Time Off

Sep 26, 2011 | 0 comments |
I am taking a week off from blogging, while I do a fall clean up and travel for one of the Indian festivals thats very close to my heart.

My friend from New York is coming over for a 3 week visit to India and we have lots of catching up to do.

I'll be back in October.


Sep 19, 2011 | | 0 comments |

Details on Scrum and everything you need to know.

Requirements include:
·         Familiarize with scrum basics
·         Attend CSM course
·         Asses your progress through online evaluation.

                Requirements include:
·         Download the application  and illustrate hands on experience
·         Send the complete application for review and approval to the Review committee.
·         On approval you pay $250  for certification fee

Requirements include:
  • Have a solid understanding of the Scrum framework, a deep understanding of the principles and values that are the foundations of Scrum, and a clarity on what belongs to Scrum and what is an extension or complement;
  • Have extensive experience of implementing and/or coaching Scrum inside organizations;
  • Be active in the wider Scrum community, through actual and virtual interaction with other Scrum and Agile thinkers and practitioners;
  • Have training experience beyond just Scrum, be willing to explore new ways of working and be committed to continuous improvement.

 experts in Scrum, both in theory and in practice. They have an in-depth understanding of the practices and principles of Scrum and have real experience on actual Scrum projects.
  • Does your ScrumMaster need a mentor?
  • Does your Product Owner need help learning how to work with a product backlog?
  • Are you having trouble breaking sprint backlog items into task lists?
  • Are your sprints consistently ending with unfinished work? 
  • Is estimating so hard that your sprint planning lasts beyond its timebox?
  • Does your management underestimate the scope of organizational change necessary for Scrum to be successful?
  • Are you facing challenges with multi-team Scrum projects?
  • Is your organization having difficulty implementing the Scrum framework in conjunction with other methodologies?
  • Is the team encountering obstacles with organizational impediments?
  • Does your organization need coaching and guidance on scaling Scrum?
And there are more, you can also be a Certified Product Owner or developer.

More on Kanban

Trainings in Town

Sep 17, 2011 | 1 comments |

PMI Agile Practitioner Certification Prep Class

Derek Heuther is offering training classes now globally. Registration is open for Balitmore/Washington DC (Oct 17-19) and Phoenix from November 2-4. To register, click here 

Cost $1495 per attendee and it covers the 1500 trainings hours required to appear for the certification. 

Ruby On Rails- Training

A two day workshop on "BDD with Ruby on Rails" organized by Ostrya Labs on Sept 24/25th at Hyderabad (India).

The details of the workshop are available here. Contact  Arun at at arun@ostryalabs.com for more information. 

Scrum Certification- Lessons Learnt

“Having coached many software development teams, I tend to value my contribution by what a team does when I’m not with them over what the team does when I’m with them.”
                                                         - Dhaval Panchal, Agile Coach and Trainer (source)

Trainings are supposed to be boring.

Unless something wakes you up. Or you are in a class that is surprisingly interesting.

Last week, I happened to be in one.

It was training and interesting-a scrum certification class (CSM) conducted by Solutions IQ.

If you are already certified in scrum or have taken courses you know the drill. If you haven’t, you can look over here .

You don’t have to choose either/or between a PMP and a CSM/CSP- you can be both. Scrum training actually offers you PDU’s as well for attending these classes. Cool!

I have heard so much about Agile and Scrum that I genuinely got interested and decided to go for it. You can check for nearby classes based on your location by looking into the website.

That’s how I found mine and it’s been a treat and I’m sold to Scrum. So much so, that I started my own board at work to monitor my work and see if it helps. Oh, I also have one at home for my personal goals stuck behind my study door.

Seattle based Dhaval Panchal  has been an awesome trainer for the 2 days of training in Hyderabad, India – informative, knowledgeable, patient, helpful and always approachable. Given a chance I’d train with him again.

My favourite part of the class was the Paper Ball game- it teaches you more about the team dynamics than you would think. A group of random people who met 15 mints ago  and has to abide by the rules of the game, severe time constraints and expectation of an end result can take the so called managers in for a spin. Who takes the control, who listens to whom, whose idea should be implemented, why am I being Ignored......the behavorial drama continues.

A class worth attending for sure. Thank you Dhaval.

(Disclosure: I paid for my certification; it wasn't sponsored by any organization). 

Pic Courtesy: Google Images.

Tricks of the Trade

Sep 8, 2011 | | 0 comments |
Here's some cool stuff:

•If you like to organize your personal goals, professional certifications, hobbies and measure them over time Jenny Blake’s templates are awesome. And you can get them by signing up in her monthly newsletter
•Do women make better project managers- want to know read this guest post 
•Like to learn but not the boring way- say Hello to PMChat 
•Industrial Psychology Perspective on Project management is here. Finally.

