Happy Holidays

Dec 25, 2018 | 0 comments |
Thank you for supporting SIPM over the years, thank you for being kind. I wish you Happy Holiday Season. 

I will see you next year :)


Gift Giving(recommended books): For your Friends and Family

Dec 3, 2018 | 0 comments |
This is definitely for the reader in your circle, book isn't everyones cup of tea and not everyones enjoys getting one as gift. 

I always do, so I thought I would put a up a mix of books that you can gift depending on the kind of person he or she is. plus I always think its more of a thoughtful gift than handing over gift cards.

  1. The Sleep Revolution- For the workaholic in your life, when you need them to know the importance of taking some time off and sleep. I bought this book on a whim in an airport while travelling and was blown away by the research behind it. I still have the book and haven’t donated or given away. 
  2. Atomic Habits- My recent buy (kindle version), perfect gifting during this holiday season for those who really want to keep up their resolution this year by understanding habits. More about the author and his style of content can be found on his website 
  3. When Breath Becomes Air- The most heartbreaking of reads which kept me awake at nights for a really long time- the reason I kept it in this list is for those people who always complaint and magnify their problems. If you think your problem is killing you, this one will bring in shift of perspective you are looking for. You can only be grateful for your life after you finish reading this one.
  4. The Power of Now- for the philosophical one in your friend circle, this book will make you think and go beyond. I pull this out at times, when I feel under the weather and it always works. 
  5. Possessionis the only fiction in this list. I don’t read fiction as much as I used to now, however every time I think of a good fiction, this has been one of my favorites that was recommended during my university days. To read reviews, click here

    If you are looking for gift ideas for colleagues, try these .

    ( Pic courtesy: Google Images)

    Disclosure- this post contains affiliate links.

Gift Ideas: Office and Co-workers

Nov 26, 2018 | | 0 comments |
And its that time of the year, when we are ready to say thank you and spread on the cheer. For today, I thought I would share some gift ideas that would work for your peers and would be thoughtful and something that can be used in work or home setting. 

I have kept prices fair reasonable and the ideas very practical that can be used on a regular basis, I do hope you love them :)


  1. Desk decor- I like to personalise my desk and space, this piece not only makes the place warm and cosy but definitely more cheerful. 
  2. String lights- I use this at home and they are long lasting, you can definitely use them in your Christmas tree or home desk. 
  3. Bluetooth headphone-  you can carry it to the gym or work, portable and without the hassle of wire and comfy on the ear. 
  4. Bluetooth Speakers- I love mine and it can be a nice gift to those who love listening to music, audio books or podcasts
  5. Label maker- who doesn’t need to organise their space, time saver and life saver 
  6. Laptop desk (adjustable)- know someone who is always working, the desk can be used multiple ways and this would make anyone happy, its on my wishlist too.
  7. French press travel mugs- If you are coffee person like me or know someone who needs their morning fix specially with the winer closing in, this gives you the flexibility to carry with them

  8. Doodle Notepad/Diary- who doesn’t like a good doodle option, they have even been told to have benefits  
  9. Borosil Glass Lunchbox- if you carry our own lunch and prefer to say no to plastic, this is for you. 
  10. Office plant- simple and yet very effective gift for someone who loves their desk space to look they have a personal touch to it 
  11. Fruit infuser water bottle 1 litre- the most in thing now and for the health freak in your team who only drinks water, this just fancies it up and ensure they remember you everyday 
  12. Copper Water Bottle-lot of advantages of drinking from copper bottle, this is practical and yet blingy. 
  13. Daily Planner- the one who like to be organised and on top of their game, reasonably priced and can be carried in the office bag 
  14. Leather Gift set-need a little formal gift option, try this one when you don’t know much abut the person’s preferences, this for sure will make everyone happy 
  15. Goal setting planner (free)- don’t want to be spend, why not print this out and gift in a folder  


There you go, now you can get shopping (contains affiliate links) for your coworkers and next post coming up on recommended books for gift giving.

(Pic courtesy: Google Images)


Ready for a new job? Heres the hows and whys?

Your chances of accepting an offer are statistically significant 2.6% to 6.6% higher if you were referred by a current employee than if you weren’t, mentions  Glassdoor. 

So, what do you think- does knowing the right person get you a job?

It clearly does.  So, how do you find the right person, the question is what are you doing when looking for the job.

How do you know you are ready to find your next job?

