Category: Events


Today, attended a very enlightening talk on ‘Innovation’ from Dr. Jay Rao of famous Babson University. Meeting him in person was a great experience, I found him to be an very energetic professor with warm in-person touch. Though, this session was of a short duration, but we could get good glimpse of his body of knowledge. Amongst many thought provoking interactions during session, I could jot down few of my observations from my notes.

Need of Innovation:

With information revolution taking place in early 90s, there comes the era of insecurity for big corporations who, till now, maintained their kingdom by withholding expertize, experience and knowledge of their products/services in tight grips. But, internet brought that knowledge to everyone in the world to make it flatten plateau of equal opportunity. To this there was varied response, many didn’t care about it and didn’t decided not to change a thing, resultantly, they perished to become dead meat for crows. Few embraced the path to peruse more expenditure on Research and Development to stay competitive but could not achieve desired benefits.

Flaws in Implementation: 

Many of organization thought that this was an additional expense which they have to live with to compete in market. So, they defined their Innovation Strategy as an additional expense in RnD. During start phase, approach succeeded, but failed at later phases. Following this, they started to wonder the correlations between R&D Spent & Innovation success as well as relationship of R&D effort with ROI timeline. Perhaps, there was no such formula to arrive at an academic approach or some scientific formula to tap into Innovation.innovation

Major Reason of Failure 

However, they could nail down few major reasons of its failure. Although, many organization persevered to their innovation efforts, their efforts fell for most obvious trap, Lack of Funds. With quarterly pressure of performance and profit, many innovation research were scuttled due to budget constraints. Some of remaining research effort, which could manage this budget hurdle, failed to convince stakeholders for additional time. Despite having enough time and budget, remaining fell due to running either in wrong direction or with wrong strategy for long duration. It was not just the profit loss, but also the loss of moral of its Innovation leaders.

Real Core of It: 

After doing all deliberation on all cause, one fact came out very strong, it not about process, people or practice to enforce innovation but the core culture of organization. Experimentation and Failure of two side of Innovation and one can’t ignore other. It comes together as we proceed with it. And the culture which encourages Experiment and takes Failure in its stride, are the ultimate champion of Innovation. Organization need to ask a question before embarking on this journey, “Do they have War Chest to take Failures?”.

Innovation is a Discipline:

As we understand, Innovation is about an application of Idea to create a new useful product/service to order to provide greater value to its customers. It is a deliberate application of 3Is, namely, Information, Imagination and Initiative. Moreover, this is a risk taking initiative to uncertain outcomes and unknown customer behavior.

Professor reiterated, Innovation was a discipline which could be learnt, practiced and mastered in a structured fashion but differed on its measurable aspects. He argued, if objective was just profit, measurement was easy, if objective is for Social up-liftment or urge for Creativity or need of Independence, etc., same might be difficult.

Radical Innovation: 

Innovation could be of two types. One Evolutionary and other could be Revolutionary. Evolutionary is is more like Continuous Innovation which gives Linear Growth but Revolutionary is driven by Continuous Experimentation of disruptive in nature and gives possibility of Non-Linear growth. Prof stressed, for successful practice, it could not be either of them, instead it had to be both of them together.

Nascent Stage: 

Innovation has been the buzz word for sometime now, yet, there is no definite and established practice for it. Innovation, as a discipline, is at its nascent stage to become a practice just like we had Marketing and Quality in 20-30 years back.

References:

Today, I have attended Inaugural session of EPDGM course at Alliance university. Amongst many things, we had session with our Vice Chancellor, Mr. Madhukar G. Angur. It was a very captivating and inspirational 30 mins speech. Here are my notes from that speech.

Dr._Madhukar_G_Angur

He specifically emphasized on following Three most important aspects of today’s Corporate Business.

  • Importance of CRS (Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • Management Mantra from Bhagvat Gita
  • Upholding Professional Ethics and Values

He also stated out the five important qualities to be successful business professional.

