Changepoint and PPM

June 5, 2009

Last week I completed Compuware Changepoint training. I had read earlier that Changepoint is in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (leaders) for PPM tools.

Changepoint is a web based tool for project and portfolio management.  The tool enables leadership make right decisions based on dynamic metrics of various initiatives and what value these initiatives add; and realignment of IT efforts with business strategy and vision.  Tool is very intuitive and scalable. 

In Project and Portfolio management, complexity is the key factor that makes changes difficult and time consuming. Just imagine multiple projects going on in  your organization with resources scattered around the teams (or Globe) and you are tracking the progress and reporting the metrics to the upper management.  Management wants to see  report on  status of all the projects underway, return on investment for each project, supply and demand, resource utilization, change management, issues and risks to the projects, etc. to make informed decision on project priorities, strategic planning and funding.

Changepoint makes all the aspect of program management easier by effectively managing your projects and applications, resources and client relationships.  You can find out more at Compuware website.

Disclaimer – I am a Compuware employee and opinions expressed here are my own.


Elected – Board Member @ PMIGLC

October 20, 2008

When  I checked my inbox this morning, I found an official email from PMIGLC election committee congratulating me that I have been elected as Vice President – Communications for the 2009-2010 term.

Some of you might know that I volunteer at  Great Lakes Chapter of PMI (Project Management Institute) in Detroit. I started volunteering as ‘Director of Webservices’ almost over 2 years ago. 

It is very unique and enriching experience when you are leading a team of volunteers for an organization that is non-profit; and I hope I will be learning much more next year when my term begins as Vice President.

I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to work with highly accomplished professionals at the board-of-directors and to contribute to the project management community. 

Thank you!


DiSC model – Management Styles

June 30, 2008

I completed DiSC (stands for Dominance, influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) training last week and fount it interesting.   DiSC confirms one thing, different strokes for different folks.

DiSC is a system to help you find out similar and unique characteristics among people.  It also shows person’s behavioural preferences and helps to identify different management styles that can lead to obtain better results through interaction. 

According to the DiSC model, there are four management styles – by Dominance, by influence, by Steadiness, and by Conscientiousness.

Series of questions lead to a specific DiSC profile, that tells you what is your score and what is you dominant style of management and what are your supportive styles. 

D – Dominant : these people are active and questioning; these are direct and competitive in nature.  These people want to ‘get it done’.

i – Influence : these people are active and accepting; motivated, enthusiastic, sociable and lively. 

S – Steadiness : these people are thoughtful and accepting; patient and even tempered, accommodating. 

C– Conscientiousness : these people are thoughtful and questioning; kind of private with analytical abilities and task oriented.  Main objective is to ‘get it right’.

As we know everyone is unique and all have different ways of interacting.  Imagine, I interact with a person who has dominant  style of ‘Conscientiousness‘ (private and task oriented).  I pretend to be of ‘influence‘ (sociable and enthusiastic) dominant style; my interaction with that person can not be productive as I may not be providing the specific instructions that other person needs. 

Why is that?  Because people with dominant ‘infulence’ style mix personal talk with business discussions, becoming informal and emotionally expressive leaving the ‘Conscientiousness’ style person unclear or confuse as Max requires specific task oriented info and does not express himself emotionally.

How it will help me?  It lists what are key strengths, what things are overused, what could be the limitations and what changes should be made in management style that make one more effective.

Have you ever taken DiSC and Meyers-Briggs assessment?  What are your thoughts? Did you benefit from it?  Please share your thoughts.  Thank you for reading. 

More info –

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISC_assessment 
  2. One of the best books on the application of DiSC is by Keith Ayers titled “Engagement is Not Enough.

How to Have Project Kick-off Meeting

January 13, 2008

Kick-off meeting is the first meeting of the project where you give all the team members good news that project is ‘go ahead’ from the sponsors and also set the tone of your project – is it going to be a success or a failure.  Many hours and days have gone into preparation before you have kick-off meeting. You have worked very hard and now have project charter and project plan is in your hands.Primarily kick-off meeting has following goals-

  1. energize the project team
  2. communicate project goals and expectations
  3. introduce team members and stake-holders
  4. highlight opportunities plus challenges and reiterate importance of project for organization
  5. provide information of processes, methodology, project plan, key milestones, etc.
  6. handout team’s contact phone numbers and email addresses
  7. present communication plan
  8. give time to attendees to ask questions and express views

I would do following extra things to make sure kick-off meeting sets positive tone –

  1. print the hand-out material a day before, also check for meeting room projector etc.
  2. have some project related posters and famous positive quotes posted on the wall
  3. invite one or two senior managment  people to talk about project’s importance
  4. have kick-off meeting around 9 AM (start of the day is better)
  5. block enough time for this meeting (time for refreshments, presentations, questions and answers)
  6. set date of kick-off  meeting and notify all members at-least a week ago
  7. offer light refreshments at the beginning of the kick-off meeting
  8. do not sit and just talk, look and feel energetic
  9. have your project plan and other documents (that you plan to hand out) reviewed well in advance by subject matter experts for accuracy
  10. make sure meeting conveys the message and people walk out with motivation

Are there other key things? I will be interested to hear.  Hope this helps and good luck with your kick-off meeting. 


Keeping in touch with direct reports?

December 11, 2007

Workplaces have transformed a lot in last few years from people working in same office building to team members scattered over different continents.  This poses some benefits and challenges.  As we all know that we are all connected via communication and our communication skills and capabilities play a major role in our success.

Keeping the communication channel open and alive is the responsibility of the manager.  As a manager you just can not assume that if no one is complaining, all is well.  There are some employees who get chance to meet and talk to boss on performance review day.  I know there might be some employees who always say “everything is good” and prefer least interference as all the routine work is being done on time.

Does not matter what kind of work you are in, keeping in touch with your direct reports does the following –

  1.  Boosts the employee morale (you value the employee by calling or listening).

  2.  Employee feels connected with the organization/department.

  3.  Employee is encouraged to give and receive suggestion/feedback.

  4.  You can coach employee in the right direction as per his objectives.

  5.  Your objectives and expectations are clearly communicated and aligned.

  6.  You, employee and organization, all benefit from this interaction.

  7.  You make the real difference by managing talent.

Employee is a talent.  We know that when we are managing talent in this innovation age, we got to ensure that talent thrives and stays innovative. 

Thank you for reading and have a great day.



Situational Leadership

August 1, 2007

I completed Computer Based Training – “Situational Leadership II” developed by the Ninth House.  I was amazed with the technique used to give lessons; it kept me involved till the end and I did not feel disconnected or bored.  It is kind of movie that you watch and your decisions dictate the way story develops.  Decision taken can result in getting job done or getting you fired.  This training is based on Ken Blanchard’s leadership model and teaches how to increase team productive with proper leadership style by providing right amount of direction, support, or coaching.

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