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

Free Cultural Intelligence Training by Participating in Research Study

My friend Samad needs your help and participation for his project. It would be great if you have some time to partcipate, you can also send it along to your friends and colleagues. The deadline is till end of this month.
Research Overview:
  • Researcher: Samad Aidane
  • University: Middlesex University (U.K)
  • Degree: Master of Science in Neuroscience of Leadership
  • Research Topic: Investigate the effectiveness of intercultural competence training  
What is the context for this study?
This research study is the final deliverable for completing my Master of Science degree in Neuroscience of Leadership through Middlesex University (U.K).
The study will explore a practical issue that many organizations are facing today: how to help their employees be effective in intercultural collaboration. Through a training intervention, the study will investigate the effectiveness of an intercultural competence training program aimed at enhancing cultural intelligence among IT professionals.
What is the aim of this study?
Integrating insights from multidisciplinary research, the workshop will provide participants with an understanding of how culture shapes the way we make decisions, solve problems, and collaborate with others in a multicultural teams.
The findings from this study will contribute to the existing body of research on best practices for how organizations plan, design, and implement effective intercultural competence training for IT professionals.
Who will participate in the study?
The target audiences of this study are organizations who are interested in improving collaboration in the context of multicultural teams involved in IT projects. Participants are Information Technology Professionals (project managers, business analysts, software developers and testers, as well as other IT roles) or other Subject Matter experts who work over 50% of their time on IT projects and are currently working on projects or teams that include members from multiple cultures.
What commitments are expected from participants?
Participants will be expected to perform 4 main activities:
  1. Read and sign a Research Study Consent Form (5 Minutes)
  2. Complete a pre-assessment questionnaire (10 Minutes)
  3. Attend a live online training workshop (4 hours)
  4. Complete post-assessment questionnaire four weeks after the training workshop (10 minutes)
The study will require no more than 4.5 hours of participant’s time, over a period of four weeks.
When will the training workshop take place?
The training workshop will take place the week of July 6th. Other workshop dates in July may be added if needed. The exact date and time of the workshop will be coordinated with participants. The study will end four weeks after the training workshop, with participants completing the post-assessment questionnaire.
What is the benefit to your organization?
The benefit to your organization is that participants will:
  • Learn to recognize cultural barriers to making decisions, solving problems, and collaborating with others in a multicultural teams.
  • Gain a better understanding of the essential skills for leading and working in multicultural teams.
  • Gain practical tips, techniques, and strategies on how to develop a culturally intelligent communication style to effectively lead and work in multicultural projects and teams.
A whitepaper summarizing the findings and recommendation from the study will be provided to each participant and their organization.
Are there any costs involved for participants?
All training in this study will be provided to participant at no cost to your organization
What about confidentiality?
All data collected in the research will be made anonymous and held confidentially. Only summary results will be presented in the final report.
When is the deadline to sign up to participate in the study? 
The deadline to sign up to participate in the study is June 15, 2015.
How many participants from my organization can take part in the study?
As many as 50 participants can join the study.
I am interested. What’s the next step?
Send an email to samadaidane@gmail.com and the researcher will be in touch about the next step.

Waterfall to Agile

Working in Agile and don't know what to expect? Helping teams self organize but too much push back? 

This e-book is a great resource, read how the experts are doing it around the world one organization at a time.

You can find me on slide 19 and 20. 

From the road and in between

I have been trying to post and as is evident haven't been able to.

As a consultant I travel every week to another city (flight time 2 hours) and am back on the weekend. that has pretty much taken a toll on me and my time management skills. I have tried posting from airports, in between the crazy busy week  and sometimes on the weekend.

Reality is, I mostly blank out in airports and at 5am in the morning I don't feel like working on the blog. I am not a morning person at all. During the week the focus is more on the training's, work, reports, meetings and endless hours streamlined to keep things functional. Weekends is mostly mommy duty- Rio is 9 months old now and like all working moms I try to be with him when I can, as much as I can.

So, yes the blog has suffered in the process. However, I have been reading some good stuff and am sure will share it over here.

I hope in the busy schedule that you have, you get the time to sit down and relax and keep an hour for yourself. I honestly suffered with it, constantly travelling and working in deadlines. So, I am trying to force myself to relax sometimes, like I napped this weekend, didn't open my laptop until now, played with Rio and was  just happy to be home.

I hope like all pro bloggers I learn to write from airports, take mental notes while on elevators and can keep the blog going and make it look very easy.

Oh and before I forget in case you would like to help a fellow PM and one of my favorite people Samad on his research project and get a free cross cultural training, click here . 

(Pic courtesy: google images)

Life- as it is

Most days are a mix of good and bad, some make you happy and content and confident and some are just bad decisions, moments that make you doubt your confidence.

My effort to re-organize my life- personal and professional often turn out futile. I plan and re-plan and then suddenly something needs my attention and the plans out of the window.

The buzz has rekindled itself. Suddenly there has been activities mostly positive round me. I am not sure if I have anything to do with them, may be I am just trying to be me again and trying to organize better and that’s probably the way to know that I am on the right direction.

So, in trying to juggle my role of professional who is trying for the next jump, a blogger who wants to get back to the regular routine, a community member who wants the connect site to connect more people and bring help to their careers and a mom who tries to spend some quality time with her 6 month son- organization is the key.

So, here are some tips to bring them in your life no matter how complex your life has become:

  • Prioritize your list- I use Trello and I timebox it. It’s usually open in a tab in front of me while I work, so I know the goals if I want to just check on them once in a while. Oh and I have the app downloaded as well.
  • Visualize- every morning I start my work life with somnote. I simply click on it and list down to-dos for the day.  And then work around it for the rest of the day.
  • Focus- its difficult midst meetings, calls, emails and lots more happening. So sometimes I will simply use coffitivity or noisli with a headphone. I work better with a noise and rhythm in background. 
  • Efficiency- time is sparse and I try to make the most of it. When I have difficulty focusing, I will use the pomodoro app and try to get something done. It works great for me.
  • Remember and refer - I use Evernote to remember things I read and categorize them. I also try to maintain a physical diary where I will jot down points or theories or new concepts that I liked or am thinking about, so I can refer to them quickly.
  • Connect- I barely get time to have a day out with friends, so I keep in touch mostly with whatsapp, viber and skype. 
  • Relax- I panic with so much going on or loose my cool. So sometimes at night, I will unwind by listening to some good music with tea and reading a good book or carelessly browse through pinterest even if its for a few minutes.
  • I forgive- I try not to be too strict on myself when I know there’s a lot happening. I try to be grateful for what I have. Close my eyes and hear me breathe. 

That pretty much sums my life right now.

(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)