•Joined your first PM job and need to revamp your image. Your makeup tricks here.
Need some white noise while you work, try this. No downloads required.

(Pic Courtesy: Google Images)

Who's your boss? Part 2

Sep 5, 2011 | | 0 comments |
This is part 2 of Who’s your boss? Read part 1 here.

The Buddy-Baseball caps, high-fives

What they do:
The Buddy wants to be your friend, not your boss. Too bad for him you’ve already got friends and wouldn’t want to hang with him anyway. From “happy” hours that seem more like a punishment to unfunny jokes that you’ve just got to laugh at (or else!) The Buddy really has a way of making fun into a chore. And don’t get us started on his habit of trying to start questionable relationships with subordinates. It’s just painful to watch.

How to make him love you:
Laugh at his funnier jokes, but don’t stoop to laughing at every joke – being a suck-up isn’t a great way to maintain your dignity. Say no thanks to all the invitations you can, and keep your own interactions with The Buddy on an extremely professional level – you’ll be helping him in the long run, and he’ll respect you for it. Protect yourself with a thick layer of decorum and common sense, because he sure isn’t going to do it for you.

The Miracle- An office that looks like yours, encouraging emails

What they do:
Fun, supportive, capable, and inspiring, The Miracle is truly an employee’s dream come true. She does what she says, always follows up, and usually can push you to do your best in a way that makes the hardest work seem like play. If you’re working for The Miracle you’ll know it, from the smile on your face at the end of the day to your rewarding paycheck at the end of the week. Just try not to brag too much!

How to make her love you:
Work your butt off and thank your lucky stars, since The Miracle doesn’t come along very often. Use this great opportunity to really see how far you can go, and at the end of The Miracle’s tenure, make sure you get a letter of reference.

The Monster-Thrown coffee cups, restraining orders!

What they do:
The question is more “What don’t they do?” The Monster lives to make your own life hell, and he’s good at it. From screaming at you in front of the customers to lying about your results to engaging in borderline criminal harassment, The Monster repeatedly demonstrates that has no pity, human decency, or shame. He’s the worst boss around, hands down, and we’re sorry for anyone who has to deal with him.

How to make him love you:
Unfortunately, with this one you just have to run. Get out. There’s no hope for improvement when you work for someone who has no scruples at al

The Number Cruncher- Incredible Excel skills, a calculator watch.

What they do:
The Number Cruncher’s best quality is her ability to break things down into measurable statistics — and sometimes, that means the actual employees, too. The Number Cruncher can only read math, and if your performance appears to be declining on paper rest assured you will get a lecture, even if you’ve been working as hard as you can. Ever feel like you are “just a number?” We’re here to confirm that you definitely are.

How to make her love you:
Give her something she can understand: Numbers. Track your successes (and your failures) with painstaking detail and fanatical devotion. Even if it’s a chore in the immediate future, your data mining will pay off and you will have something on paper that proves you’ve been working hard, even if your efforts haven’t been working. Who knows, her approach might teach you something!

The Innovator- Brainstorming sessions, expensive toys, subscription to Entrepreneur magazine

What they do:
The Innovator’s head is full of big ideas, and he wastes no time dreaming them up and then making sure they actually come true. Great for business, but it usually means you get no life outside the office because you’re the one actually making his dream come to life. The pros? This boss can be incredibly charismatic and inspiring, and truly cares about the work. The cons? Sometimes it seems like the only thing this boss cares about is work. Hope that’s all you care about, too!

How to make him love you:
Work hard and show commitment, but keep your sense of self outside of work. Remind the boss that the outside world does exist: Ask The Innovator about his weekend, his children (if he has any, which is a total mystery) about any hobby he has outside work. After you’re done chitchatting, give your all and The Innovator will respect your work and hopefully, your own need for work-life balance.

The Tuft Hunter- The CEO’s wardrobe, car, and haircut.

What they do:
In the old days, a tuft hunter was a nobleman’s parasite, one who tried to curry favor with the rich and powerful in order to gain favor or influence. The Tuft Hunter as a boss, however, is always looking for her own next promotion. Does that mean she’ll create an opening for you once she makes it up that ladder — or are you merely a rung on her own to be stepped on? That’s something only The Tuft Hunter knows. You’ll probably find out too late.

How to make her love you:
Do everything in your power to make The Tuft Hunter look good, and you’ll be one step closer to a promotion of your very own. Watch her back and tell her every bit of news that you come across from upper management and you’ll earn her respect and maybe even her loyalty — if she has any.

The Patronizer- Terrible computer skills, degree in law or medicine

What they do:
If you’ve worked for someone who explained how to turn your computer on or how to change the toner on the printer, you’ve experienced The Patronizer. The Patronizer makes sure you know exactly how much time and effort it takes for him just to grace you with his presence every morning. He leaves you to your own devices mostly, but is sure to micromanage the simplest and most mundane tasks whenever he gets the opportunity.

