It takes a village to raise a child!


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It takes a village to raise a child, they say.

Whether on a job, running a business, when in school or even when raising a family, any pursuit demands constant self-analysis in comparison to the environment around to assess where and how you fit in, to make the most effective impact on what you have set out to do. I have come across many that pay more attention to what they do not know or aren’t the best at than what they do and rock at.

For instance, those with strong technical skills question the business acumen they possess while those with a strong business background, question their technical knowledge. Financial whiz’s’ are uneasy with specific business domain knowledge they work in. Operations stalwarts tone down when it comes to business development.

This is something that I have seen to be very dominant in our times. Being aware of your shortcomings is wise and essential. But, to fret over it is not. Not everyone can be a star at everything they do. What is important is that they make an effort to know about things the best they possibly can so they are, in the least informed, when it comes to understanding how that fits in the big picture and this gives them the ability to make good decisions, many a time in their own work realm.

When you know your preferences, likes and strengths, focus on being the best at them. Do not worry about the rest. In fact, find the best possible help you can get on things that you are not very good at. It’s smart to surround yourself with people who are better than you so that you have that part of what you want to do covered. Now, you can focus on what you are excel at and trust others to focus on what they are good at so, all around, you come out successful. Remember, everything in life is a team effort; no one person did it all!

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Quality Assurance – An Impediment or a Necessary Evil


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There is a famous tenet that applies to any project, be it tech or otherwise, although it has mostly been heard in the tech corridors for a while now.

If you want a speedy delivery, quality may not be optimal.

But, if the delivery needs to be stellar as well, costs will shoot up.

If you want to save on cost, it may take longer to deliver.

Basically, however you look at it, something’s got to give between cost, time and quality. Apparently, you can’t have all the three.

I beg to differ. It’s an old adage and many a project has been delivered and continues to be delivered in its guise.

I believe projects can and need to be delivered in earnest. In fact that’s the current market ask and if you do not respond to it, what you get to the market may be a tad bit too late to create any demand, for the market expectations have moved on a lot further due to the competition taking over.

Now, does speed really mean more cost? Not necessarily! It’s not about how complex the work at hand is, how enormous a job it is or how many resources will it consume. It’s about how well planned is execution, what kind of strategy and preparation have gone into the plan itself and what options are tapped to execute in an agile mode.

Also, does speed mean less optimal quality? And in order to ensure great quality, do you need to spend more money and need more time? I think that’s just regressive thinking.

Here’s a popular saying in the project management world, “Every birth takes nine months. Similarly, every project needs the time it deserves. You can’t deliver what takes nine months within a month just by adding more resources.”

I agree to the above to a certain extent. Throwing more resources at a problem doesn’t necessarily solve it. However, there is a threshold after which certain changes can be brought about, either by induction of the right resources, parallel processing where possible or taking productivity to a higher level by managing the team mechanics to deliver.

Speed to market or deliver doesn’t mean less optimal quality or more cost at all. When it comes to quality, how that’s perceived within the team at work and how it’s executed upon become very crucial. If there is a professional quality assurance team in place to handle that function for a project, then, it’s only viable if the scale of the project demands it. In such situations, it’s important to ensure that the whole project team clearly understands the precise objectives of the quality assurance team. From requirements gathering to the architecture design, every function has to be focused on simplicity and speedy delivery. Developers have to be on top of their game to ensure cutting edge code is going out and the quality is checked within their realm, before it goes out the door. QA should be more focused on functional review to meet market needs and push the envelope for a speedy delivery. If the team works in this fashion, orchestrating in high productivity modes, miracles are possible where costs are kept under control, and a high quality product reaches the market on time.

However, the truth of the matter is that, in more cases than not, the quality assurance team ends up being a gatekeeper for the work churned out by the development team and that’s where the issue rests. A top-notch development team should not need a quality assurance team behind its heels cross-checking each line of code being churned out. The development team should be accountable for what they deliver and should be proud of the job they do sans the quality team. The quality team, as I said before should be just focused on ensuring the market gets what it demands. In fact, their work should be non-existent.

And the day, we get there with minimalistic or non-existent quality teams, would be the day where cost and time also do not have as much bearing on projects and what gets delivered to the market. The best part, neither the creator nor the consumer would have any apprehension as to the product that has been put out in the market.

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Think Outside the Box!


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Over the last 2 decades, the word “disruption” has been thrown around quite a bit. “Innovation”, the act of creating something new and “Disruption”, the act of changing status quo with something better have gone hand in hand. These terms are interchangeably used or used together when talking about making the world a better place with a new invention or discovery.

If you really look into it, access to technology and our handle on it to make it do things that were never imagined possible has been key to the familiarity of these words over the last 2 decades. The world, as we know it has probably seen frequent and much innovation & disruption in the last 20 years.

Innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be something very dramatic. It can be subtle, slow, even making something that already exists just a tad bit better.  What’s important is the mindset to make things better, which I believe, is more prevalent with those living in current times than ever before. Not for the emoluments it may bring but more so for the sheer joy in transforming the way we live to be that much more efficient.

