Thursday, December 15, 2005

And Finally I post again......

Been a long long time since I posted .Finally I am posting this blog after completing my first leadership assignment in IBM successfully. The overall experience of driving a team towards achieving a common goal while satisfying the professional aspirations of theindividuals to an allowable extent has been a challenging yet worthy experience. Though I was not required to do people managementin this exercise, I had to manage a lot of different thoughts and imaginations to funnel them on to a common vision. I also learnt quite a lot from the leadership principles that are advocated by IBM. It was an experience which made me learn a whole lot about IBM, its vision, values and methods in planning, running and completing a project. The technical challenges that we met in developing tools in eclipse platformthat use customer's proprietary protocols and resource repositories also excited everyone in the team and created automatically a charged atmosphere within that put everyone's creativity on the edge and innovation to the forefront. There have been many creative ideas, innovations that we as a team are thinking of formalising and shaping into a patentable form. The team we formed was such a cracking unit that at most of times I simply had to play the role of a facilitator while the unit worked on well by itself, identifying and solving problems on their own, innovating all along the way. When I went into this assignment, I was fully convinced of the "SCRUM" philosphy whichadvocated more team participation in management of work than manger managed work which was simply executed by the team. Though what we did was a "Waterfall' model of Software development, I still let the team pick the battles it has to wage and in the sequence those battles had to be fought. This really gave each and every individual in the team with a focus area to own and perform. What happened later was just another demonstration of the success of "Participative Collaboration" in project management. I handled the team's interaction with on shore, buffering the team from unnecessary "chatter channels". I also set up design workshops in which I outlined the design needs and the team simply brainstormed and filled up the blanks. This waymembers in the team who had little or no exposure to the object oriented design process got their exposure to those concepts thereby evenly distributing knowledge. The most interesting exercise we did in the design workshops were the use of Class Responsibility Collaboration Cardsor the CRC cards for functional design or dynamic design model. It made me realise the virtues of effective Object Oriented Design that I had learnt for the purpose of clearing a certificationOOAD with UML given by IBM. Now that the first assignment is completed, I am looking forward to the next assignment, which happens to be in Usability analysis and implementation for an existing web application, which is rated rather poorly on that. This time around I may not be having the same team to lead, which is as tad disappointing, however it adds on to the challenge and increases the involvement to perform and prove myself.
Now getting back to things other than work, I managed to see the following movies . I have given my ratings along with the movie title.
S.No. Title Language Rating(out of 10)
1. Anniyan Thamizh 6.5
2. Ghajini Thamizh 7.0
3. Ullam Ketkume Thamizh 6.75
4. Arindhum
Ariyamalum Thamizh 7.0
5. Sivakasi Thamizh 4.5
6. Incredibles English 7.0

I am still living on listening to Ilaiyaraja's Thiruvasagam and other old hits that I haven't bothered to buy any music CD or cassette in the past 3 months other than old gems of Maharajapuram Santhanam and a collection of Thyagaraja krithis by Sudha Raghunadhan. The MAharajapuram Collection is a rather special one as i bought it especially for my father's favourite Thyagaraja krithi "Raaga Sudha Rasa...". It is one of the sweetest song thatI have ever heard. The song is such a lilting melody and to mention it is just a passe. However the special feeling one gets to experience it in the voice of Maharajapuram Santhanam is something you can't express in words. I have heard Balamurali Krishna sing that song. To hear in the majestic voice of Maharajapuram is totally a different experience! It is like a king singing a lullaby instead of a nightingale. The awe that strikes you doesn't fade for a long time. Coming to lullabies, the album also has "Uyyaalaloogavaiyya Shri Rama.." a lullaby to Lord Rama.My wife bought an album by the Bombay Sisters titled "Thaalattup paadalgal", which has a set of soothing lullabies in Thamizh and I must say that it is wonderful one to recline to at the end of the day. This period in my life has been a rich one learning wise and experience wise and all I can say is I am becoming "Worldly Wise".


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