become practices.

Also evolution means accommodating and modifying new elements into project management practices, that might involve replacing few practises. This is the essential spirit of Agile – embracing the changes.

As far as teams, learn, practise and perfect – sprint of Agile – What’s in a name?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Happier stakeholders – Spirit of Agile

Mazhithalum neetalum venda ulagam

pazhithadhu ozhithu vidin

A great couplet from Tamil Sage Thiruvalluvar. Loosely it translates as neither sporting  a shaven head nor locks of hair tresses are required for those who abide by the codes and conduct of the world. Meaning, it is better to live in the spirit of worldly wisdom without physically pretending to be a sage.

A great relation can be deduced from agile for the above couplet meaning.

neither gold-plating nor abstaining(form processes) required

if user-world benefits from(products or services).

As in Lean, Agile also advocates quicker time boxed deliveries of working iterations with just necessary processes. gold plating of upstream activities like requirement, design and too much overheads will defeat the spirit of Agile .  Conversely, total avoidance of any planning, reviews and risk management will be sure road to debacle of products and services.

Just necessary process and sufficient tailoring will create products that will make all stake holders happier.