Friday, November 19, 2010

A mathematical model: Why are large organizations slow to change and how to make them faster


Recently, in a meeting, a person mentioned that the organizations are like a sliced pizza. Each slice a function or a business. We were discussing change management and he said that any change that cuts across all the groups (of a delta r) would have a change impact of r-squared.

Not quite, as I thought about the problem he had made a mistake, the impact is more 2*pi*r*delta r. However, the mistake was not quite as important as the corollary on organizational change management.

A large organization is like a large pizza. Trying to make a change is directly proportional to the size of the organization (2*r*delta r where r is representative of size). Well, it is mathematically proven that elephants can't dance.....

Well, while we discussed the same, we were also quoting the example of a smaller BU that had implemented the same change and was very successful. Mathematically, all that the BU had done was to reduce 'r' and hence made it easier to provide the 2*r*delta r change!!!

While it looks simplistic and too obvious, its rather rare that a lack-lustre meeting with an analogy can provide this practical insight! (Its also shows that meetings close to lunch time can provide better time for introspection!)

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vidya Mandir School Project Day Play 2010

The feathered friends was the title of the Vidya Mandir School Project Day (Mylapore Luz VM). It was a fun trip down the mermory lane for me.... I still remembered the enthu we used to have to explain the charts to innocent bystanders!

Look at the fantastic color (and VMs classic childlike amateur and homely) production... after all in a school dance drama it is the enthu that counts to produce results like these - not the stage , the speakers or the equipment.

The videos are in three parts (about 1 minute each and my son is in the 3rd part!)

(Well this was shot in the 4 PM show which was the 4th for the day and the kids were quite tired)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Calcutta: Stuck in the past but still so beautiful : A photo story of it uniqueness as I saw it

These pictures were taken on a brief visit to Calcutta and Champadanga. There are so many things that make Calcutta CALCUTTA. Just captured a few on my trip

The sun is setting on Champadanga, but.....

From Calcutta

 but Kali maa is invoked to protect it
From Calcutta

This place is struck in the past, but....
From Calcutta

But it has this modern Chinese powered vehicle too!
From Calcutta

All the same the place is so beautiful with lush undergrowth and ponds for each house!
From Calcutta

From Calcutta

From Calcutta

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Photography Tip: How to correct if the object is dark and the background too bright using Photoshop

Very often when we take a photograph (typically a closeup) ,the object is underexposed and the background is too bright. A common solution suggested by many is to use a fill flash

I find that the fill flash restricts aperture or shutter speed (if inbuilt) and the pictures turn out over exposed.

I have kind of optimized on taking the shot without the flash and then using the Histogram tool.

Click on Adjustments > Curves > Increase the lower levels (See Picture)

The impact of this transformation on this picture is show below
After using Adobe Photoshop


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

A practical 3 step approach to kicking off programs in different Business Units (BUs)

Okay, your company has committed to a PMO and has agreed formally or informally to the overhead. Having implemented in a BU, senior leadership is finding it useful and wants to rapidly expand the matrix organization.

Programs are kicked in different BUs and PMO is asked to sync them up and run them up to a common process. While the tactics may vary  from organization to organization (As there are different types of PMOs) , my experience is that it is possible to classify actions into just 3 broad steps

1. Setup Governance
2. Establish Teaming
3. Sign-off on portfolio/program scope [Not the project scope which is usually part of the Project itself]

What do I mean by this?
1. Setup governance - Getting the sponsor and resource managers to agree about project objectives and agree to review the same (together is important). Setting up a chair to resolve conflict if there is disagreement and agree on time commitments/schedules for reviews

2. Establish Teaming - Getting atleast the PM nominated (who will then estimate and track resources)

3. Sign-off on program scope - especially important as there will be a lot which will not be covered in the first pilot . Important to say what will not be in the new process

While there is a lot of verbose documentation on how to setup programs and follow a standard process, I feel that this is a kind of jumpstart guide (3 steps) to PMO nirvana rather than stall and run in circles in a large organization. Communicating this to executive management and getting their buy in is also easier.(Most of it is their intervention in these tasks)

References of some links on PMO setup (Talks of a parts but not quite the steps)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Telugu Name (and Initials) Generator

