Food for thought…my imagination running wide

If CxO’s today, do not change how they think, plan, strategize or execute, they would be in for a surprise. What is thought in Management schools and at Executive Education Program may not be relevant 5 years down the line. We talk about Web 1.0 and today about Web 2.0, and tomorrow it could be Web 3.0, but have we thought if Web would be web tomorrow.  Like the 2000 bubble burst, there could be a Web burst soon. GenX would pave the way for the Baby boomers. Think about it. Are you game?

Organizations have to re-structure to new set of roles and responsibilities, The CEO roles would be transitioned to Exceptional Executive Officer(EEO), or a CFO would be called Exceptional Finance Officer (EFO), and so on, purely based on their ability to think differently, according to the changing dynamics of the economic environment. Regulatory compliance would be challenged through Mandatory compliance, with different levels of compliance, starting with a baseline requirement. If the baseline is not met, you would not get funding, cannot put resources, or even come up with a business plan. For this purpose you would not have auditor as in today, but Conformity Offices or CO’s who will need to give a “GO” before anyone can start operations. There would be a new set of officers called Acceding Office (AO) under whom the CO’s would operate with.  The roles of Managers would transition to that of Mentor(s). For example, a Project Manager (PM), would henceforth be called a Project Mentor (PM), or a Quality Manager might be called a Quality Mentor (QM), and so on. I would even go further to say that Human Resources Management (HRM) may transition to something like Exceptional Talent Management (ETM) and the Sales and Marketing (S & M) would transition to something like Profiting and Gaining (P & G).

Taking stock of these changes, one would agree than the required skills  for these positions will not be the same. For example, the new EFO would not require the skill of a strategist, but more of a manipulator. He would come with not plans but with blueprints to manipulate the diversity of challenges faced in order to compete. So the challenge is how could someone acquire these new skills that are not thought in business schools. I would create a role called “Futurist” who keeps looking at the rapid pace of change and would suggest the type of skills and competencies required to survive and to move into the future. There should be schools who teach people on how to acquire these new skills and competencies and would even go to the extent of certifying candidates who enrol in such schools as “Emirates” (1 to 5), with 5 qualifying for a ExO positions.

Ultimately it all boils down to execution, so that blueprints are translated into Profits. And profit may not be the ratio of total cost to the sales achieved but would rather be something like Risk Mitigated to that of the Total Spent.

Hope you enjoyed the post.

Cheers,

Vasanth (The Futurist)

Why should you go for Agile.

April 20, 2012 1 comment

Whether you are CMMI/ITIL compliant or ISO certified, there is always scope for improving your s/w development efficiency and programmer productivity. It is sad many companies today see that the only measurement for production of good software is “Defects”. If there are less on no post production defects, they assume all is fine. Also, customers are not so demanding these days.Maybe the perils of the economy and global recession has made them complaisant.

So let’s come to the point of why Agile makes a HUGE difference in giving more for less. First of all, it all starts with business agility. If you are Agile, your business would respond appropriately to rapid changes in the business environment. To adapt to these rapid changes businesses should keep changing their strategies or adapt new strategies. But if your business is highly regulated you need to get control of your business processes and be aware and aligned to your compliance requirements. Therefore the control and management of enterprise-wide business rules becomes paramount for enabling good decision making. So start with the TOP. Check your level of agility and make those necessary changes to the layers of management and come up with a new governance structure that will be an enabler for Agile adoption. The second most important thing is taking stock of your current IT infrastructure and applications including software tools that are used. Usually there is no enterprise-wide consistency in the usage of such software and tools. There might also be expired or un-renewed licenses and unused tools. Thirdly, look at the way you have been managing your risks. Agile helps you to manage risks in a much better way than in the traditional waterfall approach. Since in agile, big projects are divided into smaller project that are build on each other, it enables people to employ shorter feedback loops, to learn quickly and change plans as new information emerges.

