Monday, March 30, 2009

Lighter moments !

from the just concluded Pmdistilled project management workshop at Kochi

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vote for Shashi Tharoor !

The best qualified candidate from Kerala for the Next Loksabha elections.

Courtesy - Walk the talk

A Little More Effort … A Lot More Results

Think you have to make huge changes and expend a ton of extra energy to achieve bigger and better results? Think again! And consider this …At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. Applying just one extra degree of temperature to water means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a large machine. The message of this simple yet powerful metaphor should be clear to all:Seemingly small things can make tremendous differences.

The key learning is equally powerful: The application of additional heat (effort) to whatever task or activity you undertake will not only help you achieve the primary objective you seek, but also reap exponential rewards that are possible by applying one extra degree of effort.Imagine the possibilities …

Add just a few hours each month to your professional development outside of the work and you will have invested the equivalent of a full work. Make just one extra contact each day …a sales call … a customer … a brief discussion with a col- league … an encouraging talk with a member of your team. With contact comes opportunity. At the end of the year you’ll have opened more than 200 additional doors of possibility.

Eliminate one half hour of television watching each day and you’ll gain 182.5 hours each year to use elsewhere (equivalent to four and a half weeks of work).Imagine YOUR possibilities. Where can you give a little more effort? What small changes can you make that will add up over time? As a leader, what can you do – what will you do – to enjoy the rewards that come from “turning up the heat” one extra degree? Find those opportunities … and seize them!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Glass work

Recession cooler

Due to the current financial crisis, to save money - the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off indefinitely!!!

Good news !

Dear Abrachan,

I successfully took and passed PMP. Thanks to you and to your extremely well taken training sessions. Your course material was helpful to me to pass the exam. There is absolutely no way I could have gained the necessary knowledge and insight needed to pass this very difficult exam without it.

Best Regards,
Renjan Mathew Varughese
Practice Leader - Business Solutions

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thought for the week !

Long-term commitment whether in marriage, religious life or in other forms, is harder these days because of change. The loved one changes, and we change ourselves with time; so our relationships change. We cannot live our whole lives at concert pitch. But when the tune changes, it need not be the end of the concert. It often is. In some countries half the marriages end in divorce.

What is there in us that can survive the changes of time, and the up-and-down of living relationships? As we look back at a jubilee, we see our commitment is at once richer and more painful than when we started. Faithfulness is a bit of a mystery and a marvel; it has a value in itself. Faithful love builds up the one to whom we are faithful, expresses our hope in them. It is a grace, a gift: not so much what we do for God as what he does for us. It would make us feel humble, that in spite of all our inadequacies, we stuck it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tips for the Indian Manager !

The biggest challenge in any SCRUM workshop or in any project management workshop of mine is to impart the 'right mindset' to the leader of the team, effecting a movement from a 'Hitler' kind of a manager to a 'Gandhi' kind of a manager, epitomizing 'servant leadership'. May be, this is just an Indian / Asian phenomina. Most of us from India had the luxury of spending our child hood in well knit close families, where the father, played the role of the 'head of the family', and very often others just listened to whetever he said. We subconsciously believed that this is the right attitude of the 'ideal manager', who symbolizes power, authority, dynamism etc.... Based on my experiences as a manager, project manager, scrum master, parent and corporate trainer, here are some tips for building great teams and becoming a great team leader (manager, scrum master etc...titles do not matter much).

1) Realize that you are terribly dependent on your team
We often tend to think that the team is dependent on us, where as the reality is vice-versa. In a professionally managed environment, if you repeatedly go and compain about your team members to your seniors, most probably you will loose your job. This is true, even if the team goes to your boss and complain about you. In both cases, you can loose your credibility as a manager and even loose your job. The fact is that, as a leader of a team, one is terribly dependent on the team. Without a capable and committed team, the manager is handicapped.

2) Become a 'participatory parent'
The 'controlling parent' mode of working will work with un skilled, low profile teams. With a highly competent team the right approach would be 'participative parent'. This is very much true in our personal lives as well. Till our kids reach teen age, the 'controlling parent' style will work and afterwards one has to move to the 'best friend' or 'participative parent' style.

