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Archive for the ‘Business Manager’ Category

Why Few Executives Are Skillful Managers

Posted by sureshkrishna on August 19, 2009

Cross posting from HarvardBusiness Blog. Very interesting problems with Senior executives…

1. Delegation
It is your job to delegate as much as you possibly can: your ultimate goal should be to delegate everything, find a successor and move on to a bigger job. If you are having trouble letting go or trusting others, try to remember how it felt when you were given the first big challenge of your career. Did you relish the challenge? How did you approach it? Did you succeed? What did you learn about the job and yourself? How did it help you to move forward in your career?

Remember that however talented you are, your career is likely to have stalled had your boss not trusted you with a challenging piece of work. He took the risk and delegated: now it’s your turn to do the same. No excuses, just follow the rules.

2. Managing distance
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a manager is to spend too much time either in your team or away from it. If you are too close, you risk becoming a micromanager, you can lose perspective on the business, you can become too friendly and lose authority within the team, and your team can become over-dependent on you. Being too distant, on the other hand, can result in a directionless team, potential crises, lack of control, and you being perceived as too remote or political. Also, maintaining social distance is an important discipline for managers that should not be overlooked.

3. Visibility
Visibility and personal profile are important for your career as well as your team, so make sure you are being seen and heard in the right places. If you don’t manage your reputation and profile, someone else will do it for you — and they may not have your best interests at heart. Take time to network, share your successes, and ask to be included on steering committees or cross-functional initiatives to create opportunities to showcase your talents and your team’s achievements.

4. Work-life balance
It’s incredible that this point still needs to be reinforced. Remember that you are a human being, not a machine. You may pride yourself on being able to work long hours, never taking a holiday and putting your company before your own health and well-being (and that of your family). But be very clear that you cannot do this forever. Sooner or later your health will give up and you will no longer be in control. Burnout is a one-way ticket, so be sensible. It’s smart to look after yourself. Work reasonable hours, keep the weekends sacred, leave early one evening a week and build in an exercise schedule. Not only will this help you keep effective, it will make you easier to be around and probably prolong your career.

5. Continuous learning and reflection
Adaptability and being able to flex your style as your company or situation changes are critical. Seeking feedback, identifying your development needs, and monitoring your own progress are all vital if you are to develop as a leader and a person. Lasting behavioural change requires time, patience, dedication, and support, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. One of the best things you can do to support yourself is to give yourself time and space to reflect: try to schedule a meeting with yourself for an hour each week for reflection.

Posted in Business Manager | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

See the unseen

Posted by sureshkrishna on August 18, 2009

Few points from a post i read somewhere on a blog…

  • Employees are afraid to speak up: “People are very deferential to those at senior levels and they’re afraid to be the bearers of bad news”.  Also, if playing the blame game happens a lot within the work environment, employees might hesitate to mention their own mistakes for fear of repercussions.
  • Gatekeepers block information: These are the employees who help senior executives manage the flow of information. While these staff members are invaluable for helping senior managers streamline their work, “gatekeepers can often filter out and be an impediment to key news about problems getting to senior executives”.
  • Isolation: “Many executives don’t get out to the front lines and see what’s authentically going on. They may have a townhall meeting type thing, but often those are fairly staged events, and they aren’t truly finding out what’s happening out there on the ground.”
  • Managers don’t want to hear problems, only solutions: Many managers essentially instruct their employees, “don’t tell me about the flood, build me an arc.” While it’s good when lower level employees can provide possible solutions, this is still the wrong message to send. “What if your employees see something very serious, but don’t have the expertise to solve it? Are they supposed to stay quiet?”.
  • Data Corruption : Due to the fear of Bosses and Fear of Failures many middle level and senior level managers manipulate the data to be pretty. When they see issues cooking in future, they try to cover it temporarily and just wait for the big explosion. This is the time that they have a big blame-game.
  • Employee Responsibilities : Some organizations typically feel that everyone should do everything. This sounds simple but very frustrating and pathetic at the work and implementation. A job should define the set of Responsibilities and Accountability for certain tasks. When there is no owner of a task, a person who is doing it always looks to complete the task as soon as possible and take the next task. And very often there is no interest in a task as that’s not your’s. In such teams people get frustrated very soon and before anyone knows the team is no more.
  • Unplanned Manager : This sounds like a paradox. It is assumed belief that the managers are good planners. But not all of them. Some really suck at planning and they make their team members to run on toes 24/7. Professionals understand that often they need to work extra to meet deadlines and work on weekends. But if it continues for a long time, everyone’s personal and professional life gets effected. An unplanned manager can make your life hell.