How to make him love you:
Keep your eye on the ball, whether it’s getting better at your job or getting a foot out the door. If you feel you are being made to look stupid, you can interrupt The Patronizer mid-sentence during one of his boring lectures by saying, “I already know how to do that, but I am interested what you think about …” If the condescending behavior just doesn’t stop, or if he’s being outright rude, it’s important to tell The Patronizer to knock it off. The Patronizer believes you’re beneath him, and when you show him you’re not, you’ll gain his respect.

The Nitpicker- Fierce attention to detail, red pens, lots of spare time.

What they do:
The Nitpicker is a micro-manager who likes to control all of your work, all the time. Did you save the company money on office supplies? It’s not nearly enough. Work hard on a killer presentation? There’s a punctuation error on the 10th slide. Nothing you do is ever good enough for The Nitpicker, and that can cause your own faith in your abilities to slip. You’ll spend all your time second-guessing yourself instead of innovating.

How to make her love you:
Instead of letting the Nitpicker drain you of all motivation, learn to work by your own standards. Try finding someone else in the company to be your mentor, because you surely won’t get coaching out of her, unless it’s to point out all your faults. You might also try working one step ahead of The Nitpicker, detailing every single thing you do, so you’ll be ready for the inevitable barrage of questions.

(Pic Courtesy: google images. Article source)

Who’s your boss?

Sep 2, 2011 | | 1 comments |

Love him, hate her...its a never ending saga.
Find out who they are.

The Robot- Empty desk with no family picture.

What they do:
All business, all the time: That’s The Robot. We’re not saying she’s not human, but we’ve definitely got our doubts on the matter sometimes. The sworn enemy of fun, levity, and emotion, The Robot would rather you just get to work. At all times. While it can be nice to have someone driving you to do your best, it would be nice to feel a little bit of emotional connection from time to time, right?

How to make her love you:
It may not sound like a lot of fun, but you’ll probably have to conceal your own feelings and buckle down to The Robot’s schedule. On the up side, she can teach you discipline and efficiency. Try making allies of your coworkers. They’re probably as frustrated as you are! Inside jokes and friendly chit-chat can make the day seem brighter.

The Softy- they give second chances.

What they do:
They think they’re making things easier on their employees, but in the long run The Softy’s kid-glove approach to management just makes it harder for great workers to succeed and easier for slackers to stick around. Being a boss involves making difficult decisions sometimes, especially when it comes to employees, but The Softy doesn’t seem to realize this.

How to make him love you:
The worst thing to do is hurt The Softy’s feelings, so try changing things up by commending them on his toughest calls, however rare. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way when The Softy learns that being the bad cop doesn’t have to be the worst job in the world.

The Weasel- Empty promises
What they do:
Promising one thing but delivering another, The Weasel will say anything — and we do mean anything — to get what she wants out of you. A raise? A promotion? Some time off? Sure, you’ll get what you’ve been dreaming about eventually if you take on extra work or a hellish new project. Or so she says, but we wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for The Weasel to actually deliver. Why should she? You’re already doing the extra work for free.

How to make her love you:
Completing all the grunt work will get you great distances with The Weasel, but just remember to trust nothing The Weasel says, ever. Or, at very least, get it in writing and double-check with whomever The Weasel answers to in upper management. A paper trail will be your best defense against lies and false promises. Maybe you’ll actually get that promotion!

The Mystery- Closed doors, Out Of Office messages.

What they do: 
Who knows? The Mystery is an expert at the arts of subterfuge, denial, and … whatever it is he does. Either he’s on a business trip or in a locked-door meeting or plotting world domination all day or … something. Whatever it is, you’re left to your own devices to figure things out, minus any guidance at all. Too bad you’ll still be on the hook if things go wrong. The Mystery will be gone when it comes down to it.

How to make him love you: 
Wait it out and give him space. If you stay patient (and we mean really patient) you may be able, like a persevering biologist in the jungle observing shy animals, to learn a little bit more about The Mystery’s habits.

The Viper- Backhanded compliments, fake smiles.

What they do:
Does The Viper wake up on the wrong side of the bed every single morning? It sure seems like it. From snippy comments about personal matters (“Are you pregnant? Oh, it just seemed like you were gaining weight.”) to undermining your efforts at work (“So you’re just learning Excel, right?”), The Viper has a real talent for making you feel bad about yourself. No matter how thick your skin is, it’s hard not to let her get to you.

How to make her love you:
We’re not actually certain that the Viper is capable of loving an employee, so it’s probably best to just stay a good distance away from her. Keep feelings to yourself, and share as little information about your life as possible, all the while being extremely pleasant. The Viper can’t hurt you if she doesn’t know where you’re sensitive.

Part 2 of Who's your boss coming next!

(Pic Courtesy: google images. Article source)