We have all seen those long telugu names PVSN Rao, LVLN Sriram, PGVSSR Sastri. Having seen this, I feel it is possible to generate Telugu names. Please do suggest some more names to make this generator complete

Initial 1
  • Potti
  • Pota
  • Pubba
  • Potha
  • Gade
  • Golla
Initial 2
  • (Always)Venkata
Initial 3
  • (Usually)Sathya
Initial 4
  • Ramiah
  • Subbiah
  • Sreerama
  • Subba
Initial 5
  • Rao
  • Sastry
  • (or) i ending names (Kesineni / Dasari et al)
  • Naidu
Some points to note
  • A common point is that these penta/Hexa initialled names usually have a common V or an S.
  • Just in case this 11756 (26^3) names falls short (pun intended)[Not 11.8 Million as V and S are common], you may prefix village names such as Khammam, Cudappah
  • Just for personal aggrandizement you may also add Veera, Bahadur as prefix
  • Given that a lot of Telugu speaking people are in US, the western influence coupled with an increasing population may lead to overlap of 2 people having the same COMMON and SIMPLE name such as PKVSMP Rao, in which case they may start suffixing it with numbers. Example PKVSMP Rao IIs grandson-in-law PKVSMP Rao IV [After all most Telugu speaking people are renowned for their prowess with numbers]


Having written this name Generator I remembered this famous Bond Joke (Reproduced for easy reference)


On a flight James bond was sitting next to a Telugu guy.

Telugu Guy: "Hello, May I know your name please?"
James Bond: "My name is Bond" Continuing in his inimitable style,
"......James Bond."

Then Bond asks: "And you?"
Telugu Guy: " My name is Rao...
Siva Rao...
Samba Siva Rao...
Venkata Samba Siva Rao...
Yarlagadda Venkata Samba Siva Rao...
Rajasekhara Yarlagadda Venkata Samba Siva Rao...
Sitaramanjaneyula Rajasekhara Yarlagadda Venkata Samba Siva Rao...
Vijayawada Sitaramanjaneyula Rajasekhara Yarlagadda Venkata Samba Siva

Warning: No offence meant to people who may have been mentioned inadvertently using this generator as examples.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Srirangapatna (Mysore) - Part 2 of 2

The second part of Srirangapatna is the Tipus gardens and palaces. Tipus summer palace Daria Daulat Bagh is a place to visit. Surprisingly, it is very well maintained! The place charges an entry fee of just Rs. 5 for adults (probably because it is maintained by the archeological survey of India)

Here are some pics I took

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Srirangapatna (Mysore) - Part 1 of 2

Srirangapatna was Tipus capital and is a nice place about 20kms from Mysore. There are 2 places to visit - the Ranganathaswamy temple and the palace/tomb of Tipu Sultan. I visited this place during the Mysore Dasara festival 2010.

Part 1 - Ranganathaswamy temple

The ranganathaswamy temple is located on the right when you come on the Mysore Bangalore SH-17 highway from Mysore. You will see a large board welcoming you to Srirangapatna - heritage town. It belongs to Mandya district but is closer to Mysore.

The temple has Vishnu in a reclining pose similar to Srirangam (Trichy). I got a couple of photographs below

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

Gopuram Inside
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

Well maintained lawns in the side of the temple
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

At the entrance - my kids were sitting here riding these stone elephants!
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

Intricate carvings
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mysore palace lighting during Dasara

The whole Mysore city was actually lit up during the Dasara festival. We were unable to park it anywhere near the palace, but I still managed a few photographs around the palace from the Innova we were travelling in.

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Chamundi Hills in Mysore during Dasara Festival (and also the bull temple)

The Chamundeswari Temple located near Bangalore is about 30 mins drive up a short hillock near Mysore.

We went during Dasara and here is a short photo essay.
Chamundeswari Temple entrance
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

I have a unique view of the Bull at the temple.
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

There was also a band playing folk music at the Chamundi hills (outside the temple).

A regular view - look at the size of the bull statue
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

A view of mysore from Chamundi Hills
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

A view of the temple - see the lights for Dasara festival
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

Cow at the temple
From 201010_Bangalore_Mysore_Vacation_Public

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