People don’t quit their job, they leave their bosses- I find it true in a lot of cases including my own and Harvard Business review confirms

Richard Branson believes that “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough that they don’t want to”. 

While a lot is said about bosses and managers, its also your responsibility to let them know what you are looking for and who you are. Sometimes opinions about you are formed in your absence, so its important to discuss your goals and interests with your manager as well. Bringing it up politely once in awhile ensure your boss hasn’t forgotten about it and when the right opening comes up, he or she might let you in. 

To ensure your boss is helping you, don’t forget to do your work. If that doesn’t work and things seem real stagnant or bad and you are tired, see lack of advancement and opportunities- it might be time to start looking at the market.


Career Fulfilment- Its said that when you have the right combination of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in your work you are fulfilled (Read Drive by Daniel Pink ). 

Culture plays a crucial role as well and how you fit in matters.  

Tony Hsieh of Zappos  known to hire based on the social/cultural fit of candidates mentions   “We’ve actually passed on a lot of really smart, talented people that we know can make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line, but if they’re not good for the company culture, we won’t hire them for that reason alone”. 

To buy the book "Delivering Happiness" click here .To know more about their hiring process, click here .

If you find yourself not fitting in and constantly feeling the need to not be yourself but someone else to impress, it can be an indicator to move on. 

How to look for a job?
Well, simply put you have to put a plan in place. Knowing the right person matters, now you have to look for one.

Eye on the Market- Look at the current market situation and asses your own skills, you should know where you want to be and the role you are eyeing by now (thats why you are ready to quit). Find out who’s hiring in the market and then look up your contacts in Linkedin and other social platforms you are part of. Platforms like Meetup (based on similar interests) could also be a great source for knowing openings. List out the desired companies and then get to work. Find either contacts inside or email people in the role (similar) about the work, advancement opportunities and the company in general. If everything seems to go well and you feel positive about it- ask for a referral. 

Work with you mentor/sponsor- Hopefully you already have one by now, they can always use their contacts or expertise to redirect you the right person or openings. Incase you haven’t been lucky enough to find a mentor, sign up where you have mentors waiting to work with you , you don’t have to engage in cold calls or random emails anymore, thats a thing of the past.


Find out about the Prospective Company
Even before applying for an open position, consider if the move is right for you. Moving from one job to another to move again in a years time is not a good idea. So ensure you know the company, the culture and the feedback before you decide to invest your time there. Glassdoor is a great way to get the reviews and then get it validated with direct questions with your contact within the organization. 

Nail the Interview
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? There are multiple resources that share the tentative insider scoops on interviews. You can find some of them listed below.


Negotiate
30% of women don't bother to negotiate at all, while 46% of men negotiate,” according to Katie Donovan, founder of Equal Pay Negotiations. So, you decide what its that you really want to go for and at what point you would like to close the discussion. 


Good Luck!


(Pic courtesy: Google Images)

How to Organize your Personal Space and Recharge

Hello November! 

So, its been crazy busy here and as you might have figured with the lack of posts. Days and weekends just breezed by and at some point I just had to stop myself and breathe. Hows your schedule lately? 

My space (both headspace and personal) is always very important for me, to recharge myself thats what I have been trying to do. 



And thats what I am sharing with you today- How to Organize  your Personal Space and Recharge.

I didn’t have the luxury to take time off, however its a continuos cycle for me, so I figured I can just get on with my checklist organise myself  and take a step back.

 And if thats what you would like for yourself, keep reading. 

1. Clear out the Space- The mental cluttered space which hasn’t had the time to allow you to move about freely. When I have a lot going on, sometime I am really very organised/productive  and sometimes I just crash. I crash primarily when I have no time to recharge. 
    1. So, I tried to not clutter my mental space more and just let myself breathe. I just ensured my energy level was fine for my job and home (priorities). Rest had to wait.
    2. I tried doing something I enjoy- listened to some music, decided to go back on track with my wellness journey and again focus on basics
    3. I also got some flowers, added a new rug to the living room and got a French press. Small things that make me happy and bringing my attention and awareness back to myself- mindfulness. 
2. Find Myself and Purpose in Life- We are constantly changing because of the environment we are in, the people we are surrounded by. With time we change and thats a wonderful thing, so the goal you had for yourself even 6 months ago might not be something you want now. So, I really had to look within and figure what I wanted and what my next 5 years goal was and then re-orient myself. So, if it didn’t make sense for me in the 5 year plan scenario, its not worth stressing for. 

