Friday, February 26, 2016

Avani's dose of the day!! Handsome prince to the rescue!

Avani: Mummy, I will tell you a story!
Mummy: Ok, tell me.
Avani: Once upon a time, long long ago. When no one was there( She means none of us). There lived a very very beautiful princess. She was very very very pretty, wearing a golden tiara and pink shiny gown. She was just like Snow-white and Cinderella. One day, she got very scared by a monkey monster. 
Mummy: Monkey monster?
Avani: Yes. Then a handsome prince came and rescued her. And then they lived happily there after. They had so much fun together! They had ice creams, they played blocks, they had chocolates, they went to park and had lots of fun.
Mummy: That's a wonderful story, but why does the beautiful princess need a prince to rescue her? She should be strong enough to rescue herself. You should not be dependent on anyone to help you all the time.
Avani: But that is what happens in Disney land. A handsome prince always rescues the princesses. You don't know anything Mummy!
Her cute narration of story brought a huge smile on my face and especially her idea of lived happily there after was so innocent and straight from the heart of a 4 year old. But I am quite disappointed by our story writers. What are we actually teaching our kids? Girls should always be beautiful and boys handsome? Girls are weak and guys need to rescue them from everything? Outer beauty defines you and you need all the materialistic things to look beautiful!

I want them to understand, outer beauty is not the parameter of beauty. You need to feel confident, have a beautiful heart, act kind and love yourself the way you are. Also, I want them to be independent, capable enough to deal with the world emotionally/financially/physically. #ChallengesOfParenting #ToughJobAhead

Thursday, February 25, 2016

5 Corporate Mantras which work for me

You never realize your true potential unless you are in the right environment and around the right people. Success has different definitions for different people. But whatever is your parameter, there are a few things which act as a catalyst in reaching your goals. So here are my 5 corporate mantras which I feel has worked for me either immediately or in long run.

          1. Situational leadership -
For an organization, successful project delivery is part of your basic R &R.  What matters are the additional things you do! What have you done going out of the way for customer satisfaction? How have you added value to your team? How quickly you have adapted to new changes and motivated people around you to accept the same changes? If you see some process not correct, have you acted as a situational leader and tried to optimize it? You don’t need a designation or instruction for improving the things around you.  

         2. Voice your opinion -  
Blame it to our upbringing where we do not seek opinion of younger members of the family in important matters. We always consider it impolite to voice opinion in front of our elders.  

But in corporate world, everyone is doing their job. The hierarchy is more to distribute the work than to decide the maturity/intellect/caliber of a person. So never be afraid to voice your opinion if you feel you can add some value to the discussion. Good leaders always encourage fresh perspectives and value every opinion.

         3. Never stop  learning -
In a dynamic world like ours, there is no scope for being stagnant with your knowledge. Every time you feel, you are an expert in something, start learning a new thing. Learning not only gives you an edge, it also gives you new challenges to keep the fire and ambition within you burning. Set SMART goals. Without planning, we will never be able to achieve more than just the usual routine. And when Mark Zuckerberg can pull out time for learning new things, I think we can all do that with our busy schedules.

         4. Resources or Human beings?
I hate calling people as RESOURCES. They are people who have different temperament, cultures, issues and aspirations. So when you deal with people, it’s important to treat them with respect and empathy. Sometimes polite words can get humongous task done in minutes because when you show respect, the other person feel important and he will go out of the way to help you. People management is not about how many people you know or your status; it’s about knowing the strengths of the people around you and complimenting them to achieve bigger goals.

         5. Be a leader not a manager -
Every day we read quotes on the difference between a leader and a manager. I would say, management studies do not teach you how to be a leader. It is sometimes inborn, sometimes comes with experience and sometimes with intention. If you intend to lead, you will be an initiator and a strong driver. Managers sometimes just demote themselves to be reporters, rather than being leaders.  Leaders will delegate not only responsibility but also power. Leaders develop a self-organized team who may need guidance and direction from their manager occasionally. Whereas managers try to manage their resources not develop and groom them.

So what are your mantras? Looking forward to hear from you and learn something new from you today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fast Track PMP study

Its surprising how we can achieve something we think is impossible to be done. And I experienced it recently when I attempted PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. Ofcourse, its not an impossible task for anyone. But I termed it impossible in the begining considering that till 9th of December 2015, all I had done was glancing some 150 pages of Rita Mulchay's exam prep 8th edition. Exam date being 6th of January 2016, I had less than 30 days in hand.
And out of those 27 days, I was sure that I would not be able to give my 100 % for 1/4th of the time owing to Christmas/DDs birthday/Planned family vacation/New year celebrations. So my first sensible step should have been postponing the dates and coming back with better study plan. But I decided otherwise and took a huge risk with the most important exam. Not because I was confident I would clear it, but because I knew that I will never be able to have that perfect day when I am all prepared. 
On a lighter note, Engineers are better at last minute studies than planned studies. 
So I decided to talk to few people I know who had cleared the exam recently and who I  know would give me proper advise on how to do focused studies for these 20 days. Mind you, when we say focused studies, like other exams you cannot skip a complete chapter or knowledge area. Its more like out of the vast ocean of resources you can refer to, which resources will best equip you to understand the concepts and make you ready for answering the use case based questions.

Again I will re-iterate, this 20 days focused study plan is not the best way to deal with the exams. But guide as to how the match is not lost till the last ball.
So here we go

Study Material
PMBOK (Appendix and Glossary also important) (Read twice)
Rita’s Book. (Read once)
Kim heldman book “PMP project management Professional Exam study Guide”
Head First PMP

Study Groups/Forums
I want to be a PMP® (
Izenbridge – Sanket Bansal (Videos on youtube)
Exam questions :
PMI- Lakeshore chapter membership

Exam questions : (At least 2000 questions recommended)
Scorodo (1-18 tests of 50 questions on PMI site)
Sanket Bansal

Things to remember
Numerical formulas: 
Triangular distribution
Earned value formulas
Precedence diagram calculations (network diagram)
Communication channel formulas
Selection criteria formulas

Earned Value, Planned Value and Actual cost (Fig 7-12)
Salience Model for Stakeholder (Online resources)
Power-Impact grid 

ITTOs ( tricks to remember Triple constraints and Triplets)
Risk Management
Quality Management
Perform integrated change control
Validate Scope
7 Basic Quality Tools (CP CH FCS) and Quality control tools (API TPAM)
Tuckman model (FormingStormingNormingPerformingAdjorning)
Conflict resolution techniques (important)