Saturday, April 16, 2011

Photo: For Votes - Money and Promissory notes are ok, but not cash - official announcement??

Friday, April 15, 2011

Do Auto executives make good software managers? - My experience

Do auto executives make better software industry managers? My top 3 reasons -

I counducted an inteview of a candidate for a software startup and the inteviewee asked me about where he could get more information on "lean", and today in Economic Times I saw an article on Wipro adopting Lean

I worked for 3 years in Automotive with a (now) Deming company, prior to moving to Software consulting (aka body shops in their initial years). Here are my 3 reasons , why auto guys do well in software

1. Better people management skills:
I found that people from experience in Automotive were better at managing teams and quality than people bred in software (Not that they coded better - but had an eye to quality and managing people) - Googles Project Oxygen too rates being a good coach as being more important than tech skills (and typically you have lower number of people reporting and a deeper hierarchy in traditional automotive firms making them better managers)

2. A more evolved control and improve process (PDCA)
A company where I worked used a NPD process which had been with them for 15 years. When they launched an ERP system, they adopted the NPD process for software, introducing similar phase-gates, and did a very effective deployment (Similar to a waterfall for Software development). They used simple tools to foster execution , such as daily morning meetings to foster communication such as on the shop floor, daily task lists and risk sign-offs.
One friend of mine was from a heavy engineering project management company and came to lead the quality group of an IT Retail sector consulting firm . He brought and implemented online tools to track project health, risk and developed job times similar to Industrial-engineering-time-and-motion study. Result -  significant cost reductions and quality improvement in the software deliveries.

3. Greater ownership of results
Typically software firms "Ship" the product and support is by far online and remote. Ownership is by Third-parties. In an automotive context, given high investments and legal requirements to support the products for 7+ years, most teams are interested in "real performance" over the need to "Ship by a date!"

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Monday, April 11, 2011

From Mylapore to Rudrapur: Chennai to Pantnagar UTK: Travel experience

Best way to Travel:

Return the same way.  The best way from the airport to Delhi (DLI) or Old Delhi railway station is via metro - take the airport express to New Delhi station (NDLS) and take the yellow track metro to Chandni Chowk and walk up to old Delhi station. (20 mins from airport to NDLS and another 30 to DLI and a 10 min walk to the station) . Also note, the metro operates only from 6 AM to 10 PM - so plan your travel carefully

In case you dont get a ticket in the Ranikheth express- do the road -  but it is most painful. There are 2 traffic snarls - one in Rampur (about 50~60 kms) where there is a train crossing, second is near Gajrauli. Best places to eat en-route on road - McDonalds or Moga restraunt near Gajrauli. The journey should take you about 7 hrs but can take as much as 9~13 hrs depending on traffic!!

Stay: Hotel Sonia is a good place to stay. I found it to have ample space nearby and a small mango garden. The staff are courteous and most helpful. Radisson and Ginger are also there in Pantnagar though I did not stay in them. There breakfast is ok, the rooms and bed are neat and clean.

Things to see: None - do not be fooled by the google maps which puts Nainital and Jim Corbett national park closeby. They are about 80~120 kms (2~4 hrs) and Pantnagar/ Rudrapur in itself has nothing to see.

Here are some pics of the road from Pantnagar to Delhi