Welcome to SIPM

Hello, nice meeting you. I am Soma and I have been running this blog since 2008.


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


This space has grown over time and I write about Project Management, Personal Development, Agile and frankly anything that gets my attention.

When not at work, I am mostly reading, working on my next idea, travelling and exploring life with my 6 year old.


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

10 Effective Productivity Lessons

Sep 16, 2021 | 0 comments |

 Its September already and if you are constantly trying to figure out how to get more done, these top 10 lessons from the productivity guru Ali Abdaal might be just for you.


Stay safe and take care.



Interview with Yasmina Khelifi| Project Manager

Hello, todays interview is with Yasmina Khelifi. 

Yasmina Khelifi, PMP, PMI- ACP, PMI-PBA is an experienced project manager in the telecom industry. Along with her 20-year career, she sharpened her global leadership skills, delivering projects with major manufacturers and SIM makers. Yasmina strives for building collaborative bridges between people to make international projects successful. She relies on three pillars: her project management skills, the languages she speaks, and her passion for sharing knowledge.

French-native, she can speak German, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and she is learning Arabic. Yasmina loves sharing her knowledge and experiences at work, volunteers at PMI, blogs at projectmanagement.com, and PM Network Magazine. She is also the host and co-founder of the podcast Global Leaders Talk with Yasmina Khelifi to help people in becoming better international leaders.

Yasmina please tell us how did you get into project management and why were you interested?

As a telecom engineer, I began my career, by testing new value-added services at a French telecom operator. After a few years and with the sponsorship of my manager, I applied to a project manager position. It took me courage because I didn’t have strong self-confidence.  Becoming a project manager was a life changing decision. I loved it from the beginning: the variety of activities, being able to organize, to build human relationships, to improve the processes, to create new things. Since then, I’ve managed numerous international projects.

In the process, you also have a blog and a podcast, tell us about it?

During the lockdown, I decided to invest my time in an online self-paced course by Dorie Clark on how to become a recognized expert. As part of the course, I have access to an amazing Facebook community where many people have their websites and portfolio. It gave me the energy to develop mine: I wanted to have one place to share my experiences and ideas. During the lockdown, I've also discovered podcasts and thought: "why not try it out?” I was curious to know how it worked and to share my knowledge about international leadership.

In investing your time in trying to build a community with all of these, what has been your experience so far?

You’re right it takes time and effort. My main aim is to spread knowledge as I didn't have specific guidance when I began to work. If it turns out into a lively community, that would be great. So far, It has been an invaluable opportunity to meet global leaders, learn from them, and share their stories. I haven't met personally most people I’ve interviewed so far. I think my knowledge of project management helps me a lot: I explain the project, set the expectations, communicate the final product for go nogo, and define a communication plan in social media.

Beyond the nitty-gritty tasks, I’ve met incredibly generous people with their time and experiences, and I’m looking forward to sharing more stories from global leaders.

Do you have any suggestions for the new project managers getting into this domain?

I will focus on three points.

First, get the confidence to leap into project management: you’ll get the skills for life, useful in any job. Project Management isn't linked to technical jobs. As soon as you work in a team (and who doesn't?) you’ll need to define the roles, functionalities of the products, expectations, planning, and draw on lessons learned.

Second, don’t hesitate to ask people for help and advice. Sometimes we think we will see as incompetent by asking but that’s a way to move forward.

Third, take part in training about project management but also about leadership. Devise your learning strategy. Be a lifelong learner!

Where can the readers find you?

This is where you can find my blogs and podcasts. I have a monthly newsletter about global leadership and also write here. As for social media you can find me in twitter @YasminaKhelifi7 and LinkedIn

Thank You Yasmina.




If you are a Newbie, Read This

If you really want to show your work, show the vulnerability that comes with it.  I get it you are a newbie and welcome to SIPM. 

I think the biggest fear is that of being judged of failure, lesser experience and shaky confidence. You can fake it till you make it, however you won’t know how it is unless you go out there, do your work and put it out. There’s just one way to get it done and get done with your fear, go through the fire.

If you are a project manager and starting out, don’t feel intimidated by all the experience available over the web in blogs and other platforms. Everyone started like you. So, share your insights and its okay to take time to feel like you have found your zone.

When I started this blog years ago, I had just started out facing the same problem. Everything I read was out of my league and I couldn’t find a space where I would feel comfortable and easier to learn for someone brand new. So, I started my blog, for myself really to talk about my fears and journal my experience so I would remember it.