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Dont blame Eclipse if you cant train your users !!!

Posted by sureshkrishna on August 29, 2007

This article is some thing that i want to write for a long time and i am writing it now :).  For reasons that we all know, many organizations have adopted Eclipse either as IDE for product development, ot IT customizes and offers it to the developers/users. Thats nice to hear….and i also see so mnay support calls and tickets to the IT and Sales guys, its very frustrating to educate some one over the phone or by mail.

Some of the Frequently Asked Questions :

  • Business Users  (still users ….)
    • Why should i use the workspace ?
    • Where are the projects created ?
    • Eclipse is hogging my CPU and Memory consumption
    • I found a useful plugin. How can i update a plugin ?
    • Where should i enter the license for this plugin ?
    • If an error occurs in eclipse, where should i look ?
    • Whats an error log ?
    • Whats a View and Perspective ? Where should i look for them …
    • When i am editing a file, why does it say that a file is changed on file system….
    • Where are preferences and properties ? Are they specific to a project ?
    • I want to open an existing project, i dont see that option (refering to Project Import)
    • Why cant i add/modify anything in the “Outline View” 🙂
    • Documentation and Help does not come with the installation
    • I want to develop c code, edit xmls etc…. can i do that in Eclipse
    • How do i know the version numbers of the plugins that i use ?
    • Should i set any environment variables….
  • Product Managers / Executives
    • Does eclipse work on Linux and Mac ?
    • I want to have a similar interface as Web 2.0 (all nice and cool effects…)
    • Should we train all our users on Java ?
    • Eclipse …. Its open source right…. is it reliable ?
    • If some thing goes wrong, whom should i blame 🙂

 And by now you know what i am talking about. I have had several problems in dealing with these kind of questions. You are quite lucky if all of your users, execs, etc…are in one single geo location and in one single office. But i am quite sure that many of the projects are not like this. We have development, sales, marketing and R&D divisions spread out and some times probably even different languages too :).

In many of the cases that i have seen, users are FORCED to use the tools and IDEs right from the day one. Now users try to get the every possible reason NOT to use it. I dont blame them, some times its frustrating to attend some of the support calls and trying to explain what a view and perspective is over the phone, but… You got to do what you got to do.

After all these years i see that there are definately obvious reason why you get these kind of questions.

Some of my recommendations for all those who want to roll out a Eclipse Application / RCP tools.

  • Executives / Product Managers
    • Any organization spends huge bucks on their tools and IDEs. This is a fact. You dont have the luxury of changing the tools every now-and-then. You got to choose some thing and thats gonna stay for a long time. So, please DO spend some time in getting to know eclipse on the ground level.
    • Eclipse + Open Source does not mean that there is no quality in software / its just for academics / just a Java IDE.
    • Dont ever think even with a commercial tool / IDE, you can get the things rectified in a super light years fast :).  I am sure that in reality that never happens, we raise the tickets, attach the logs, explalin the problem to the support, do some iterations and the finally…. you get some good or bad news. Does it ring bells…..
    • Before you take any decision on the Product Architecture and Product Suite, please DO consult some experts in eclipse to know what you are doing makes sense or not. The companies that i saw use Eclipse as one of the puzzle peices in the product suite.
    • You have to know what is possible and what is NOT possible. As an example… WEB 2.0 and Ajax kind of special and cool effects are nice, but please dont try to bring them into the Eclipse IDE/Applicaiton/Product. You just need to understand that an IDE is an IDE and WEB is a WEB 🙂 .
    • When you invest money on Eclipse, its not only as an IDE but also as an Application, as a RCP Product, Framework to build other applications, Data Integration Tools, etc… so know what eclispe can offer to you before you say anything.
  • Bussiness users / Developers  /Newbies…
    • If you are not a developer and never ever worked with an IDE, please do take a Training. Its worth a life time than getting frustrated with some small issues.
    • If Eclipse is delivered to you as a RCP application, there are two aspects of looking into the features. First is to see what are the features that RCP application provides, and second is to see what parts of eclipse features are available. Always understand that any RCP application or Eclipse IDE is made from Eclipse Plaltform (in many cases). So its important to know what you get by default and what you get from your own companies plugin distribution.
    • Ask your IT manager to arrange for a training and get the Yogic Knowledge 🙂

Posted in Business Manager, Eclipse, Eclipse Performance, IT User, Plug-ins, Plugin, RCP | 1 Comment »