This blog has little bit of everything...

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I am across this wonderful answer on Quora for a very generic question:


I high recommend everyone to read it completely at least once. It has a lot of value.

Thanks to the writer(Riz) for allowing me to share it on my blog:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mind-Blowing Facts About Gangs of Wasseypur Duology

  • Both parts of Gangs of Wasseypur were originally shot as a single film measuring a total of 319 minutes.But no Indian theatre would screen it to more than 5 hours movie. It was then divided into 2 parts.
  • Piyush Mishra and Tigmanshu Dhulia were given the discretion to decide who, among them, would perform the roles of Nasir and Ramadhir.
  • The scene in which Huma Qureshi asked to take permission is a real life incident of Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
  • Aditya Kumar (Perpendicular), he came to Anurag Kashyap for any role. Anurag told him to learn how to put blade into the mouth. He took it literally. After 1 year Perpendicular came back and showed Anurag that blade action.
  • The story of the second part of 'Gangs of Wasseypur' was written by 'Definite' (Zeishan Quadri').
  • Although not a huge hit by any financial standard, the meagre combined budget of ₹18.5cr allowed the 2 films to be commercially successful, with net domestic earnings of ₹50.81cr (of the 2 parts combined) . It is regarded by many as a modern cult film.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

How To Lead a Software Project?

How To Lead a Software Project?

Where do I start if I need to lead a Software Project?What are best practices of Software Project Management?What are the do's and dont's of leading a Software Project?

If you have you come across any of these questions in your real life then read on...

1. How and Where to Start?

Identify the key elements of your project(formal approval)
  • Make sure your project is formally approved, that is, formal contract/ statement of work(SOW) is in place
  • Identify High level Requirements and Scope
  • Identify success criteria, key deliverable and high level risks
  • Identify Stakeholders

2. What are the key steps in Planning

Create planning documentation for the following:
  1. Scope management plan - How will you manage the scope and change requests?
  2. Schedule management plan - How will you manage the time lines? What are the key milestones? This is where you create the work breakdown structure
  3. Cost management plan - How will you manage the various aspects of project cost and how will you ensure that the project will be successfully completed with the approved cost.
  4. Quality assurance plan - How will you ensure quality of the project? Testing strategy.
  5. Communication management plan - Who will communicate with whom, how and with what frequency? Status reporting frequency, senior management review etc
  6. Stakeholder management plan - How will the stakeholders be managed? Refer following article for stakeholder management :
  7. Resource management plan - How and when you will load/ on board resources? How and when will you release resources from the project. What is the skill set and experience level required? Also, identify the roles and responsibilities.
  8. Risk and Issue Management Plan - How will the risks be identified, mitigated and resolved?
  9. Procurement Management Plan - How will you manage the procurement?
  10. Training Management Plan - Identify training need. Conduct training and perform assessment to measure effectiveness of training.
  11. Documentation management Plan - How will create the project documentation? Where will it be stored? Who will update and manage it on an ongoing basis?

3. Key steps of Project Execution

  1. Execute the project as per the project planning steps mentioned above. Make sure project is on track as per approved milestones.
  2. Communicate the project status on an going basis to key stakeholders. 
  3. Measure cost and schedule variance.
  4. Manage associated risks and issues.
  5. Track and manage the change requests.

4. Monitoring and Control

As a project lead you need to make sure that you are on top of daily, weekly and monthly activities at a low level. You should also manage the ground level details like leave plan, holiday plan. Impact of other projects on your project. Impact of organizational changes, resource attrition etc. Any change to the project scope or impact to project schedule or cost should be tracked and mitigated immediately.

5. Project Closure

Once the project has met the success criteria and you have received sign off to close the project then make sure you close the project formally in the system(organization specific project management tool). All the resources should be released and project documentation should be submitted to the project control office. Also before you close the project make sure that lessons learned and case studies are created for future reference.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder Management: Some inputs from real life experiences

Who is a stakeholder in your project?

Anyone and everyone who has a stake is a stakeholder.
Example: All team members working on the project, System admin or System admin team, HR manager or HR team, project control office team, customer, sponsor, end customer or end user, tester, senior management, cross flow team, program, manager, portfolio manager, quality assurance team etc etc

Who is a key stakeholder?

A stakeholder who has the ability to make decision to terminate your project or anyone who has the ability to influence the key stakeholder to make such a decision.

How to manage stakeholders?

Follow these key steps:
1. Identify all stakeholders, that is, prepare a stakeholder register
2. Find out their details: Contact numbers, geographical locations etc
3. From the list of all stakeholders identify the key stakeholders
4. Identify key individuals from your team who will manage the key stakeholders
5. Prepare a stakeholder management strategy, this should include the following:
- Regular Cadence (which team member will talk to which stakeholder and with what frequency)
- Understand explicit and implicit expectations
- Map the expectations to tangible deliverable (what to they need, when do they need, why do they need)
- Think two level up. Prepare deliverable in such a way that your stakeholder can inturn use it with their own stakeholders
- Obtain honest feedback
- Act on the feedback
- Share the action and the improved results with the stakeholder