Question your way to success


Asking the right questions at the right time will surely take you to a place where you like to reach. One might ask, how do I know which is the right question for a particular situation? I do agree with you in understanding the difficulty. This is a mandatory skill that gets developed over a period.

Questions are the keys to lead a successful life and by changing the questions one can change his life. Questions are creating ways to program our mind. It helps us to collect information and understand that for us to reproduce it when required.

Question your way to success

Question your way to success

Once we come to the earth everything is new and we don’t know about anything. When I saw a ball, i asked my mom “what is this?” and mom said “it is a ball”. I just repeated the word ball and asked again “where do we use it?”. “We use it to play” mom replied. “Oh, how to play with a ball?” i asked again and mom said “come let me teach you”. This is how we started learning about each item we see in this world. If we start talking about questions, we can talk for ages. Let me come to the topic – How to make questioning effective?

Here are some points that you can follow to master your questioning skill:

1. Get a quick grasp of the situation – the current emotional state of the person, current context, audience & your emotional state.

2. Frame the question in such a way that you get all the information required to move on with your next item. when we frame a question we always want the expected answer for everything is ‘preprocessed’ in our mind. sometimes the entire conversation is rehearsed in the mind before it happens. We will just ask questions to affirm with the expected answers that we have in our mind, but be ready if you hear a ‘No’ in case your expected answer is a ‘Yes’. Also, keep the questions simple and easy to understand and this saves a lot of time.

3. Avoid asking the same questions. sometimes we don’t accept that we don’t understand the answers and we try to ask the same question in different forms which irritates others.

4. Know when to stop asking questions to start processing them .Sometimes the person whom we question may not have the right information, or he may not want to reveal the information and we need to understand this from the body language or the sound modulation for he may not have an answer at that point of time. In those situations asking more questions is a waste of time. If you get all the answers from that person to proceed with your next item, you need to stop questioning and must start processing with the collected information.

Ask right questions, you will surely get success in all departments in life. Happy Questioning!

Project Charter – Video Tutorial


Project charter is an important document for every project. Understanding its use, what is required to created it, do’s & don’t of it is a key for a Project manager or senior management. Project Charter is the one and only output of Develop Project Charter process in Initiating process group.

Here is the video tutorial of my earlier blog post. It has rich source of information about Project Charter & has complete details about it. Not only for Project Manager or a PMP aspirant, this is useful to all employees working in any project and students. This tutorial is aligned with PMBOK 5th Edition.

Transformational Leadership in FB – Infographics


This is Infographics representation of one of my blog post “How do we practice transformational leadership in facebook?“. This is my first attempt in creating the Infographics format. I see Infographics uses some of the components of Mind Mapping for its attractiveness – more graphics with highlighted keywords.

Infographic-Transformational Leadership in facebook

Infographic-Transformational Leadership in FB

Do you set Goal in Mind & not on Paper?


Every second our mind sets goals, plans activities, tracks progress and gives feedback.

Here is the perfect example which I shared to many. Your favorite film star’s movie release planned this Friday. You planned to see it on the first day, so on Wednesday evening you got the tickets online. You booked for your friend also. You asked him/her to come to a coffee shop exactly at 5.40 PM so that you can pick him/her up at 5.45 PM.

You also got ready half hour before. As per your calculation, you will reach pickup point in 15 mins and from there to theater 10 mins. Once you reach it will take at least 2-3 mins finding the allocated seat & exactly at 6.00 PM the show starts. But there is an unexpected traffic that forced you to reach 5 mins late to your friend’s pickup location. you started feeling nervous as you don’t want to miss the interesting first scene in the movie. Your friend also eager to watch the movie from start and scolding you for coming late. You reached theater at 5.59 PM and ran to your seat. Oh yeah they delayed the movie by 2 mins due to some technical issues. You feel relieved.

This is just a single event that happens in everybody’s life. Day-in day-out, this is how we spend our entire life. For every activity from waking up, brushing, bathing, cooking food, catching bus to office, coming back, buying groceries, till going to bed in the night – our mind sets goals, sets expectation how the output looks like and how to execute the tasks, when to start when to finish, it tracks progress, it gives feedback whether you achieved it as expected or not. When I ask you to put the same plan what laid out in your mind into paper or a software and track, you get scared. why? Just think about it.

