Hello and Welcome

I'm an ex-Project Manager who currently moved on to Agile Consulting and this blog is my sounding board. This blog was started in 2008 journal-ling through my project management journey, today it combines both- my passion for all things project management as well as looking into the agile way of transformation and undergoing changes.

Here I write about my experiences, struggles, failures and joys. I also interview, do book reviews and keep you updated.

I usually post twice a week: Monday and Thursday unless I am too caught up which is often these days

If I'm not working; I can be found reading with a cup of tea. I love to read, push the envelope one step further, work on new ideas, experiment, travel and explore life.

Did you know you can now buy Stepping into Project Management at Amazon Kindle.

You can reach me at steppingintopm@gmail.com

How to read a book?

I love reading books, I have recently also moved to reading –eBooks and reading books online via i-pad.

This post isn’t about that.

It’s about finding the most effective way to read a book, remember the idea behind it and trigger the thought process. Not exactly the way you would read a novel.

I’ll explain what I mean- I like reading books in combos. This means if they are on similar topics/themes I will club them together and read. I don’t club more than 3 books. For example- I read Rework  and Delivering Happiness  together; both are about creating corporate cultures and see how differently it’s done for the same goal.
I read Beyond Boys Club  and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office  together. You get the idea.

My recent ongoing read is The Fifth Discipline  and Critical Chain  .

Why this is great:
  • You can easily compare between the books and theories and real life examples before yo forget.
  • It makes me think because I am reading 2 different opinions about the same topic, sometimes complimentary, sometimes contradictory
  • By reading 2-3 authors at the same time, I spread my horizon more on the topic.
How do you prefer reading yours?

(Pic Courtesy: Pinterest)

How to keep your life in control?

Overwhelmed with the to do list, promises, unending schedule and no time for you?  It’s true for many...Sometimes you have to be make smart choices and know what makes a difference for you. 

Here are few that can help you re-think:
  • Procrastinate to make decisions- Sometimes you can make the best of decisions when you have all the information you need. A hurried decision in most cases is always the wrong one. A study from Columbia University says, delaying can filter distractions. Now this is something that we aren't thought to think about, in fact procrastination has always been considered a negative aspect in our lives. Want to know how  a mind of a procrastinator works, try watching this TED talk.

  • Try to be happy
      • Create lists- Having a list takes your mind off the stress of constantly having to remember things and working on it. For example- there have been numerous occasions when I have come up with an idea for the blog and by next day I have completely forgotten it, which means I had to take another hour reading through things trying to come up with a topic or stress about how I ended up forgetting it. Only if I had written it down, I would save myself not only the hours but the worry. 
      • Meditate- 15 minutes of meditation can actually help people make better, more profitable decisions, “Most people have trouble admitting they were wrong when their initial decisions lead to undesirable outcomes,” says researcher Andrew Hafenbrack.  MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker.
      • Accept you can’t avoid stress in entirety- A little bit of stress is not only okay but is beneficial (watch the TED talk below).

  • Practice positive vibes- Create a routine and wake up doing something that makes you happy. You can listen to the same music every morning or go for a walk, water your plants, look at happy pictures- anything that resets your mood or gives a good head-start . A lot of successful people have created routines that allow them to practice positive vibes that translate into a better day for them and hence trick their minds in being happy or successful. When you start your day on a positive note, small glitches which you would otherwise allow your spirit to be dampened with, won’t set you back anymore. They will be smaller incidents that you can walk past by and still look forward in having a good day.
  • Know when to move on- Ask for a raise, ask for more responsibilities, ask for more learning and if at some point you see nothing’s working- you know it’s time to leave. Be clear about your objectives when you start looking for the next job, don’t be afraid to ask more questions, request to meet your manager you will be reporting to or find out the career and growth path in the organization you are interviewing at. It will only help you make better comparative decisions.

  • Look at the larger picture- Finding something new isn’t easy. It’s also difficult to start something new and perhaps looking for a new job is not something you feel like. Sometimes you have to look at what you want to do in the next 2 years and is being with your current organization, team or manager helping you attain those?  

Weekend and Travelling

I am unwinding today and its perfect because for the next 1 week I will be travelling.

So, today's post is from my kitchen, while i wrap things up and start getting ready. Packing's still in progress and fun facts in my Instagram

To know more what I will be doing for the next one week, follow me on twitter and Instagram.

By the way, just a reminder that Elizabeth's giveaway is still there for you to consider.

I hope you have a relaxed weekend. Cheers to you!

(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

What is SIPM- Connect?

SIPM (Stepping into Project Management) is a community for Project Managers. While this is a blog, the SIPM community is called- CONNECT.

You can be a newbie in the field OR someone who has been in the domain for years and is an expert. This is an open platform where you can interact within your own group, find a mentor to consult and learn from or simply network.

Best of all- its FREE!

The image above is a sneak peek, post login. You get:

  • to maintain your own profile
  • get updated within your network (if you have joined as an expert, you get to see all the experts registered with the site and start a conversation)
  • you get to see the other group as well (example- I can see the newbie list too)
  • My notes allows you to scribble your to dos and things to remember.
  • And of course based on your registration type (Expert or Newbie) you get to see the relevant advertisements, which hopefully add value to you. Ads re not globally placed n the site, its based on your group. 
Its an active site with a lot going on, so if you are already part of it- a big THANK YOU. If you have been thinking about joining it, please try it out. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me.

(Pic courtesy: SIPM)

Project Management 2.0- Book Review

Project Management 2.0
Sent by Wiley (publisher) for a book review, this book wasn't purchased by me.

What it covers:
  • How has project management changed over the years and why?
  • It touches on all the topics you would need in project management from tools to governance and shows you the changes
  • Talks about how social impacts have made changes to this line of work like recessions.
  • Text heavy with intermittent charts and graphs

As the name suggest the book is all about the “new” in project management, but clearly through the pages, the author talks more through comparative tables and the value of the new. In trying to keep the book in a discussion mode, there are questions listed at the end of every chapter. From the Agile PM methodology to the politics and stakeholder mapping everything gets covered indepth.
Towards the end of the book he talks about the various ways of problem solving and decision making and concludes interestingly.

Total No of Pages

Who should read this Book?
  • Project management professionals- Anyone in the project management profession can pick it up, especially those who have been doing it for a while. It’s definitely not a quick read, however allows seeing the latest trends and changes that you can catch up with.
  • Project management Historians-Anyone interested in the project management history and how things have undergone changes will find the book interesting.
  • I don’t think it would particularly interest the millenials, because they have been doing project management 2.0 anyways.

Why should you read this book?
  • To keep yourself updated- from the latest changes in Agile Project management to the how stakeholder management has changed. 12 chapters are:
  • Project management 2.0
  • Peek into the Future of project management
  • Understanding Success and Failure
  • Value driven project management
  • Growing importance of metrics with pm 2.0
  • Project management Methodologies 1.0vs2.0
  • Project governance
  • Role of project manager in strategic planning and Portfolio management
  • R&D Project management
  • Problem solving and decion making
  • Need for project management
  • Using the PMO to spearhead PM2.0

 What’s the price and where can I find it?

Who is the author?