My first post is here (haha) and it’s been ages since then. What you don’t know is putting that out without any expectation actually helped me connect with people over the web, a lot of them project managers who helped me out without even knowing me personally. It helped me network, get invited for seminars, start a community to give back (You!), get job interviews and interviewer had read my blog (talk about having an advantage), opportunities to speak, finding mentors over twitter, publishing e-books and writing for popular platforms

So, there are only advantages and if no one takes interest in your work its okay too. Being yourself and finding your voice is important because you don’t need to clone yourself. If no one reads or notices that’s okay because you will have found clarity of thoughts, a diary to look back on and a practice that will allow to expand and grow.

So, mentioning yourself as a newbie isn’t a bad thing, it shows you open to learning, life and new skillsets.

So, whether you are starting out or struggling it's okay to bring it out, to ask for help and to show your work!

What do you think?

How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day

If you are the kind of person, who wants to get more done and are struggling to stay consistent, this might be right for you. 

In this video, I talk about 3 ways you can trick yourself to check off the lists and yes, it's all in the mindset.

If you do like, don't forget to subscribe.




Thanks for watching.



 

Book Review| Show your Work

May 31, 2021 | | 0 comments |

I am an introvert and have like many always struggled showing my work. 

I dreamt hidden behind the curtains of my apartment's floor to ceiling windows and wanted to get the courage to one day tell everyone about my ideas. I was shy like many to speak up or show my work. So, when I was in school I had warmed up to the idea to write for a newspaper. Back then you had to mail them and one day out of nowhere it was published. That's how I started- showing my work.

That didn't take away from the awkwardness of thinking that if I wanted to show my work it would always be talking amidst people and selling them my pitch. Later, slowly I would send poems, articles mailed to be published in some coffee table books and journals.

Later when I had mustered the courage standing in front of the mirror holding the record button of my walkman practising speaking to a crowd I realised you could now blog. Thankfully that helped me start writing. I had a personal blog way back in college and then wrote another lifestyle blog and finally this one that you are reading today. Showing your work can be powerful, with so many platforms available now you can choose the one that makes you comfortable. I finally mustered up the courage also to start speaking up- opened my YouTube channel.

I wish I read this book before and that's why today we will talk about this book with the hope that if you are still fumbling and thinking whether you are good enough to showcase your work- you need to read this.

Show your Work

The Book- Show Your Work

Author- Austin Kleon

Price: 603 INR Kindle and 916  INRfor paperback (I have the Kindle version) 

Who Should read it- Anyone who wants to put their work in the public domain and needs a little bit of push.

"It's not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to findable"

Put your work out there- You need to decide to put your work out there, whether it's through words, pics or videos. Kleon thinks that people will find you (yeah I am waiting for that too and thank you for reading my blog).You don't have to be a genius, rich or mater- you can start as an amateur.

Learn in front of others- The best way to get started on the path of sharing your work is to make a commitment to start learning in front of others. I think the biggest fear is that of being called a failure when you put yourself out without being an expert. I know it well enough especially when taking up a new role or a new platform. I think more successful you are in one one part of life, more fearful you are putting yourself out in another. 

Read Obituaries- To be aware that we are all going to die one day might help us treat our days as something to share our work. I recently heard it's also one of the good ways to find out what your goals are or who you want to be. thinking what will be written in your gravestone after you are long gone, is what brings back clarity on what we should be doing more of.

Think process not products- What used to matter before was just the product.  No one knew what happened behind the scenes in creating it. However now with social media available an artist /author/ideator doesn't have to work in secrecy behind the scenes anymore and can choose to talk about the process if he/she chooses to. By putting things out there consistently, anyone can actually form a relationship with customers who can now read/see the person behind the products. 

Become a documentarian of what you do- how can you show your work even when you have nothing to show? documenting your life can have its advantages because now you can get it done even with just a phone. You can choose to share when you are ready now that you have enough content ready

Share something small everyday- in early stages share what inspires you, middle stage share your process and as an expert share about how your project/products are doing.

"That's all any of us are: amateurs. We don't live long enough to be anything else" . - Charlie Chaplin

Turn your flow into Stock- Stock is best made by collecting, organizing and expanding upon your flow.

Tell good stories- Human being like to know where things came from, how they made it and who made them. always keep your audience in mind when telling one.

Shut up and Listen- if you are only pointing to your own stuff online, you are doing it wrong. you have to be a connector. if you want to get, you have to give.

Learn to take a punch- when you put your work out there, you have to be ready for the good, bad and the ugly. trick is to not care what everybody thinks of you but what the right people think of you.

"I come pre hated. Take your best shot" - Cyndi lauper

Pay it forward- Be as generous as you can but selfish enough to get your work done.

Reading this book again, opened me up to getting back to my work and start hitting the "publish" button again. Let me know if you read this book. 

(Pic courtesy: Google images)