  • Leadership
    • Being Humble and Hopeful
  • Business of Business is Business
    • Getting indulge into Customer’s customers
  • Management Skills
    • Managing Human Resource is key for servicing
  • Globalization
    • Realization of Flat and connected world
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Take a lab theory to make a successful business

Then, he came down to the course at hand. He advised us to focus on:

  • Research Work
  • Self Analysis
  • Showcasing Leadership
  • Having Global Perspective (Economy)
  • Action Oriented Innovative Thinking

IBM, Oracle, SAP and MS all are gunning big for piece of enterprise cloud computing marketplace. But questions remained open “Why should one go for it?”. Virginia Sharma, Director @ IBM, attempted to answer in an impressive keynote speech during SOA India 2009. Here are my pickups:

IBM launched “Smarter Planet” marketing campaign last year to align its smartplanettechnology and consulting offerings with next generation solutions to revolutionize every aspect of life.  The main idea was to present smarter organization by Instrumentation, Interconnection and Intelligence to realize its meaning “Achieve more with less”. Her talk was not about SOA or Cloud, but about wider concept of synergies between business, technology and people. She mentioned three major aspects of a smarter organization with her case studies.

  • Business can evolve better to adopt and respond to dynamics by smarter supply chain management, analytics systems and asset optimization mechanism.
  • People can collaborate better to maximizing effectiveness by smarter collaboration system, resource allocation mechanism and product development environment.
  • Technology can enable better to flexibility to meet business need by smarter network systems, business applications and production planning management.

In this session, she laid a foundation for decision makers to embrace cloud with their “Smart” offerings.SOA Conf-2

In another session, IBM folks presented “Cloud In A Box”, a packaged Websphere on to a server box to enable, control and manage a private cloud. Call it “IBM Websphere Cloudburst” , a cloud infrastructure solution under Smarter Cloud program. In offline discussions during conference, many participants were not voting for private cloud as it is against the pure cloud concept and its benefits.

MS Azure – SOA India 2009

Sachin V. Rathi talked about Microsoft’s offering toward cloud computing. Personally, I don’t use any MS offerings except my 6 year old XP and a XP marked key chain from Microsoft 2001 seminar. Anyways, I must admit that Microsoft has transformed all its products towards cloud computing in applaud-able manner.

MS Azure Services are very comprehensive stack for cloud transformation. Some of the notes from presentation about it. MS Azure

Sachin also presented few case studies of their recent work in cloud computing services. What was interesting  for me their approach toward case studies. All of them presented in following fashion.

Build > Run > Consume > Monetize

Few of Cloud services build on Azure are:

  • PhotoSynth: A cloud based 3D image processing application to recognize and synthesize picture of same object/location.
  • Eve Online: A cloud based multilayered networking platform where server maintains the state of game for each player and notify intelligent client about state change of other players.
  • eBooks – British Library: A cloud based eBook library which allows user to view and read British library book with windows 7 gesture technology.

Liked two of his suggestions for enterprise and architects:

  • Enterprise needs to have clear emphasis on Web 2.0 to retain knowledge bank of their employee and let the intellectual juice flow through out organization.
  • Devices are becoming powerful and enterprise needs to find innovative usage to use these in enterprise. Just like radio frequency emitter tag called RFID has found place in shipment and others services.

In another session, Ramkumar Kothandraman, from Microsoft, has talked about MS emphasis on interoperability since they received SOA India 2009mail from Mr. Gate four years back. But their claim of interoperability has always seen with skepticism. Surely, Interop must be true for their own products but how well they operate with others has raised question marks in past. Mr Ramkumar claimed that they has a Vendor Partner Alliance to work on integration with many partners, open source and even competitor products but past experience has proved that their integration approach is to hamper the integrated product capability to the extend that the real essence of that product is lost and you land up replacing it with offerings. Their JVM version is a great example of it.

