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

3 Things To Do This Year

What's yours? 

This year let the year not be in wishing, lets back it up with some concrete plans. So what would you do, if you weren't afraid? 

Can you still try to make it work? Is there an alternative? Don't let the lizard brain rule you this year... take the plunge and let's try it together.




(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

3 New PM Blogs to Follow This year

If you are looking forward to refresh your reading list this year, look no further here are 3 new one's to choose from:


What's new on your reading list? 

(Pic courtesy: Canva)

Best of 2016: Moving Foward

2016 has been a tough year for me, it has tested me in every possible way and yet I am thankful that I have survived. The  journey taught me a lot and I thought I will share with you some of my favorite things I have discovered last year that I intend to carry forward with me to 2017.



I have realized being organized helps me declutter and empty up my head space and it's a big relief. So, I have spent the last 2 months doing exactly that- sorting out my brain.

Here are some of the things I have enjoyed, I hope you like them and let me know what was yours.

Best Apps
  • Evernote (productivity and organization)- I use this to bookmark links or upload documents primarily for work or blog.
  • Big Basket (online grocery- India)- saves me from the traffic in Indian roads. 
  • Canva (design and content creation)- I use this for creating posters and banners that I use in the blog or in my social media channels.
  • Pinterest (visual board)- its the last thing I browse before bed, I love beautiful things (or pictures)
  • Omvana (meditation) - I discovered it very recently after reading the Code of the Extraordinary Mind
  • Noteboard- chrome extension (efficiency and productivity)- good place to jot down my lists and goals plus I like the feel of a cork board.

Best Gadgets
  • Garmin Activity Tracker (physical fitness)- if you have read my post on 5 Years- Thats how long it took you know what I am talking about. This helps plus I love the reminder to Move!
  • Wireless speaker/headphone  (music, phone calls)- I have carried it with me when travelling to cient sites. When you are contantly living out of a suitcase it helps to have a familiar routine, even if that means listening to a familiar soundtrack. 

Best  Blogs


Best of SIPM Posts





Pic Courtesy: pinterest
Some of the links used are Amazon affiliate links, it helps me keep this site running if you happen to buy the products using the link. Thank you.

Merry Christmas

Wishing you Merry Christmas. I hope you have peace, happiness and abundance in your life and spread the cheer around. 

I will be spending time with family, cooking up lunch and just lounging and you can find behind the scenes here



(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya via Canva)

Top 3 Books for 2016

If you have been with me reading the blog or checking tweets and watching the occasional pop ups in Instagram, you will know that I read for work and pleasure. This year has seen me get back to it more than the last two years. 

So, if you like to red or looking for a last minute gift idea, you can check out these 3 books which I think have had the most impact on me. 



·    The 193 pg book focuses on the benefits of maintaining a checklist through various industries. 
·      A surgeon from NY, the book The Checklist is not about just to do lists. It’s a brief list that helps critical decision making in sensitive situations like the operating room by saving lives or during investment decisions or in aeronautical situation (mid air crisis).
·        
The reason I liked the book is because:
§  It’s a simple idea that’s so well researched that it makes you think that we should all implement more checklists in our work places and homes to save ourselves from complications.
§  He talks about how the checklist that was created in John Hopkins hospital that raised a possibility that people talking to each other  a minute before starting the operation was a strategy to foster team work which lead to higher success rates. 
§  It made me think that the basics of any project management should be about certain checklist like its focused a lot in Agile with the ceremonies and DOD (definition of done) and exit criteria’s all set to actually ensure that everything is in its place and chances to miss it is reduced thereby ensuring the quality of the potentially shippable product.
§  It’s a book that will make you think and has take away's that you can actually implement in your work. It also provides you with enough case studies that will allow you to make a strong case with the right set of data that you will need to get buy in from your team or management to get the checklists implemented. 

If you need an awakening of your mind and soul, if you want to grow more, need a way to organize your thoughts and dreams, want to be happier....this is what you should be reading. It shook me up literally. ·It’s a must read and will be my staple on the bedside table for the next few month definitely.          

  • 223 pages excluding the glossary and others, this book will help you understand your expectation from life and how to get them. Book talks a lot about the realities that the author faced as he tried to build his own business that thrives successfully now.
  • He gives example from his own life and multitude of other people like Dalai Lama, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Tony Robbins on how they look at success.
  • My favorite in the book is chapter 5- where he talks about the structure that’s split into 8 sets of qualities that we need from life and for me thinking the way he has laid it down was life changing. I really knew the actions I had to take to grow more personally and professionally.
  • This is a book that helps you look inside you, fix it... so you can fulfill your dreams outside.

·         This was an impulsive buy in airport because I was looking to read something while I was on vacation for my son’s 2 birthday this August. I don’t think I have ever thought of sleep so much in my life till I started reading this book. I will be honest, I am not much of a sleeper, I like to stay awake more than I like sleeping. I have in the recent years also been very sleep deprived; I call it the Rio Effect. The book surprised me with the health benefits and the link to better decision making and yes now that I try to sleep more I do see the payback myself.  

  • ·We all know sleeps important, but the author breaks the modern myth of going sleepless and how cool it is especially for youngsters and showing why and how it’s important to achieve our goals.
  • It talks about medications, health issues, and extra cost to government dealing with health crisis that can all be reduced just by sleeping.
  •  It also talks about how from Warren Buffet to Satya Nadella all emphasize about sleeping and its bond to good decision making and the effectiveness and efficiency.
  • If you like informative and well researched book like I do and the topic is something you can relate to- it’s a good read.
For me I can connect the dots of the take away of the 3 books- I think resting the mind to work and function better in a structured way through checklists will make me happier and give me better value for the time invested in doing it. And happiness will ensure I work through my challenges better and have the capacity to fulfill the dreams.

