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

Just wanted to say Hello!

A little inspiration goes a long way. Just wanted to say hello and hope you are keeping up with the week.

Pic courtesy- Pinterest

The Project Managers Guide to Mastering Agile- Book Review

The book was sent for review, though I chose it amongst others. The book piqued my interest because project management and agile are considered contradictory ideas.

Published by Wiley, the book covers all aspects of agile and how its different from the traditional waterfall.
What it covers is:
  • Provide a better understanding of what Agile is
  • Talk about the roles and how they are different in Agile
  • Take the main discussion points from PMBOK and explain how the same topic is looked in Agile
  • Dedicates a chapter to Agile tool- about Version One specifically.

·         The book is categorized into 4 main section:
§  Fundamentals of Agile
§  Agile Project Management
§  Making Agile Work for a Business
§  Enterprise Level Agile Frameworks
·         Chapter 11 onwards, the discussion focuses more on understanding Agile at deeper level and subsequently talk about Scaling Agile, the concept of Agile Transformation and towards the end  Frameworks
§  SAFe
§  DAD
§  Managed Agile Development Framework
·         The case studies brings in the how changes happen in reality, the challenges and how to overcome them.

·         The added benefit is the glossary of terms, so someone very new to the concept of Agile doesn’t need to go through another book or web, but can simply get all the terminologies from right here.

Total No of pages
399 (including index)

Who should read this Book?

  •        Project Managers moving into Agile- This book is caters to both experienced and new project managers. Apart from explaining the concepts, the book talks in details about all aspects of traditional project management and its changing roles- from estimation to time management.
  •          Sponsors for Agile Transformation- The case studies are a great way to look into the challenges along with the scaling frameworks. While Agile tool has been discussed here, they are a lot many options available in the market.  
  •          Managers interested in knowing the relevance of roles in Agile and how they are supposed to be handled- With self organizing Agile teams, the concern for management always lies in where does the existing roles fit in?
Why should you read this book?
Anyone interested to know where a project manager would fit in an Agile Organization can read this book. I have to say, the book is for someone who’s new to Agile, or has been working in traditional project management role for long.  

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

Who is the author?
Charles G. Cobb

Reinvent You

Have you woken up to boredom? To wake up, eat, work, eat, sleep, repeat.

Sometimes, you need to detox and look within yourself what you want. Our goal changes with life. 

My reinvention has been about doing something new, finding ways to have some time for me and being happy. In order to do that, I have added things in my regular schedules and things have been working.

I made some major changes too, like I wanted to stop travelling between the two cities every week. I had to make that call.  And I am happy I took it.

Reinvention is always not about revamping the wardrobe or going for a haircut, sometimes it goes way deeper. It is an effort to rethink and align your goals and life to the new thought.

I am not sure if reinvention makes you happier, but it does work sometimes. May be it’s I have wanted to do for a long time. I will share my morning routine with you soon, perhaps it might strike a chord with you or inspire to create one for you.

I think with the blog, while I keep at the original theme, I also want to bring in something new. I would like to connect with you more as a person than just a project manager or a consultant. So, may be once a week we talk about the lifestyle that we have as consultants or the changes you have to go through to sustain the pace. Go back to doing one vlog a month and see how we can reinvent the feel to the blog. It’s not changing the design, but smaller changes that will add up hopefully.

By the way, there are couple of project managers on Pinterest and its fun following them there in the visual board. I am more a visual person than an audio person and I have found it amazing to see the interest of the project managers. I am there too, but I really don’t do anything project management wise there.  

However, what I have recently started as an experiment is Instagram as a way to look at my life- work and a little bit of personal mixed in. So, if you want to look into my work life once in a while, you can connect me at http://instagram.com/steppingintopm/

Let me know what you are doing to reinvent yourself.

(Pic courtesy: google images)

Top Hacks when on the move, Pt 2

This post is more about the products I use/carry with me that serve more than one purpose. I have figured the best way to keep your sanity when you are travelling way too often is to keep things around you that you are familiar with. Since I also want to travel light, I emphasize on the things I absolutely need and use on a regular basis to carry with me.

