‘ Career ’ category archive

Go…no wait!

November 22, 06 by Bharani

The human life is so short…but the human brain is capable of conceiving unimaginable levels of dreams and imagery in that short span of time. Few of those dreams transform into ambitions…in other words ‘long-term goals’. It is natural for people to set short-term goals, which will eventually lead them to successful realization of their long-term goals. It is even more natural among B-school grads…

When I wrote an essay to answer the post-mba career goals related question in the ISB application form, I clearly set aside short-term goals and long-term goals. I look at it now and I realize that I am more or less on track, except for few specifics. But, I must admit that I have gone through a lot of plan-changes during the last 1.5 years. The main reason for that is the new information that reaches the brain every new day, testing my rationale and challenging my aspirations.

Of late, I am facing a BIG question. When is the time to take the BIG STEP? and of course freebie questions like: If I have to set up my own venture, are there different ways to achieve the end-goal? If so what are they?

I have absolutely, 100 percent, realized that nothing less than entrepreneurship is going to test the MBA skills. Nothing less than my own-venture will deserve the hard-work that I am willing to put. But, there is a problem. The problem that is prevalent among many Indian youth. Courage to take that first RISKY step. Lack of momentum to go off-tangent.

I have decided that I should keep working on my ideas during my personal off-time. May be I am ambitious…May be it’s just a rush-of-blood. Giving the ideas a definite shape is the only to way to ascertain if it is just a case of “May-be” or really a “Must-be”. And to my satisifaction, I am slowly regaining the lost discipline back. Now that, 3 to 4 of my friends have started their own ventures, I should observe their progress and learn from them. For the time being, I will build up and nurture the entrepreneurial mind-set.

I just have a feeling that the world around me is conspiring towards me. I am going to believe the golden words of Alchemist now.

“When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”
– Alchemist.

Some observations…

November 08, 06 by Bharani

It’s been just 6 months into the job and I am already excited and frustrated about the same! The kind of work we do is pretty interesting. But at the same time, the environment is not that conducive. Overcoming the traction in realizing a potential idea is definitely a challenge. But. the challenge can be deemed fair only if you were also given necessary powers or influence to fight. I guess, that’s the challenge of championing a concept, especially internally within the organization.

In the end, It would be only fair to say that I have learned a lot, whether it is “how to do” or “how not to do”…and it’s been a learning experience.

During this effort, I made some observations. Few of which are mentioned below. The following points are “Team” related.

1. A research effort should always have best resources or atleast experienced resources. If the time-to-release is a constraint, it becomes even more important to have good resources.

2. Give ample independence to your subordinates (developers or analysts). Micro-management is harmful to both the manager and to the one who is micro-managed.

3. The problem of expectations mis-match is by far the fundamental reason for disharmony. Don’t expect everyone to work at your same level. Have reasonable benchmarks and expectations. Provide more than one opportunity to prove and recover.

4. Every function should be equally respected. There should not be any pre-conceived notions about any roles.

5. A positive work environment should be fostered. Ultimately, the recognition, a positive work environment, and the pride in the work are important. Recognize the good work wherever and whenever it is due. A open environment where everyone can freely express their thoughts or concerns goes a long way in building the team spirit. People should get up every day and eagerly look forward to reach the workplace…If that enthusiasm is infused, then success automatically follows.

6. Feedback should be provided on a regular basis. Don’t provide surprise feedbacks at the end of the year.

7. A friendly and mentoring superior is always welcomed than a bossy superior!

8. It’s important to have high benchmarks in terms of quality of work. Ideas of how to improve the process, how to improve the quality should always be generated. It becomes even more beneficial if the exercise is done by the whole team, not just by the manager.

9. It’s vital to work with every one in the team to chart a personal development plan. The plan should fulfill the aspirations and goals of the individual and suit the project and organizational goals as well.

10. Fun at work place should not be seen as a sign of irresponsibility and immaturity! It infact should be seen as an enabler for a productive work-environment.

Trust – An element between Dream and Nightmare?

October 23, 06 by Bharani

“…The only element that keeps people from being terrified from each other is trust – the moment it is lost, people became nightmares to each other…” [RK Narayanan in one of his novels]

A Powerful statement that echoes the day-to-day human interactions in organizations, businesses and any community. For the past 4 months, I have learnt and observed a lot about organizational dynamics around me and involving me. For quite some time, I have been pondering to jot down the key points in a abstract way. I have not blogged for past few days, but each day I missed my blog very much.

Atleast I have set the tone for the upcoming posts.

Open Source Consulting…

September 28, 06 by Bharani

Since one of my job roles entails evaluating Open Source technologies, I was wondering if there are any good career options in “Open Source Consulting”. There are some firms doing exactly this.

