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

Being Inspired

Only 25 percent of job success is based upon IQ. Seventy-five percent is about how your brain believes your behavior matters, connects to other people, and manages stress.  Click for more 

To work at your best nothing is more required than feeling fresh and inspired, ready to take on the day. But in today’s world, the stress, the complexity of our lives and the constant urge for more means life is about the rat race and less about being grateful and enjoying the NOW.
Here are 5 tried and tested ways to feel inspired: 
  • Connect with nature- The moments you wake up and no matter how you feel, connect with nature. Stand by your window and breathe in the fresh air, take your cup of tea to the balcony even if it’s for a minute, get a bit of sunlight or go for a walk. I have started looking forward to my mornings and the positive feeling it brings. Here are 10 benefits of sunlight 
  • Hold on to the positivity- I use my journal to write may be a line or two. If you have the time, feel free to invest couple of minutes here. Reinforce the positivity- listen to good music, read good quotes- whatever makes you feel positive. “Happy thoughts and positive thinking, in general, support brain growth, as well as the generation and reinforcement of new synapses, especially in your prefrontal cortex (PFC), which serves as the integration center of all of your brain-mind functions”. Source here  
  • Create a positive routine- give yourself couple of minutes white getting ready for the day. Wear the color you want, have a cup of tea while you get ready, have a fruit, read/listen a good book. Positivity has rewire your brain and help you broaden your skill set.  
  • Create an inspiring space at work- well not all of us have the luxury to design our own work space at office but smaller changes do create a big impact. Keep things you will need to keep your work life organized, comfortable and inspiring- index cards, sticky notes, personal pictures, quotes, few knick knacks you can add, healthy snacks etc.
  • Come home to a happy space- which means you have to leave the home clean and organized in the mornings. Light a candle, put on music, plays with kids and have a flavorful dinner. Catch up on some reading or your favorite shows, go for a walk, watch the stars- be grateful for the day you have had.
In case you didn’t know happy employees have about 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, and three times higher creativity! 

(pic courtesy: Pinterest)
 

Decision Making: what you should know about it.


Long ago when I was in school in US, I remember one of my professors talking about how he was teaching his toddler about choices and decision making.  He said, today we decided to have both milk and orange juice at the table during breakfast. And we asked Josh- Milk or juice? Josh said- milk juice. He wanted both. They finally couldn’t get Josh, the toddler to decide but he said perhaps tomorrow.
I sat in the class thinking, wow ... I wouldn’t even have thought of that. Growing up in India, decisions were mostly made for you, especially about food.

While options are great, sometimes having too many aren’t as easy to decide....
  •  Like when you have couple of job offers in hand
  •  Wardrobe decions every morning
  • Too many goals
  • Multiple decisions to make in a very short period of time

  1. Make your decisions in the morning\
  2. Eat first
  3. Cut down your choices
  4. Open the windows
  5. Use a foreign language

And  if you worry too much about making the right decision, click here 

(Pic courtesy: Google images)
 The winner of the Giveaway is Sudharshan from Hyderabad. 



Give Away: The Project Managers Guide to Mastering Agile



If you have been planning to read up this summer, this might be handy.

Giving away The Project Managers Guide to Mastering AGILE , to read a review about it and know more details click here.

The give away is applicable only in India (no international shipping for now). Here' what you have to do:
  • You can leave comments below on what inspires you to be a Project Manager? (comments are moderated so will not be visible immediately)
  • OR you can tweet  about it and use the hashtag #SIPM
  • Last date is June 30.
I will pick a winner and announce it in the Blog on July 1. 

You are Not Limited by your Location- SIPM Connect

If you thought your opportunities are limited by your location- think again.

 You can be located anywhere in the world and yet to connect to continents apart. So, if you are new to project management and what to know more, why limit yourself to your locality. Be bold. Be brave. Reach out to anyone.

The most difficult part of reaching out to someone in the PM community is:
  • You might want to network or work with the best; however you don’t know how to reach them
  • If you reach out, you aren’t sure if they will be open to it


Why SIPM Connect:
  • You can choose a mentor or someone to connect with anywhere in the world (choose based on country, city)
  • You can also choose them based on your domain of work and location (in case you want someone local, for example if you work in projects within advertisement, mass media who might want to connect with someone local or within your country)
  • They have already agreed to be the mentor (they have signed up as experts and chosen to be a mentor), which means you don’t have to pursue them as much to mentor you.
  • Best part, its free. Login from anywhere in world to anyone.  And you will never get bombarded with emails. Never. 



(Pic courtesy: SIPM)

Digital Detox

Over communication can be a kill, so once in a while detox helps. How often you do its up to you.

I do one when:
  • I am stressed about messages all over the place that I am expected to read and reply to immediately ( for work or otherwise)
  • I need some quiet time for myself
  • I want to re-invent me
  • I don't feel happy or focused

5 simple ways to detox:
  • Phone- If you cannot switch off your phone, don’t connect to the WiFi. Your phone would work but you can stop checking your social media.  
  • Online Status- You can let everyone know you will be offline for a week, which would clear off the expectations
  • It’s difficult- Everyone is constantly staring at their phone which also means it would be rather difficult to break the habit. So, if you are not the do in moderation kind, switch off your phone completely or take a vacation and go offline. You will be okay after a day or two.
  • Upload later- If you need to share pics or updates, wait for the detox time period and then go for it. Don’t break the detox. 
  • Why it helps- It will help you rejuvenate and relax, a much needed requirement for a project manager.  You will come back from the detox with a new perspective and a better focus.
(Pic courtesy: Pinterest)