Set the life goals in paper. Review often. You will surely achieve a lot. You will see the difference.

Project Manager’s Essential Soft Skills


In one of my article, I talked about “Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Manager“. In that article, I mentioned more about a PM’s duties related to project execution. In a very basic level, Project Manager is also another human being who is bound to show certain set of behaviors, beliefs and emotions. Selected set of behavioral skills is essential for a Project Manager to make the project run smoothly & successful. I like to cover PM’s essential soft skills in this article.

This list has more similarity with my other articles on Leadership as “Project Manager is the Leader of the Project who carries the project vision & bring team together to work for a common goal”. In this blog’s theme Leadership Rubik Cube, I explained about following skills: Motivation, Trust, Communication, Influence.

Leadership: This skill is crucial for any PM & it comprises of almost all skills listed here. Mainly a Project Manager should work towards getting everyone on same page with him about the purpose of the Project and making everyone work towards the goal even team have differences between them.

PMs Essential Soft Skills

PMs Essential Soft Skills

Conflict Management: Conflict is natural and inevitable. Project Manager should know techniques to manage conflicts & use them appropriate to the situation. I dealt about this topic in this post.

Coaching: This is similar to competency skill I pointed out in the blog theme. Project Manager need to have necessary competency so that they can develop competency in team members which help them to perform their project activities in the expected level.

Negotiation & Team Building: These skills need more personal involvement from a Project Manager than just focus on output. This one identified under “Relationship & Recognition” in Leadership Rubik Cube. Better relationship with the team & other stakeholders creates a positive environment towards successful execution of the project. All other skills like Communication, Trust Building, Conflict Management, Influencing helps in doing better negotiation & team building activities.

Decision Making: A decision by organization’s management gives birth to a new project :-) Facing challenges, finding options, deciding to go with one particular option – are part and parcel of a Project Manager’s day-to-day life. Decisions of a Project Manager at each level affects the project outcome. Therefore it is essential skill for a PM.

Political & Cultural Awareness: Politics in organization is as long as it creates healthy competition among different groups that leads to organization’s growth. PM need to create awareness about the organizational politics & use it appropriately for project success. With increase in global projects, it is inevitable for PMs to understand the cultural differences in the team around the world and work with them accordingly.

Simplification


“It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it.” – John H. Taylor

In a technical meeting, John, the architect, was presenting information about new feature they are bringing in a new release. After a while, Kay interrupted him and said “Hey I don’t understand what you say? Kindly repeat or can you make it more easier for me to understand”.

“Okay, let me put it in this way….” said John and he continued.

Simplification is an important & essential quality while present ideas, in which things presented in less complex or complicated way.

Simplification

- makes things easier to understand
- gives way to easy remembrance or recollection
- gives comfort
- brings positive mind attitude
- keeps the momentum
- Allows to act immediately
- gets the result
- gives happiness

There is nothing called over-simplification or under-simplification. Each one needs certain level of simplification to grasp & one person’s definition of ‘simplification’ differs from another.

Simplify your communication, work and life so that you can enjoy!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Human Life is Scrum!


 

When I started thinking about Scrum principles in a wholistic way, I felt Scrum was closely knitted with all important life principles. That’s the reason why anyone can relate Scrum to life easily. Here are the few comparisons.

* In life what we receive as we grow are incremental effect of what we did yesterday. We build whole life day-by-day & of course one day at a time.

* One needs to remove obstacles in each challenge they face to produce the expected result.

Life=Scrum

* Retrospection of past is what more important in increasing purpose in life hence it will lead to successful life. At regular intervals, one need to list down what to be started newly, what to be stopped permanently and what needs to be continued to get expected result. We iterate those activities or behaviors what was acclaimed as good.

* One can think that entire life goals are like ever growing Product Backlog. At any given point of time we work on those highest important goals. Once we complete it we move to next. If we find the situation is not suitable, we are move it to Product Backlog and even move it to lower priority.

* Upfront planning of entire life is not possible – even planning the next day completely is not possible! Also, we will not be having complete information on life goals (yearly, monthly) when we set it. We get more details once we pick it up in hand when it pops up as highest priority one . We demonstrate the goal output to one or many people around us & take feedback on that too.

As I said, one can relate Scrum to life but similar to Scrum, adapting what is mentioned for better life is really tough.