3. Take Couple of Hours off- Well, I couldn’t take a day off, but Saturday afternoon I just did nothing. Spent on my couch watching Youtube  and ordered Pizza. 

4. Keep the New Goals Visible- So it can always been seen, use a planner or just write it down in your mirror anything that works for you. Create a morning routine around this and feel good about yourself. That just might be the trick of getting the focus back and of course…….

5. Try New Things- There are plenty of reasons why trying something new is scary for a lot of us;  however try out without putting a lot of pressure on you. So, don’t just change quit your current job because you want to go globe trotting. Take time to plan, consider the future and then go for it.  

I hope this evens out things for you as it has for me. If you need a planner to get back to your new schedule you can download one here for free.



Have a wonderful week ahead!

(Pic Courtesy: Pinterest and Soma Bhattacharya)

Happy Weekend!

Nov 3, 2018 | 0 comments |
Have a playful weekend:)




(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

Guest Post: Dhaval Panchal on Satir Change Model

Oct 22, 2018 | | 0 comments |
This is a guest post by Dhaval Panchal an experienced executive, Agile Coach, and Organization Design consultant. He is also the  founder of Evolve Agility, a Texas based coaching and training consultancy, read more about him here.

The Satir Change model applies to individuals as well as systems of individuals. It is one of the cornerstones of the family therapist Virginia Satir’s work on how change takes place.




Late Status Quo

A fairly stable system (individual or groups) with predictable familiarity and comfort. Actors in late status quo system may not be comfortable with “the way things are” but they have familiar solutions to common problems. Organizations in late status quo is a balancing system (systems thinking archetype), where different parts of the system pay different prices to maintain balance. The organization system has stayed the same for a long time. Actors in organizational system know ‘what to do’, ‘how to do, understand where they fit, and know what they can get away with. These ‘games’ or dysfunctions are part of the routine for actors these are indistinguishable from real work.

Examples:

Individuals working long hours compensate by not exercising or spending less time on family matters. “This is very important TPS report, I will take my evening walk tomorrow”.
Teams support low-performing members by everyone else doing a bit extra or tolerating dysfunctional behavior and nobody says anything about it.
Organizations ask for thorough cost-benefit analysis or business case to justify change initiative. Instead of assessing where we are at and where we need to be, organizations ask for proven case-studies and success stories before they consider changing.

Foreign Element

Systems favor self-preservation, this survival instinct is necessary condition for systems to continue to exist. Something happens that people in the system can no longer deny – this foreign element is generated internal or external or just plain old randomness. Ignoring, or ejecting, or neutralizing impact of alien elements are systems’ defense mechanisms. Actors in the system try to accommodate using delaying tactics, or try to encapsulate foreign element within the “normal” way of handling things, or may find somebody to blame.

Example:

After reading newspaper article on impact of stress, a workaholic blames their partner for not supporting their career goals.
After attending an agile conference, team-members acknowledge importance of cross-functional work and demand full management support before they are willing to try pair programming.
Organizational leadership takes note of stealth agile implementations and appreciates their success. As a result, mandates organizational agile transformation by a fixed future date.
Organizations in late status quo are closer to breaking point. Actors who are compensating and sustaining late status quo find their situation is no longer tenable. Systems in late status quo can learn to deny, ignore, or accommodate foreign elements developing unhealthy dysfunctional behaviors for a long time. Just waiting out organizational change initiative is a veteran tactic to diffuse energy and support in organization systems.
It is not possible to predict, but one of these many foreign elements knocks late status quo systems off balance. This could be increasing attrition rate of customers/employees or difficulty getting new ones, or perhaps a sudden change in technological landscape that threatens organizational survival.

Chaos

With critical mass around the foreign element, internal or external, late status quo system tips or gets knocked off balance. This is disorienting. The experience is similar to children’s game of being spun around while blind-folded. Usual ways of getting things done are challenged and there is confusion about ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do’. People react in a number of different ways: by engaging in random behavior, by seeking stability at any cost, or trying to revert to earlier patterns of behavior.
“Familiarity is always more powerful than comfort.” – Virgina Satir
It is common for people to seek for silver-bullet solutions, or seek for complete description of end state, to pursue order in midst of chaos. The uncertainty inherent in chaos zone is unsettling. Even when people realize that old status quo is not where we need to be, they seek the familiarity of old status quo. Loss aversion – losses loom larger than gains, tendencies kick-in.