Yesterday, I was at GIDS (Great Indian Developer Summit)  in Bangalore. There was massive developers attendance and enthusiasm could be felt in air itself.  Due to office schedule, I could only opt for Java track. All of the GIDS-logosession were very well placed with interesting subject lines. There were all flavors of sessions, from my view-point, I could grasp some of them instantly, some I attended reluctantly and some I ignored due to my lack of insight in those. Here are few sessions which I classify digested well and been satisfied.

Fairly Satisfied:

Digested Well:

Shortly, I will be blogging on few of these subjects on my tech insight blog.

Now it’s Moto wooing developers

Finally, Motorola also realized the power of open source. Moto MAGX is next generation of platform based on Linux. “Moto MAGX will be part of its 61% of handset in next few years” says Christy Wyatt, Vice President, Software Platforms & Ecosystem, Motorola. All this showdown is to make Motorola a primal choice of mobile content developers and get Motorola in center of the mobile space battle. No wonder, they are heavily invested all variants of Unix based mobile OS development around the world, from Linux Mobile, Symbian to Android.

May 14th 2008, Motodev Summit, held in Bangalore, was by far a great conference attendance. Sheer glitzy stage, music and Hollywood like launch were certainly the inspiration from Apple’s showcase events.

The summit also offered tutorials on everything a developer aspire to know on design, develop, debug, deploy and distribute compelling enterprise, vertical business or consumer applications with Motorola. This summit was seeking to generate new ideas and enthusiasm for their main audience, Indian Content Developers.

I personally felt that the business model shake-down and open community adoption would really assist Motorola, being a viable option for global entrepreneurs in Mobile space. Certainly, their cheering support for Java was a sweetspot in this bustling era of Mobile OS vendors.

During the panel discussions, two major challenges were highlighted namely fragmentation and discovery. Fragmentation of choice among platforms and discovery of new and useful applications. Motorola attempted to give both the answers, one by declaring support for Open OS like Linux and second by providing the a Catalog service for mobile applications.

Motorola has introduced Motorola Solutions Catalog to provide a launch vehicle for content developers. Moto Catalog will help users to choose among applications as well as developers to market their products. Motorola is also offering preloading feature for winner applications for their future mobiles. This step certainly encourages small budget team to innovate and compete on world-wide mobile. All this for one “E + I” formula, “Encouraging Innovation”. As Cristy rightly puts, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity not as a threat”.

They also attempted to tune with techno entrepreneur to focus on business and end users first, followed by choice of application development platforms. Also pointed out, the simple and sound success factor could be just user interface of “Three clicks to Glory”. Mobile market is on crossroad with three major components (Device, Network and Application) of ecosystem fighting out for dominance. But all have to work together to get it going.

During entire summit, Motorola was very much attempting to get on to another missed band wagon, GPS mobile. Early impactful entry of Nokia in GPS market has once again thrown Moto to chase another one. It is for all of us to see, how last known innovation MOTO RAZR will stimulate next big bang “Geo + Media + Socials” in Moto world. God bless, Moto.

At end, welcoming the Linux on Motorola devices is a greeted step for all. It provides enough reasoning to call upon open world and play in their backyard.

It was one of the finest conference held in Bangalore.

JAX India: CodeGear Vision

David Intersimone is true evangelist for CodeGear. He has spoken at JAX India 2008 on “How to Apply Software Archeology to Your Development Process” and a great ballroom session on his vision of software industry. Here I would summarise about these sessions.

Vision for Software Industry:

Robotic Code Writing:

In present, tools are already starting generating and migrating the code. The future will not be too far when Business Man, Project Manager or Architect would draw a visual diagrams of system using some modeling language and the tool will generate all the code without even touching a single file. I think that future, we developers may not have to switch profession to something else.

Other important thing:

He repeatedly mentioned that developer job is a highly creative one and we should take its responsibility. If you think it is work, you can as well work at McDonald’s, where scope of creativity is negligible. If you really hell-bent on considering it as a job, better ask for really fat pay.

Here I am sharing my experience at PMP Conference 2007.

