This Is How I work- Siddharta Govindaraj

 Siddharta Govindaraj is an agile transformation consultant who help leaders meet their business objectives by transforming the way their organisation delivers software. He also started Silver Stripe Software Pvt Ltd, to work further in the area of software delivery

He was nominated for the Brickell Key award in 2011, an award given by the Lean Software Systems Consortium for recognizing achievements in the lean-agile industry and also a Fellow of the Lean Systems Society.

When do you wake up every day? What’s your alarm set to?
Usually between 5:30 to 6:30. I don’t have an alarm. My body clock is pretty good at getting me up in this range.

Tea or Coffee? 
I drink anything. Sometimes tea, sometimes coffee (usually when I’m outside the house), sometimes oats. I recently got my hands on some Kerala cocoa and I’ve been having Xocolatl (Warning: Pure cocoa is BITTER!)
Everyone should taste this to understand just how much sugar gets added to chocolate 😊

Any rituals to set the tone for the day in the morning? 
None. I’m just not the organised type of person to make this happen.

When do you feel most productive? 
Early morning. Late night. Even afternoon. The important thing is that I need 3 hours of continuous undisturbed time. Then I get into the zone and I can go on for hours. During my college days, I once started a project at at 7pm and at around 4am, a bunch of bees decided that my tubelight was the sunrise and invaded my room.

Where do you work? 
I work at home when I’m not at a clients office.

Three must have items in your desk.
I like to use fountain pens. I keep two of them in my bag. One has black ink and a fine nib and the other has a dark green ink and a medium flex nib. Someone has recommended deep red. Hmmm...

What do you listen to while working?
Nothing. I can’t do two things at once. If I play music, I can’t maintain my concentration. But I do listen to a bunch of podcasts while driving.

What are you reading currently?
Lean Change Management by Jason Little.

I met Jason at the Lean Kanban conference in 2011. His writings on agile transformations are the best I’ve read. Highly recommended -

How do you organize?
I don’t 😲

Any hacks you prefer for work?
I maintain a personal Kanban board when I’m at a client location. I have a really bad memory, so the board is very helpful. You can see a bit of it in the picture below.

What are your favorite gadgets?
 My Nintendo 3DS. Easily the best video games in a portable format. I generally play quite a bit of video games.

What apps can you not live without?
First, the Live Tiles feature on my Windows Phone. Yes, I’m one of the five people in the world who have a Windows Phone. iPhone is too boring and Android is full of malware. The Live Tiles feature is just fantastic because it shows a ton of information on the home screen. I rarely have to open an app.

  • Podcast Lounge – great podcasting app. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving alone. Why waste the drive time?
  • These are the Podcasts I mostly listen to:
  • Freakonomics Radio – interesting topics on a wide variety of topics
  • Harvard Business Review Ideacast – interviews on latest ideas on management
  • The Advanced Selling Podcast – about selling stuff 😊
  • The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast – this is a podcast on board games, which I play quite a bit of

Any new addition to your routines? 
I don’t have a routine to start with 😉

How do you recharge?
Usually go for a drive, or go to the beach. We’re lucky in Chennai that we have 15 km of beach.

(Pic courtesy: Siddhartha)