Example:

Faced with intervention from their child, who is upset at not seeing parents at his favorite school play may tip a family into reevaluating their work life balance priorities or hire a very expensive nanny.
Teams attempting scrum, may discard it and switch to kanban or vice-versa. They may continue to chase the next big agile thing like devOps or server-less in endless pursuit of a quick silver bullet. They may end up blaming organizational culture and continue to operate worse than before.
At the all hands meet (AMA), CEO’s declaration of Agile transformation initiative to be completed by end of fiscal year was received with muted murmurs and extended break room conversations that impacted overall effectiveness. Many managers reported to executive committee that Agile is not working and we should revert to the way things were before.

Transforming Idea

People change, people change all the time. People buy houses, get married, have children, relocate and can cope with the changes all the time. They resist being changed or coerced into it. Everyone cannot be skilled at coping with chaos in all realms of their life.
Organizations often attempt to direct change in behavior and expect that results will follow. This almost never works, because the experience of people trying new approaches is negative they do not alter their core belief systems. At its best, leaders get compliance or in worse cases rebellion. Leaders skilled at surfing chaos set clear guardrails and focus on developing compelling experiences that lead to transforming ideas.
Leaders recognize that transformation must first start from within. So they create an environment where good ideas can get recognized and implemented. They focus their energies of creating a context for learning and recognize that many good ideas will have to be discarded before a transformational idea is recognized and tried.

Example:

Parents decide to set clear boundaries at their work place so their colleagues are respectful of their family time. This helps them to find time for physical exercise, and taking care of their family.
Team members recognize that they have been too insular and decide to get help from ‘coaches’ (internal or external).
After six months into Agile initiative, executive committee convenes an off-site where under guidance from expert facilitator they are able to discuss real issues, build upon each other’s ideas and agree to run focused controlled change ‘experiments’ instead of asking people to fall into line with the ‘big-picture’ Agile scaling framework.

Integration and Practice

During integration stage, there is excitement, energy and things seem to be improving. The feeling is so good that people mistake that this is the change. But the journey has only now began. This is a phase where leadership has most influence and gets tested all the time. There is strong temptation to declare “mission accomplished”, collect laurels and march on to the next big thing. This rush of excitement energizes people to try out other new ideas, many of which do not work out. So the system, is thrown back into chaos. Many organizational systems are stuck oscillating between chaos and integration, never fully realizing full benefits. Desire for quick fixes and leaders aspiration to make their mark, forces regime changes that desensitize employees to management. It is fairly common for veteran’s to list all the management thinking changes from Lean and TQM movement, to Agile and DevOps that have come and gone while never delivering on promised benefits.

Example:

With new found family time, they impulsively adopt a puppy. Excitement around new member in the family is mixed with feeling of anxiety around lack of attention to work and growing needs of family dog.
Team members identify many new ideas in initial sprint retrospectives and after a few sprints find that most of the actions items from previous retrospectives are repeating themselves. They are struggling to find time to implement most of their action items in light of higher delivery expectations (now that they are agile). They think retrospectives are a waste of time.
While the energy and excitement within organization is palpable, the executive committee is not seeing improvement in its traditional productivity measures. So they decide to intervene by asking for company wide rollout of Agile life cycle management tool. This will help them to get accurate data, because clearly this much fun (and engagement) is not justifiable if we are not able to quantify.
During integration and practice, people are learning to use new practices and tools. Appropriate training, coaching, support, and most importantly space to integrate new practices into people’s way of working is needed. Do not rush to quantify benefits, metrics have their own tendencies to look good even when the actual performance may be nose-diving.

New Status Quo

Integration of new ways of working results from many tiny changes to the system at work. These cannot be rushed. With sufficient information, support, and structure the actors within a system arrive at new status quo. There is now familiarity with new way of working, people are at ease and relaxed. A new vocabulary, mental models and belief systems emerge. “How we do things around here” – the culture that emerges from the dip, through chaos and integration, stabilizes to become the new norm. The organization is no longer viewed as the obstacle. And the cycle continues.
Change is inevitable, it is happening whether we like it or not. Organizational anti-bodies that attack all foreign elements, need to be developed to pick out beneficial foreign elements from the harmful. A leaders role in learning organization is not ordained, it is earned. From their organizational position and from resources they posses a leader adapts themselves and influences the climate around them so that people become empowered to change themselves and the environment around them. The only business of being a leader is to create other leaders.