3) Get biased towards performers
In Asia, most often the bias is always towards protecting the weak, and very often we bring this attitude to the work place, at the cost of loosing performers from our teams, becuase we take them for granted. 99% of the Asian managers I have spoke to, have not sacked even a single team member for reasons of non performance. Remember that, a non performer can become a great performer in another team. He/She may not be performing just becuase the chemistry between them and the rest of the team is not just right. By allowing them to loose their jobs, you are doing the right thing. Get biased towards performers, spend more time with them and at the same time provide enough opportunities for the 'weak in your teams' to improve. Even after providing all the inputs that is required for further improvement, if there are no positive results, do not hesitate to take action. By doing so, you are helping that individual.

4) Beieve in theory 'Y'
Theory 'Y' states that "people are fundamentally good, you can trust them, if you give interesting work, they will perform'. Pick up the right people, ensure that the wrong ones are out, allocate work based on their strengths (if possible allow them to choose the work they want to do) and then trust them. Implement simple yet effective progress trackers and reduce the review meetings. By reducing the frequency of reviews, you are actually mounting pressure on the team.
5) Do not interfere unnecessarily
Most of the Indians do not swim in the sea. Thanks to our parenting. When we were kids, whenever we took initiative to swim in the sea, our parents used to pitch in and dissuade us saying ' it is dangerous'. In the process most of us do not swim in the sea. We go to a beach for different reasons :-). Very often we carry forward this 'protectionist' attitude of our parents to the work place. We tend to pitch in and resolve issues, before they occur, and in the process prevent our team members to acquire new skills. So from tomorrow onwards, whenever the team members have an issue, for a change read book, or go to the pantry and have a cup of coffee and then join the team after some time to see the magic. Very often, they would have resolved it in a manner, which you would not have even dreamt of.

6) Learn to appreciate spontaneously
I have never heard my Father and Mother telling me explicitly 'I love you'. For that matter, even my wife and daughter. They always expressed their love through meaningful actions like spending for my education, getting me new dress, celebrating my birth day, taking care of home when I am away, looking after me, when I was ill. We always expressed our love through thoughtful actions, and in the process never learned to appreciate some one directly and genuinly. We seldom say 'I LOVE YOU' and Kiss some one.
Learn to appreciate your team members , looking into their eyes, with a firm shake hand and with a sense of gratitude for being in your team, and putting their best foot forward. Some times I have seen tears in their eyes, becuase no body would have done it to them for ages together.
7) Love your team
In project management classes we say that '90% of the project manager's time goes into communication'. Initially I thought that it is an exaggerated number to find out later that it is absolutely correct. As managers either we are talking to people, listening to them, recruiting, doing performance appraisals, talking to vendors and customers, taking to management, making agenda for meetings, making minutes of the meetings, following up on the action items. So it is a fact that we spend almost 90% of our time in communication. Most of the humans like to communicate with the ones they like and love, and very few enjoy communicating with their enemy. The degree of communication (which consumes 90% of a manager's work) is directly proportional to the intensity of your love and affection. So LOVE the people around you, and do it genuinly :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SCRUM training at EMC, Bangalore

Just completed a two day workshop 'Agile project management using SCRUM' at EMC, Bangalore.

I saw poverty today !

After my 10 day training trip to Bangalore, I am back to my village today. The first thing I observed was the black coloured flag infront a a small house near my house, announcing the death of someone in that house. Since I felt that this is the last chance for me to see the dead person, I went to that house, to have a last glimpse. The body was laid on the floor on a torn mat. Of course they had a TV and a DVD player and apart from that, everything in the house was speaking loudly about POVERTY. Till yesterday, I was in the glittering world of the city and the corporate life, of the well furnished offices, educated people, multi cuisine canteens, expresso coffee, expensive cars, management discussions, and suddenly I am in this house of this poorest of the poor, who died of a heart attack and it is a great leveller. I am sure that I will be complaining less about the things I dont have, here after.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

feel good factor

Hello Aby,

I really enjoyed the 3-day training and impressed with your teaching style. At the end of the training I felt that I acquired lot of knowledge (that you shared; espcially your practical experiences both at work and in personal life) from you and gained more confidence.

many thanks,
(nageswarrao m)


It is so easy to get caught up with the trappings of wealth in this life.Grant, O Lord, that I may be free from greed and selfishness.Remind me that the best things in life are free. Love, laughter, caring and sharing.

mindset !