History has shown rich and varied times of innovation as well, but more in the mechanical and automation areas than technological as is now. Those were difficult times and I have much respect for the inventors of the time who gave us what we consider our basics today and, not so much as give a second thought to it. The electric bulb, telephone, automobiles, etc., things that we take for granted, were invented by people who had many odds to face but just kept up with their dreams until they were realized.

Today’s entrepreneurs & innovators fight against odds as well, albeit of a different kind than older times, to realize the dreams they set out with. Much is possible and sooner too in our times, especially with the entire world being fertile ground as one global market for whatever these adventurers come up with. Its instant validation of their hard work, if the world acknowledges this work, ensuring great returns for them. Such results make it possible to encourage more to take the journey while the ones that succeeded continue down the path of another great adventure.

What is interesting and refreshing in our times is that great returns in terms of money and popularity no longer tend to be the end goal of success, people set out to achieve. Our innovators still continue down the path of doing more, discovering more and continue to tread the path of making the world better. Money and fame are seen as simple outcomes of succeeding at what they set out to achieve and that is truly remarkable.

For all the inquisitive minds out there, go on and embark on your journey of innovation and disruption. There is no telling what is under which rock. And, while you are at it, enjoy your adventure thoroughly for that is the most precious aspect of it all!

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To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine!


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Boy, it’s been almost a year since I last published. Sincere apologies for being such a procrastinator. I know, I had said I would keep up with my blogging before & yet, slipped. To err is human and to forgive divine. Well, please be divine for I am human. I shall try not to err again.

With that taken care of, let’s jump into our discussion for today. I would like to talk about the aspect of us being human and what that means; probably more so for myself than you.

From ages, the being human aspect has been passed onto us as some sort of weakness. We are only humans; mere humans, etc. are things that we hear frequently. As though, that entitles us to err, slip, fall and fail, time and again. Being human doesn’t make it okay to err or fail. Its time humanity is representative of strength, resilience and domineering spirit. A glimpse of this new human spirit is seen in our frequent achievements; our innovation, our growing technology, space research, health, education, sports etc. But, this is not treated as representative of human spirit in its completeness, as second nature & fostered for being more frequent. Such achievements are glorified as something outside human reach and when reached should mean so much more to us, mere humans that they should be celebrated. I think we should celebrate everything we do, everything we achieve, for that should be what being human should be representative of.

This self-deprecating attitude is exactly what I think needs to change; the mere humans syndrome. So long as we pity ourselves, generations to come will see new achievements, as insurmountable tasks that happen only one in several and which, when happen should be celebrated. We have made such immense strides in various fields over the decades. The frequency of our achievements has also kept up. Time we regard them as the new thresholds and expect more from ourselves. Time being human is synonymous with strength, resilience, achievement, higher expectations and stronger integrity than with weakness, occasional success and trepidation.

Mind What You Hear & Speak Your Mind!


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Greetings, Folks!

I have been out of the loop for a while. Sorry about that, had several things competing for my time over the last few weeks. However, I shouldn’t let this suffer, our interaction.

Last week saw the demise of a great motivational guru, Zig Ziglar. Zig has lived a rich and diverse life, a well-deserved one, one that he chiseled the way he sought; as you can gather from several of his talks & writings. I have always been deeply inspired by the simplicity, yet profoundness of his words. I love the way he gets his point across, through simple stories from parables to his vivid experiences. In my mind, he is the father of motivational speaking of this era. I spent some time reviewing some of his videos and talks today. They are as inspiring as ever, every time you listen to them. Here’s wishing him peace where he rests today.

LinkedIn has started sharing a smattering of posts from various popular print media that have been termed as posts by “influencers”. In the current information age, there is abundance, a tsunami of information of any kind that you choose, coming at you from every direction. A few decades ago, before the spread of technology as we know it today, collection of information was a big deal. Any access you had to any kind of media was much appreciated in order to increase your horizon. Today, there is a huge influx of information coming at you without your asking for it. The issue today is very different; it’s about sifting through what comes at you, selecting what you want to spend time on and then, deciphering what is fact from fiction, and finally, assimilating the facts to help with the enhancement of your horizon. At the same time, it’s also about interaction. You can no longer just be the receptor of information. Technology places immense power at your hands to help you react within a matter of seconds, if not minutes and share the same with millions across the world. The fall of Egyptian & Libyan autocracies from the recent past are examples of the influence of information exchange among the masses.

Although there is abundant information out there, some fact and some fiction with effort needed by us to review and validate before we assimilate, the advantages of having access to an abundance of information at our finger tips outweighs the problem of validation of what’s available.

Most importantly, do not just be one that is absorbing and assimilating information of your choice. It’s time that you start providing a voice to your thoughts, your reactions as you take in what the world has to offer you. Take your stand, make your statement, and let your voice be heard. That is what makes the dialogue meaningful and ensures its authenticity and growth on the rightful path. It’s beneficial to you and everyone else.