Pic courtesy: Google and Soma Bhattacharya
Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links, you don't pay extra for it but it helps this site run. Thank you.

The Art of Failing

I have failed a lot. That made me afraid of being a failure
.
And there have been quite a few times when I have been called one. I have recently realized that my journey in life have been paved through my failures and because I have failed I am doing what I do now.

 Suddenly I have realized that failure shouldn’t be negative and depressing. It’s part of rethinking and making better decision. 

Like I started this blog when I wasn’t sure what to do career wise, I had a difficult time finding a job and I just wanted a space where I could journal all my learning’s. I honestly never thought anyone other than me would be reading it. I turned the blog into a routine which means I was writing even during my worst of struggles and that kept me sane. It was a positive energy for me when a lot of things weren’t.

If you have read about the Lizard brain, you will know we refrain ourselves from doing things that make us a success. I am not a psychologist, however I can tell you that for me sometimes it’s true. I feel the things I should be doing and then I don’t. I don’t know why. For example, I have been thinking of writing about this for more than a week and I haven’t written. I am not sure why.

 I have been trying to get back to reading and the last few purchases (of books) have been really life changing and I wanted to share it with you. But then I thought, hey why not be more satisfied with my work and try out another medium- vlogs. I would love to bring you in my life and have a face to face conversation once in a while and do I did vlog. It was an epic failure, the video was too long (around 15 minutes) and I wasn’t sure how to edit. By the way if you are curious I vlogged about my 3 top favourite books in 2016.  Anyways, I don’t think I will be putting up that video which means I will have to re-record it.

So, why this post? Its almost end of the year and I wanted to check in with you and tell you that its okay to be where you are. I hope you are happy with life, however just in case if you are struggling think what you can do to get off the struggle. What will help you get there? Don’t get too bogged down with bad days or failures. And always help someone whenever you can. 

And don’t get scared even when you fail, try to keep up with your plan and keep at it! Everyone fails.



(Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

December without Snow

I am in the mood to celebrate life and December is my favorite month.

So, I have ordered a few more books and my Sundays are mostly about trying to cut down the clutter and soaking up the sun. 

 I am trying to get back to my original self, being more grateful, trying out new hobbies and hoping that this month is where I get to be creative again.

Last month I traveled, planted some more plants in my tiny balcony and started posting in Instagram. I also sprained my left ankle.

I have so much stuff coming for the blog and I am positive that my new change of routines and way of working will ensure I actually can get them done. So, it’s just not a concept running around wild in my head!

For some random links that I have been browsing recently:
  • Let’s start with the gifts: click here 
  • How about unwinding for the year by doodling and learning about its benefits: click here
  • Thinking about starting your own and finding out the latest in the tech world journalism: Click here
  • If you follow a end of day or beauty routine, ever heard of the capsule format: click here
  • Why Scrum is a scale free architecture: Click here
  • How about some serious reading on how social media and mental health are connected: click here
Anyone interested in browsing through the top 50 project management blogs (By Feedspot). can look up here.


(Pic Courtesy: Pinterest)





Where is Project Management?

If that’s what you are wondering, you are not alone.

If you look at my last 3 posts, there’s nothing about project management really. However, all of them will hopefully make you think about being a better professional and a project manager and sustain it over period of time.

Because being a project manager is not a onetime thing, you have to maintain your title, the success of your project and your reputation.

Anyways, this space for me has always been very personal. I have mostly written things that I have been going through in real life. See my first blog post from eight years ago here . That’s what I read/research on and that’s what I mostly write about.


So, hopefully this change of track seems interesting for you. What are you thinking?

(Pic courtesy: pinterest)

Finding your Zone: What you Need to Learn from Winners

I have always wondered what it takes to sustain the intensity of the work required to be successful. It can be easy to be in a positive mind frame every day when you are living life. 

In my search for finding successful people I turned towards athletes. It must be a huge pressure to perform and ensure failures and get back at it again. I learned that some athletes can learn to trigger a feeling of success through smell and sound alone -- outside of competitions. For example, when some athletes are feeling in a really strong, powerful state during training, they smell lavender oil and listen to a certain song. They then repeat these steps before competitions to bring back those powerful feelings. "It can actually elicit quite strong emotions," said Fletcher, explaining how connecting to these neural pathways can help trigger the unconscious brain, pushing the athlete into a really positive state of mind. 

Conditioning your brain is the secret to not only win Olympic medals but also win in the race called Life. Top tennis player Andy Murray often leafs through a notebook during his tennis matches to remind him that he's prepared, capable and ready to win. 

Getting into the zone – also known as “being in a state of flow” – usually happens when we are energized, in a good mood and doing things we enjoy and have some level of skill that meets the demands of the task.
Will a checklist help? Perhaps.  If routine that is continually done and adapted with years and comfort level- you might be able to recreate your zone over and over again. Sometimes it can just be music or a song, sometimes the same setting/place, a perfume.
No matter what it takes, its something essential to continue doing the good work and being you. And its’ not easy. So make the changes and see what gets you in the zone and keep doing it. I don’t think I get into the zone on a regular basis but it helps a lot when I do.
Few things I have been trying to do:
  • Have a routine
  • Repeat the routine during the same time everyday (till it becomes natural and just repeating it puts me in the mood- to relax or write or feel positive)
  • For me sound, visuals and smell work great- I use songs, sometimes visual boards (my office has one) and perfume (I have set perfumes for days when I am not quite myself to make me be myself)

We are all humans and getting into the zone might end up being challenging but that’s what we should look at it- a challenge that needs constant work and adaption.

(Pic courtesy: Pinterest)