Organizations world-wide are slowly embracing Open-source solutions as the choice for the enterprise-level IT needs. The challenge, as I already mentioned in one of the posts, lies in evaluating the suitable solutions and Recommending an executable-strategy based on the fit analysis. There should be a deep understanding of each and every open-source offerings across all solution space. Every possible advantage and disadvantage should be captured. The inter-dependencies/synergies/incompatibilites between different open-source technologies should be documented. Best practices in deploying open-source technologies should be arrived at…

Different set of Solutions should be formulated by mixing and matching different technologies. The possibilities are endless, just like in the business of consulting.

As more and more Tech start-ups are cropping up in India, as more and more web 2.0 based companies are coming up everyday, I believe there is good business opportunity for Open-source consulting in India. My thoughts…

Google Search: Open Source Consulting

Frameworks to evaluate Open-source Projects

September 02, 06 by Bharani

Want to develop a Product out of Open Source Technologies, Frameworks and tools? You should be glad, because you don’t have to worry about the availability of options…But, you should be concerned, because the options available are aplenty and sometimes drive you to madness! Instead of choosing a Open source project based on word-of-mouth or based on the recommendation from Technical leads/expert developers…you can choose the path of “A formal evaluation”. There are two prominent frameworks available to systematically evaluate open source projects.

Business Readiness Rating (BRR)
Business Readiness Ratingâ„¢ (BRR) is being proposed as a new standard model for rating open source software. It is intended to enable the entire community (enterprise adopters and developers) to rate software in an open and standardized way.

Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM)
The Open Source Maturity Modelâ„¢ (OSMM) is a formal process to assess the maturity level of open source software. Developed by Navica, the OSMM is itself open source, freely available for any organization to use in their open source work.

BRR came into existence quite recently (and still evolving) while OSMM has been in existence for quite some time. Basically, these two frameworks evaluate each open source project based on 10-14 parameters. The final rating helps one to decide whether the open-source project is ready for mission-critical enterprise use.

The parameters that are evaluated are Functionality, Usability, Quality, Security, Performance, Scalability, Architecture, Support, Documentation, Adoption and Community. The last 2 parameters are quite important for open-source initiatives. The quality of the open source is directly proportional to the adoption and community.

So, next time you need to evaluate any open-source project, why not evaluate it using these frameworks and establish your professionalism?

Compete with God for a job?

August 28, 06 by Bharani

There is a yahoo groups for all ISB alums to share MBA and business related job postings. Some of the job offers that are communicated in the forum are so attractive that it makes your tongue salivate involuntarily. Anyway, I will reserve the post about some interesting job offers for later…

While I was browsing through the messages, I ran into a small one-man firm called HRNext, started by a person called Anurag Shrivastava. He has served in senior HR positions at various companies. He has placed advertisements for management and non-management positions in his website. Take a look…You just might find something to your taste! The man seems to be well-networked…and his vision is simple and neat..

An advertisement for Product manager position read like this..”If gods ever descended to the earth, they would have to compete for this..”! Now how many ads begin like that? I kind of liked the beginning…It makes one take notice…So I read the job description completely..

Generally, Product Manager roles @ companies like Microsoft, Google, Oracle, SAP etc. are considered as good positions for MBA graduates with technology inclination. But the job description makes it sound so technical that some MBAs might just turn away… Just have some patience and read the next job posting in the same page…”Business Product manager”. The description of that job is quite attractive. It gives the B-school grads a sense of fulfillment! Very polished and filled with lot of jargons and covers virtually all the subjects that one has studied during the program. In my opinion, both jobs are quite similar in profiles…It’s just the way the job is projected that is different…

What does a Product manager do?
Develop compelling products while working with a world class engineering team and the business sense to drive local product goals and strategies. Understand product needs , develop product specs , document specs , develop engineering plans to launch/ship , develop technical implementation plans with engineering, incorporate customer feedback into final shipped product and longer term goals and strategies for the product line.

What does a Business Product manager do?
As Business Product Manager, you will provide leadership on product vision and execution for serving access providers, device manufacturers, and other distribution partners in India. This is a leadership role that combines entrepreneurship, strategy formulation, product management, solutions engineering, and project management.You will identify key market trends that are shaping users’ ability to access provisioned services, and work with sales and engineering teams, as well as external partners, to develop partner-focused products and solutions. You will also manage a cross-functional team of engineering, marketing, sales, legal, finance and support functions to launch these products and solutions successfully into the marketplace. In addition, you will interact with strategic partners and be required to understand their business objectives, and present product and business strategy to senior executives at these organizations.

Since I am assuming the role of Product Manager currently, I can correlate with lot of things that are being said here. The stakes are different at different firms. A Product manager role @ Google does not necessarily put you in high stakes situation. A Product manager in a start-up firm does not necessarily mean low stakes. A lot depends on the technology one works for (What is the business potential? What is the ‘ecology’ for the ‘technology’? Who are your customers? Who are your partners? Break-through technology or plain-vanilla-remorphed-into-strawberry technology?). Also, Product manager cannot escape/insulate-himself from technicalities in the job…Just be little careful with what is being said, keep aside the hype surrounding the message and analyse calmly…Then take a decision…For people with inclination towards technology and business, Product management positions are very good…But understanding the job requirements completely is equally important.