Welcome to SIPM

Hello, nice meeting you. I am Soma, your host for this space and I have been running this since 2008.


This blog was started as a journal, a learning platform for me as a dived into Project Management. Since then a lot has happened. These days I live and work in Hyderabad (India).


This space has grown over time and I primarily write about Personal Development, Motivation, Creativity and frankly anything that gets my attention.

When not in office, I am mostly reading, working on my next idea, travelling and exploring life with my 5 year old.


You can reach me at steppingintopm(at)gmail.com

Lifestyle| Good reads, my plans during lockdown and view from my terrace

May 16, 2020 | | 0 comments |
I hope you are doing well. 


View from my terrace
I have been in home for almost 2 months now, stepped out only once a week to walk in terrace and get back again in the space that now serves as both office and home. 

I have always felt I worked better a home- lesser distractions, more deep work and control over my time. In the last 2 months, work and life has finally met each other and thats heres to stay for next couple of more months. 

I have been handling it okay except for the occasional outburst because my kid is also stuck at home like so many others for 2 moths now. Sometimes handling everything is tough. 

Yet I am grateful that my problems seems so small right now. So, I am doing what I always thought I will do- take up more because I am at home :)

So, I have been reading few more books than I usually do (last 2 Kindle downloads have been Year without Pants- get your free kindle download And Motivation Hacker). I have signed up for e-courses in Udemy and Skillshare. I am utilising that big elephant in the room (read...treadmill). I started another blog focussed on motivation and creativity like I could belch out more content  because I wasn't stepping out of home. And of course the YouTube channel for which I have high hopes :)

Managing it all hasn't been easy and if I may say so myself being an introvert locked down in home should be fabulous, however in this case its been a chaos of too many things fighting for my attention. 

So today I have reserved some time for myself so get my act together, re-evaluate my time management and look at things I can do weekly vs what I can do monthly. How has it been for you?


Evenings 
Wanted to stop by and check on you and here are few things I read most recently. If you like them feel free to continue reading....













Read something interesting or found a way to make your life more inserting during this lockdown period, feel free to share and let me know.

Till next one, stay safe and stay home. 

(Pic courtesy: Soma B)



Lifestyle| 5 Positive Changes during Lockdown

Apr 6, 2020 | | 0 comments |
I hope you are all safe and at home.

These are difficult times and yes we have the time now to look back to review our own system. I have been doing exactly that and have made some changes to my lifestyle I never thought I would be able to do and waking up at 6am is one of those.

All the links that I mention in the video have been included in the description box of the video. 




For more tips on how to work from home, check out this article

If you would like to explore more about Notion, click here. I find it extremely useful, simple and I use the free version. 

Stay safe everyone and stay at home.

Agile| Why Agile helps you work with millennials better?

Mar 30, 2020 | 0 comments |
This article was first published in Projectmanagement.com. Click here to view the article.

56 million. That’s the estimated number of millennials currently working or seeking work—making individuals born between 1980 and 2000 the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to the Pew Research Center.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
By 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce. Companies like Accenture have already reported that millennials represent over two-thirds of the company’s entire employee base.
As of late, agile has been sparking more and more conversations—about how it has worked wonderfully well for some organizations and failed for others. 
If you look at the profiles of the organizations or teams reporting their project progress, their successes and failures often point to the workforce and, of course, company culture. For many startups and young organizations, where the workforce is mostly millennial, agile seems to be accepted more easily. I know this personally because I have seen companies—small companies that are very open and motivated to make it work—with huge support from management make it successful.
I believe that agile works better for teams of millennials simply because the approach focuses on many of the same qualities that are among the core values of millennials.
Let’s look at some of them:
Empowerment: Agile is all about empowering individuals. From holding team ceremonies to the team structure, it’s all about interacting as a group, coming together every day and making decisions as a unit. Nearly 50 percent of millennials believe leadership signifies the empowerment of others, according to a Workplacetrends.com survey. They also seem to value traits of humility, openness and continual learning, promoting the importance of recognizing both strengths and weaknesses. 
Transparency: Transparency, another pillar of agile, is easier said than done. Millennials believe in looking at the bigger picture of their organizations and teams. They want to participate in that shared vision. There are companies that have transparent salaries, are candid about their roadmaps and quickly own their mistakes. This leads to teams that are transparent among themselves about what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. 
Visibility: Visibility is also critical, because it impacts how teams distribute work. It fosters quicker decision-making and more effective resource management. Unless the value is explained and showcased in clear terms, it’s natural that certain tasks will seem like a boring chore. This means the role of mentors and leaders is of high importance in how the team is trained and how team members communicate. 
Trust: Trust in the team, leadership, and, yes, estimation. If you look at the root cause analysis of why it doesn’t click with some teams, there’s a larger story to tell. It could be people who prefer to work in silos or a lack of trust. By pivoting, you can probably get the team to rethink their estimation based on asking the right questions or pairing up team members so the experienced ones can help their juniors. You can mentor the team to get things done quicker. It’s all about how you communicate without damaging team morale. 
Acknowledgement: Communication is an art, and millennials use all forms of communication to get things done. Smaller teams, as used in scrum, also mean better communication, faster decisions and acknowledgement. Millennials thrive on acknowledgement more than anything. They need to know their work matters. 
Perspective: Learning and having a growth mindset is essential to adopting any new process. That’s why the way you approach the team about change or how you handle and mentor the team is so important. Don’t introduce every change on day one, and don’t blame those changes on agile. Give everyone the time to doubt, adapt and see it for themselves. Meanwhile, be with them, give them the right information and take the journey with them. There’s nothing more apt than using the Goldilocks rule in this scenario. 
Motivation: Give them a challenge with a difficulty level that slowly scales up and allows them to feel accomplished. Telling them to run a marathon when they have never walked a mile before is not only foolish, but a huge demotivator. 