  • Sunglass- Apart from the obvious because I am anyways carrying it, it’s a great way to sleep in flights specially when taking morning flights. 
  • YouTube offline- I download videos I want to watch in offline mode using the app, and use the time in airports watching what I want. I do carry a power bank with me most of the times.
  • Utility box- it’s an old sun-glass box, which is packed with my travel essentials like a pen, pen drive, phone cleaner, a lip balm, band aid and ear phones. It’s compact and easy to travel with.
  • Aloe Vera- I carry it for its multipurpose use. You can use it on your sensitive skin, as well as for sun burns and mild cuts.
  • Ziplocs- instead of carrying small pouches, stuff it in Ziploc’s, lesser space and easy to see. Discard when done whether to carry snacks, makeup or
  • Powder- This works as a great dry shampoo and I carry my son’s regular Johnson and Johnson travel size powder with me.
  • Personal touch- carry your own shampoo and moisturizer in travel size bottles. Clips and safety pins. To ensure I don’t lose them, I put them in empty tic tac containers, keep them in socks or use a hair band to keep them together.

Whats your travel secret? 

Pic courtesy: google images 

Top 15 Efficiency Hacks When on Move- Pt 1

If you have been reading the blog you know that I have been travelling every week for the last 5 months. I split my time between 2 cities and I am constantly on the move. Juggling travelling with my life honestly hasn't been easy. Here's couple of things I have been using/trying out to keep me going:

1. Travel light- Over the months I have learned to pack light and keep pieces that multitask and stick to basics and not overload with items I will barely use.
2. Laptop free- I sometimes travel without laptop. I just copy the essential folders in the pen drive or upload in Google Drive and access it from my home laptop. Meanwhile I use my time in the airport to take some time off and read instead of mindless browsing.
3. Happiness- I am my happiest when my life is organized and there;s meaning to what I do.  So, I carry my red diary which I just write happy thoughts in. I will write in it after work when I return to my apartment in Mumbai. I sometimes will just read through it while sipping my cup of peach tea.
4. Clutter free- I recently got a purse organizer, which allows me to pack things that can be easily found. it saves me time and irritation. 
5. Health- I installed the Pacer app in my phone, while its just a pedometer; I enjoy seeing the steps I cover on a regular basis. Highest number of steps I take is mostly Monday's and Wednesdays. I also recently got a hand blender that is easy to carry so I can whip up smoothies or juices.
6. Music- I have 3 different apps that I use in my phone for music, my latest installed one is Saavn. At night when I am on my own, I will just put it on and continue working or reading. 
7. Communication- I keep 2 cell phones to ensure I am always connected  and mostly do all transactions via apps. I also use Skypewhatsapp and viber on a regular basis.
8. Cabs- I use Ola on a regular basis and it has mostly been a positive experience. 
9. Relax- when I am not browsing through blogs listed in my blog, I go through lifestyle blogs. current fav is Chalkboard
10. Mindful- I try to keep a schedule when away from Home that allows me to feel much more sane. I have always had problem disconnecting from work; these days I will do one thing that triggers the mindlessness. 
11. Make myself @Home- It isn't easy to live month after month out of suitcase, so I always have books, magazines and sometimes even candles with me. My current ones are from Ikea.
12. Tea time- I carry my own tea and coffee in office as well as while travelling. My current favorites- Peach tea, Green tea and Earl Breakfast Tea. Coffee is always Nescafe instant.
13. Grocery- From Diapers to grocery to household items; I use apps to keep things going and get them delivered at home at my convenient time whereever I or my family needs them. Current favorites:
  • amazon
  • flipkart
  • bigbasket
  • ola store
  • peppertap

14. Trick of the trade- I carry a sample size perfume dispenser, which I can always refill and carry even on flights. 
15. To write- I started using Zenpen. Simple and less of distraction. 

What do you do when travelling for work or pleasure?