Like what you read? Read more similar content at Evolve Agility

Registrations Open- PMO Virtual Summit

Oct 11, 2018 | | 0 comments |
If you haven't been following the earlier blogposts before, you can read it all here.

Before you read, the PMO Virtual Summit has opened up for Registration. And its FREE.

Learn from the global thought leaders over 3 days from the comfort of your couch. The speaker list can be found here.

This is being organised by Toronto based Parwaz Consulting Group.


PMO Virtual Summit+ Template Giveaway and Discounted All Access Pass

Oct 8, 2018 | | 0 comments |
How was your day?

If you are getting started for this week, so am I with some great news about the PMO Virtual Summit that I talked about last week.



Did you get a chance to download the free ebook? If not, you can still click here. 

So, PMO Virtual Summit is a three day virtual event (yep, no travelling involved), where the world global thought leaders on PMO will be speaking. The dates are October 16 to 18. 

If you are looking for the list of speakers, wait no further, click right here. Registrations are not open yet, watch the space. 



However, you can still get something today, a template bundle for you. It has everything you need to help you get started in setting up your own PMO office.
  • Productivity checklists for project managers
  • Productivity for project managers
  • Project status reporting made easy
  • PMO stakeholders identification guide
  • Timesaver deck for creating beautiful presentations quickly
  • Resource guide for change communication


Registration haven’t opened yet, but you can access the discounted price of $97 for the All Access Pass which allows you lifetime on demand access. 

This is best for those learners who want to learn form the industries best and hear it over and over again, or group of friends who are joining the PMO soon or already are part of it. If you have happen to have a team or lead the PMO- what better way to get your educated under less than $100. 


So, if you are still up for lifetime of learning, grab your passes before the prices go up.  

The registrations open up on October 11. 

( Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Link)

Pic courtesy: Google Images

Happy Weekend

Oct 6, 2018 | 0 comments |
Hello there, hows the weekend going.

If you are looking for some weekend read, heres one published in Knowledgehut: Agile Adoption- Should it be data centric?

Want to bring some sparkle back in your life and you think you never take the leap, watch the video below thats why you are probably scared  and thats okay. Here are ways to you can fight it back. Hope you enjoy!




If you haven't still looked at the last post and got your ebook copy, here it is one more time.

Giveaway: Free PMO Ebook +Exciting Announcement

Hello October! 

So, lets just say this Fall is starting with some exciting news.  In collab with Toronto based Parwaaz Consulting Corporation, we are bringing you some great stuff meant for anyone interested in PMO or entrepreneurs working towards your scaling business goals.

So, lets say you’re a project manager, portfolio manager, or an operational manager that’s had an amazing opportunity fall in your lap. 

You might be thrilled to have the opportunity to head up a PMO in your company. Its said that 60% of PMO managers have had someone question their value in the company and 50% of project management offices are shut down within three years. 

Hussain Bandukwala of  Parwaaz Consulting Corporation; has run Project Management Offices responsible for multiple eight figure projects  He hasn’t just done it, he’s taught it, and helped establish them for small and mid-sized organizations. And in doing that, he’s seen the best and the worst of the PMO world and made some amazing contacts. 

So now, he’s is giving way the knowledge that took him years to get all for free.

Take a look at PMO Success: Under The Hood -  a free e-book that has over 20 Project Management Office experts, collaborating to give the strongest possible start to anyone interested in being part of PMO. 


Inside the ebook, you will find:
  1. The one skill you MUST master before getting the top PMO role - and the one that’s entirely overrated
  2. How “three cups of coffee” can make your job as leader so much easier (Hint: don’t drink them in the morning!)
  3. The very first thing you should do when you’re on the job officially
  4. How to respond when someone says “show me the value!”
  5. There’s no PMO tool at your organization (or the current one is really bad). Which tool would you get?


He is also coming up with the PMO Virtual Summit (details coming soon) that brings in experts from all over the world. 
Information about All Access Pass and tickets coming up.

(Pic courtesy: Google Images and Parwaz Consulting Corporation)

Happy Weekend

Sep 29, 2018 | 0 comments |
Keep you inner light shining and you will find your way. If you are looking for a free printable goal setting template click here (no email required)

Watch this space for some exciting news and announcement on Monday (Oct 1)



(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)