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Agile project management using scrum - workshop

Agile project management using SCRUM – workshop structure

Day -1

1) Overview - Projects? Nature of Projects.Discusses different types of projects, their characteristics, when to go agile and when not to go agile.

2) Overview - PDCA Vs PDSA (How the conventional project management concepts and the agile methods compliment each other?) .Discusses the synergy between the conventional project management wisdom and agile methods. While the conventional wisdom is valid for planning at a macro level (project, release), agile is the way to go during execution and tracking. Demonstration with an exercise.

3) Let us develop a feature list (scope will be given) and estimate the effort required (work in teams) . Using conventional wisdom, estimate the effort required for the scope given – exercise

4) Overview - SCRUM framework
The SCRUM framework is explained including Agile manifesto, values, scrum principles, product backlog, sprint planning meeting, sprint board, burn down chart, scrum meeting, product demo, lessons learned, work volunteering, product owner roles, scrum master roles, team member roles.

5) Teach product backlog
In-depth discussion on product backlog, feature prioritization risk driven Vs value driven.
Exercise – develop a product backlog

6) Teach agile project planning
In-depth discussion on how to plan at the project level, release level and sprint level.

7) Teach User stories and story points
Exercise – Expand the key features in the product backlog in consideration to user stories.

8) Teach Sprint velocity calculations. Exercise on sprint velocity calculations

9) Teach sprint planning meeting. Exercise on sprint planning meeting

10) Teach daily scrum meeting. Exercise on daily scrum meeting

11) Teach sprint review meeting. Exercise on sprint review meeting

Day – 2

12) Mock project

12.1) Perform sprint planning meeting
12.2) Develop the sprint board and the design board
12.3) Perform daily scrum meetings

12.4) Perform sprint review meetings

13) Experience sharing on ‘Challenges while implementing’

14) Experience sharing on ‘Scaling scrum across multi location teams’

15) Discussion of tools and demo

16) Lets plan your projects ( The participants will bring in their cases), Lets do it the scrum way)

17) Discussion on the implementation strategy

Duration of the program 2 days

· Participants will be grouped into teams of 5
· Maintaining the time lines is very important
· Each team will be provided with a white board or a flip chart and yellow post its large and small sizes + marker pens
· Each team will have access to the internet
· Ideal audience size is 15 persons
Profile and contact details of the instructor at

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spirituality and Me !

I am not complete without the spiritual dimension. I am not a very strong and holy person, hence need the help from above to keep me going in the right path. The positive spiritual journey is the most beautiful state of life I have ever experienced and at the same time it is not that very easy. Very often my mind tells me to do only positive things, and unfortunately I end up doing very negative things, which I do not want to do. I am the happiest, when I am close to God, with a pure heart, without doing anything negative. The moment I do something wrong, this 'happy and peaceful' state of mine gets tarnished and over a period of time forms a thick coating of filth, which stops me to communicate with God (pray). Ultimately over a period of time I get tired and weary. All the positive energy in me dies off. Very often this happens to me when I think too much about my achievements and credentials, without attributing them to God.
Most of the real feelings in us are temporary. Like closeness with God and the bliss out of it. It is real, yet momentary. I get into peaks and lows. Love towards a person is again a real feeling - yet has it's crests and troughs. Real feelings leads to life and unfortunately are very momentary. The unreal feelings (plastics) of life leads to death, yet they are permanent and include feelings like lust, anger, lack of faith, lack of self respect, jealousy - these unreal, plastic feelings are with us till our death bed. To be able to adhere to the real positive feelings, we need providential help. Humans alone cannot achieve it. All our day to day actions should be governed by;
  • Obligation to God
  • Obligation to Self
  • Obligation to Family
  • Obligation to Work
  • Obligation to Society

This positive life is not going to be a habit overnight. Our daily activities, professional or personal should be governed by these obligations and the best way out is to use the daily planner to plan out tomorrow, today - in writing and then following them, so that there will not be much room for negativity in our daily life. Dont think that miracles will happen overnight. Faith and positve life can be compared to a mustard seed. It has to be nurtured and grown, till it becomes big and strong;

Jesus put before them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.' He told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened'.