Mr. Prabhu Eswarla from HP has presented HP process to assess a project health. Actually, the five of stated checks are generally placed almost in all organizations, but to connect all of them for assessment is a new approach. I find this very interesting.

  • Project Management Review:
    • Objective: Assessment of project alignment with organization goals.
    • Involvement: Project Manager and Group Manager / Sr. Project Manager
    • Time Duration: Monthly
  • Quality Health Check:
    • Objective: Quality compliance assessment of project level of with Quality department standards.
    • Involvement: Project Manager and Quality Manager
    • Time Duration: Monthly
  • Customer Satisfaction:
    • Objective:Assessment of customer satisfaction using his feedback during project.
    • Involvement: Project Manager and Customer feedback
    • Time Duration: Monthly
  • Project Audit Council:
    • Objective: Assessment of peer review on all aspects.
    • Involvement: Project Manager and Peer Managers
    • Time Duration: Quarterly
  • Technology Management Review:
    • Objective: Assessment of optimal and efficient technology usage.
    • Involvement: Project Manager and architects.
    • Time Duration: Quarterly
  • 5+1 th view:
    • Circle graph with parameters:
      • Time, Cost, Cost/est
      • Quality, Resource, Communication,
      • Risk, Contracts, Client Satisfaction.


Here I am sharing my experience at PMP Conference 2007.

Ms. Sujatha Blakrishnan from Valtech India System has presented her view on Agile Development Management.

I find it fairy interesting as she gave a holistic view of methodology. In consider Agile is shorter release cycles with age-old methodology V shape model software life cycle.

Yes, it is good for both Product and Service companies. I generally know that companies just adopt this model to show customer. But real adaptation requires more work than generally perceived. She mentioned that ValTech has invested almost $ 20 million to establish. I certainly consider it is a heavy investment. I think most of the cost goes into basic setup like Cruise Control, Wiki (Confluence), Video Conference, Skype etc.

After that, it comes culture awareness and customer agreement to participate.

Certainly, it gives tremendous value to customers who can control the flow of development and gets what he wants at the end of project.

But it may not be good enough for a service company like Infosys, Wipro, etc, who wishes to drive it by themselves. Also it is very difficult to define the SLA in these terms. Even if you have come up with one, it will an open-ended SLA which will state to chase a moving target. Because, you have just signed off to changing requirements and adopting customer needs.

Yes, it will good bad new for developers. In this model, developers may have to sit tight all the times without any relaxed day.

But I have to say that this kind of play field give lots of room and flexibility for innovation and creativity amount team and product owner. It is good and bad news for both.

Three main roles in Agile PM:

  1. Product Owner: Defines the Sprint and participate with team to achieve goals.
  2. Scrum Master: Removes the hurdles for execution of project.
  3. Team: Performs the day-to-day and release-to-release tasks.

Here I am sharing my experience at PMP Conference 2007.

I have attended a penal discussion with Wg. Cmd. Patrawall and his panel. It was quite thought provoking. Here are some of the points, impressed me.

Organizational Success:

Integrating three main ingredients:

  • People
  • Process
  • Technology

Stages of innovation:

  1. Leadership
  2. Funding
  3. Incubation
  4. Walk the talk

Project Management success relies on understanding of following aspects of project.

  1. Vision
  2. Purpose
  3. Goals

Inspirations for innovation:

  • Innovation comes from hearts.
  • It is about getting most from least.
  • Free your mind. Tranquilize it.
  • Mistakes are stepping stones of innovation.
  • Innovations done not happen overnight.
  • Stay away from autocratic procedures.
  • Innovator has to think-outside-the-box.

Innovator should be aware about:

  • Value creation for stockholder.
  • Marketplace transition
  • Process to get there.

Circle of innovation for an organization:

  • Passion
  • Vision
  • Process
  • Values
  • Standard

Generally, Project Managers in IT industry think that after PM designation their engagement with technology is over rather they should just play organization and people game. This is where they kill innovation and core competency. It should not be encouraged either from organization or culture. It should be about keeping core business competency alive and contributing from all sides.

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