Welcome to SIPM

Hello, nice meeting you. I am Soma, your host for this space and I have been running this since 2008.


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


This space has grown over time and I primarily write about Personal Development, Motivation, Creativity 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

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)


Getting More done| Time Management

May 24, 2021 | | 0 comments |

 If you woke up every morning and could see the amount of work you get done everyday, you would pat yourself everyday. 

Getting more done always doesn't mean waking up at 5am, it can still be managed with these 3 simple tips depending on the kind of work you do and the style you prefer. 

1. Prioritization

2. Time Blocking

3. Visual Boards

More in the video below:



Which one is your choice of time management?


Locked up: The New Age of Collaboration amidst WFH

Lot of people I knew over the years, looked down upon work from home. Being at work meant more engagement, interest, collaboration. So, why work from home?

Today we are redefining what collaboration means locked up in our homes. An estimated 16 million U.S. knowledge workers started working remotely due to Covid-19 as of March 27, 2020 

The same group who once scorned the ability to work from home now talked about how surprised they were being able to work from their own home and numbers started trickling in of greater productivity, more efficiency and everyone happier because of finally being able to get rid of the commute, spend quality time with family and some even working on their newly found hobbies. 


Ninety-four percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely 

Has this era of pandemic broken the traditional idea of work and collaboration? Has this led to taking a modern approach of being able to collaborate remotely bringing in the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere globally. Has this opened up the global market for the talent pool? Does this encourage a lot more women to come back to work or continue with work?

Forbes mentioned “The fastest growth in remote work has been in computer-related occupations, with business, financial, and management occupations also experiencing rapid growth in teleworking” 

I know this first hand, I have friends who have moved to other cities or travelled back to their home states rented apartments and are working from there for months now. All of them mostly working in IT. The Facebook groups of home stays are flourishing with a steady growth of members everyday which only can vouch for the fact that everyone is enjoying the newly found freedom of being able to connect remotely.

These changes have steadied few things:

  1. The market has changed for good- remote working is here to stay. With all myths of remote working being debunked, more and more companies are opening up to the  option of continuing with remote work. It might be one of the positive changes left behind by this deadly pandemic.
  2. Improved communication skills will be required- flexibility and remote working will mean better and more communication skills to gap the loopholes created by not being able to meet face to face. Building teams and camaraderie over zoom calls might reveal new skill sets everyone needs to bridge the gap of real face to face conversations. Team connects will just not be for a stand ups or town halls, it can simply be a break with colleagues or used to welcome a new team member.
  3. Self-motivation is essential and so are the tools- working on your own schedule and on your own might also need more willpower and self-motivation to get things done on time. This is more challenging with kids at home for the longer run with online from home schools. To be able to get deep work done that require more attention might need setting up rules and boundaries even at home. Tools that allow team to collaborate and work together will likely be more in use.

So, does this mean more remote project management positions openings up? While sites like Upwork who have always flourished on remote work model has 1,223 Project Manager positions tagged and open to hire right now, Fiverr has project managers ready to set up collaboration software for teams amongst other things from Monday dot com to Trello.

Change at any level as it turns out is not easy and this concept of locked up collaboration seems to be just a start to slowly settle down as a  mainstream way of working.

What do you think?


(Pic courtesy: Pexel)

Rethinking Agile as Bold, Kind and Human

Feb 26, 2021 | | 0 comments |

 This post was first published  in Projectmanagement.com. Click here to read. 

Agile has become ubiquitous in project management, with teams using it to spark out-of-the-box thinking and drive countless projects across the finish line. Yet almost as quickly as the approach popped up, companies and project leaders began to oversell it—and what seemed to be a radical way of thinking has become mired in repetition and monotony.  

Agile was about being open and transparent, and people having the utmost importance in the process. Now, if you ask anyone about agile, it’s all about the three questions: What have you completed since the last meeting? What do you plan to complete by the next meeting? What’s getting in your way? There’s also the fear of being constantly monitored and the fact your performance is measured by your team’s velocity. 

Breaking out of this mold can prove difficult—who has the time? But with much of the world working from home, now might be the best chance to rethink agile as boldkind and human



Let’s look at how that might work.

Agile is bold: Challenge the process. Question what’s right for your team and be open to experiment. To get everyone engaged, encourage team members to ask questions. And try incorporating at least one fun icebreaker in each team stand up to get people to open up and spark discussion. 

Agile is kind: Just because the data seems all over the place or you don’t achieve a desired project outcome, the team is not always wrong. Look for insights, do anonymous retrospectives, dig deeper and listen more. Avoid making assumptions. Instead, remain empathetic and open as you talk through challenges and navigate team members to arrive at a solution. 

Agile is human: Agile won’t work if the team can’t work together and it’s up to leaders to foster a sense of camaraderie. One way to build this spirit of collaboration and rapport is through simple exercises, like using a sticky note or sharable spreadsheet where team members anonymously write one thing they’re good at or that they’re proud of outside of work. Then allow other team members to guess that person’s identity. This isn’t about who wins, but it gets the entire team to communicate in a low-stakes environment.  

What are the biggest challenges your team has come across with agile—and how have you overcome them?

(Pic courtesy: Pexel)