Have a great positive day, filled with positive actions only !

Music to my ears !

Great pleasure to say that "I AM PMP ". I have attended the examination today, 16th March 2008 at Trivandrum & passedI express my sincere thanks to my Teacher Abrachan Pudussery & PMRI, whose contact class, training material, simulation test & constant monitoring had made me proud to get the certification.Sincere thanks to Antony Benito who had encouraged me with his help at every point in the certification process.With out PMRI KOCHI, I would not have made this. Many many many thanksLet me wish all students of PMP a happy jouney to get the certification
K.R Nair

Sunday, March 15, 2009

From the PMdistilled project management workshop @ Bangalore

Agile project management using SCRUM @ AOL

We had this 'Agile project management using SCRUM' workshop at AOL, Bangalore. It was really exciting!.

PMdistilled PMP workshop @ Bangalore March 13,14,15

Congratulations Vipul Gupta PMP

Dear Abby sir

I cleared my pmp today . it all due to the practicle training I received on in Doha in May 2008

Best Regards
Vipul Gupta
Doha qatar

Success of a student is always music to the teacher

Dear Abby sir

I cleared my pmp today . it all due to the practicle training I received on in Doha in May 2008

Best Regards
Vipul Gupta
Doha qatar

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wish list for

Here is my wish list for blogger at this moment;

1) Give me an offline blogging facility. I should be able to blog when I am not connected to the net, and when I connect, it should automatically synchronize.

2) Give me a image uploading and cropping facility for the header.

3) Give me some more templates. Getting fed up with the same set of templates

4) In one go, want to post the same entry in multiple blogs :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

PMBOK 4th edition changes

Opportunities for PMPs

Operations Manager Linde Group

10 - 18 Years
Location: Singapore
UG - B.Tech/B.E. - Chemical, Production/Industrial

PG - M.Tech - Chemical, Production/Industrial

Industry Type:

Oil and Gas/ Power/Infrastructure/Energy

Functional Area:
Production, Maintenance, Quality

Job Description
 Direct oversight of Operations Personnel – including goal setting, coaching throughout the year and year-end reviews using the PMP process.

 Direct responsibility for the safe and reliable operation of the facility

 Direct responsibility for the commercial optimum operation of the facility

 Play a key role in providing technical advice for new projects and for problem resolution of current facility.

 Ensure compliance with all environmental and operations permits.

 Ensure that the Monthly Report is released on time.

 Ensure that the lab obtains the annual surveillance audit for the ISO 17025.  Support the audits for ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001.

 To prepare the plant yearly performance report.

 To ensure that the existing plant units are re-Hazoped and the Hazop follow-up actions are closed timely.

 Responsible for the achievement of the facility targets especially the plant reliability and availability.

 Lead in the synergy process.

 To ensure that Facility KPI values are achieved.

Desired Candidate Profile

 Degree in Chemical or Process Engineering

 At least 10 years process-related engineering experience in petrochemical facilities

 Previous management experience in operation of Synthesis gas plants

 Must be disciplined to work in a demanding work environment.

 Must demonstrate a high level of initiative and independent work ethic

 Knowledge of the safety, health and environment of petrochemical facilities

Kindly apply through: “Job Opportunities” and select the Job ID 850671 (Operations Manager)

Company Profile

The Linde Group is a world-leading industrial gases, medical gases and engineering company with around 55,000 employees working in more than 80 countries worldwide with gases and engineering sales of around 13 billion euro per annum. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.
Contact Details

Company Name:
Linde Group