Gratification: Millennials also look for immediate gratification. There’s a talk by the author Simon Sinek in which he mentions that millennials are used to having everything immediately: You want a phone? You can order it online and get it delivered in a day or two. You want a shoe? You have so many shops and online stores to choose from. Unsurprisingly, millennials in the workforce also crave immediate feedback and want to feel confident at work without waiting until they hit the six-month mark. They want to be happy, get things done faster and work for something they truly believe in.
True agility is also a test of how the organization forms itself. If you really want the team to have the right dynamics and bonding, appraisals should put more weight in team performance than individual performance. For extrinsic motivators, this will have a great impact. 
As it also turns out, at companies where managers show sincere interest in millennials as people, the organization sees an 8x improvement in agility and a 7x increase in innovation, according to a Great Place to Work survey. Now that’s something to think about. 
 (Pic Courtesy: Pexel)

Personal Development| How I Became Happy +10 Tips How You Can Too.

Today we are talking about Happiness.

And I bring this up because it has always been a benchmark for me to know that I am on the right path if I am happy. It has been a struggle for me, to be okay with who I am; to simply be happy.

I do talk about this often in my videos that I am by nature not always a happy person, however I can always get a lot done when I feel happy. It is important for me to know I am enough, to be happy and I think I have mostly been cheerful and content in the last one year.

In this video I share my top 10 ten practices that has made a significant difference in my life.





Thank you for watching.

Agile| Why Agile is a Humane Way to Work

Feb 5, 2020 | 0 comments |
Hello there. This article was published in Project Management.com 


Years ago, when I first heard of agile making waves, I was curious enough to pay for a class out of my own pocket to learn more. 

By the end of the two-day session, I knew I wanted to be associated with agile. It wasn’t just its merits that convinced me—it was the basic philosophy of trusting another being, of being open to communication and most of all, respecting another’s opinion. It seemed humane.
In the mad rush of work, all of the above are often sidelined. There’s no time for niceties, no time to respect another opinion; there’s only the ambition to prove another wrong. 
It’s miserable. 
Agile teaches us to be open, trustworthy and make mistakes. Failure isn’t the end of the road; risk-taking and experimentation are supported and bonhomie is encouraged. 
My Experiments With Agile
Pexels.com
As I started working as an agile coach, I brought in the humane side of work. I helped my teams to stop finger-pointing and instead, really talk during stand ups. I tried to liven up the mood by asking team members about the last book they read or movie they watched, and I learned the name of the scrum master’s kid. This helped the team get to know each other as humans. 
I planned games and drew on whiteboards so team members could match the hobby with the individual who practiced it. It was hilarious. Interest grew, not in agile but in knowing each other and building better relationships with team members.
We celebrated birthdays, we talked about failure, trust and anything that would bring out even the introverts and encourage them to join discussions. Everyone’s opinion mattered. The right complexity point during estimations didn’t matter, as long as everyone was talking and participating. 
And our work wasn’t virtual anymore. I would move a story card to completion, draw to celebrate the completion of a goal and use the white board to keep the team motivated with quotes, scribbles and doodles. It got everyone involved. 
Managers soon joined the sessions, sometimes just listening when they were uncomfortable. It allowed team members to be vocal and to think for themselves. Everyone was involved—not because that’s how it should be done, but because it takes time to build that vibe and tribe. 
Why Agile Works
Agile isn’t for measuring KPIs or bringing in ROI. But those results happen, because the team comes together and enjoys working with each other. 
Agile has been written about over and over again, from why it works to why it’s a failing fad. People rarely see the fact that agile has made many organizations humane again. The best way to understand agile is to think about working in a secure, comfortable environment with people you trust. 
Pexels.com
In 2013, Rosabeth Moss Kanter published an article in the Harvard Business Review about how the happiest people seek out the most complex problems. It just makes sense to keep individuals and the team happy at work. 
It can be intimidating to turn around a team struggling with bad quality, low productivity and minimum engagement. But the best fix has always been to get team members to feel engaged, and that their views are heard and their opinion respected. It’s always about people. Once you get that right, the rest is easier. 
I have always had a positive experience with agile. When everybody comes together and believes in it, I have seen change happen. However, the most rewarding experience for me has always been that associates in an organization become humane again. They care about their colleagues, they speak face to face and they handle difficult discussions better. 
What about you? If your organisation has embraced agile, what results have you seen?