But, the BIG Leap is Agile Project Management. It creates an environment of agility. It re-defines the role of the project manager, where he/she becomes a visionary leader. It promotes collaboration among stakeholders. It empowers project teams which become to make informed decisions. It encourages creativity and innovation, and it help manage risks proactively. But more importantly the upper management trust the team to deliver on commitments.

Finally, with respect to applying better engineering practices, Agile encourages practices such as Continuous Integration, Continuous delivery, requirement prioritization, emergent design, pair programming, collective code ownership, automated builds and acceptance testing.

 Should you think more to adopt Agile?

 Have a great day.

 Vasanth

http://www.vasanthanphilip.com

Coaches Corner – Part 1 – Managing Conflicts

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Speed Leas author of many books on conflicts, offers us a framework for managing conflicts. The model goes through 5 Levels of Conflicts. They are:

Level 1 : Problems to solve
Level 2: Disagreement
Level 3: Contest
Level 4: Crusade
Level 5: World War

He say’s that the key is to know at which stage the current conflict is layered at, by noticing the strength of the conversations among the team members and applying a appropriate successful response action. He goes on to say that at level one the key is to collaborate and seeking consensus, at Level 2 it is, providing support and safety, at Level 3 it is accommodating (yielding to other’s views), Negotiating and being factual, at Level 4 it is establishing safe structures using “shuttle” diplomacy and at Level 5 it is Doing whatever is necessary to prevent people from hurting one another. The team has to constantly be asking if they are balanced between “Continuous attention to details enhances Agility” versus “Simplicity – The art of maximizing the work Not Done is essential”.

Have a great day….

~ Vasanth

Categories: Process Transformation Tags:

Agile Knowledge Areas

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

The other day I was reading a blog that caught my attention. As Agile professionals what skills or in what areas do be need to posses knowledge and skills that enables us to be experts. This one by Mike Cottmeyer was interesting.

  1. Rational Unified Process
  2. Lean
  3. Theory of Constraints
  4. Traditional Project Management
  5. Capability Maturity Models
  6. Systems Thinking
  7. Learning Organizations
  8. Conversation Theory
  9. Change Management
  10. Covey’s 7 Habits
  11. System of Profound Knowledge

Knowledge in the above areas help us be better professionals.

Have a great day.

Creating a Powerful Future Vision for Your Business Transformation

Creating a Powerful Future Vision for Your Business Transformation.

I was recently engaged with a team and had to demonstrate how to create a Product Vision. A good reference was http://bit.ly/pAMGsR

 

 

Cheers,

Vasanthan

A tribute to Steve

The following words spoken by SteveJobs at a university graduation ceremony a few years back, made an impact on me.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Long live your vision Steve….

Vasanthan

Categories: Uncategorized

Uncommon Agility

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Organizations who have a command-and-control system of getting things does often find it hard to transform themselves into working more efficiently because of the culture that has been prevalent over several years. Though they seek to improve, they are rarely confident on implementing Agility to their operations.

Implementing Agile is not as easy as one would imagine, though some Agile coaches would disagree. Usually it boils down to the scale of Agile implementation achieved over a period of time. Lets looks at the key success factor that would help with this transition.

1. Management’s willingness to change in-spite of resistance.

2. Identifying a single responsible person to carry forward the initiative, and providing complete support throughout.

3. Have a core-team of mature individuals who would lend support and review progress periodically.

4. Identifying and engaging an industry expert, primarily an external consultant to provide guidance and support.

5. Setting up reasonable expectations and coming up with a road-map with important milestones.

6. Being flexible. Encourage failure. Lend support when things don’t go well. Trust the team.

7. Select a pilot for implementation and scale when pilot is successful.

8. Adjust time-frames to help adapt to challenges, risks and expectations.

9. Be  willing to sacrifice.

10. Be the torch bearer throughout the journey and celebrate its success when achieved.

Easily said than done, specially when the journey is transformational  in nature. The biggest mistake would be when you panic and give-up mid-way without considering a course-correction. The tenets of Courage, Commitment, feedback and trust holds true.