Tuesday, August 30, 2005

...theoretical frameworks vs experience...

...Theoretical frameworks can be very helpful in raising a manager’s awareness and understanding, but research shows that managers learn most from reflecting on experience.

Reflection is the process of thinking that helps turn experience into learning.

Learning from experience and reflection is easier if the manager works in a climate where
a)mistakes are seen as learning opportunities – not things to be covered up in order to avoid blame
b)facilitative questions get asked e.g. “what is there for us to learn from this situation?” and “what do we need to do differently in future to improve the way we do things?”

It is also helpful not to make the kind of judgements that conclude change is impossible. Yet this is very common, and leaves people at all levels feeling they are helpless victims of their own personality! Managers do not learn effectively from experience if they think like victims.

...meeting with executive director...

...to tell or not to tell...

my ED doesnt know anything about what is goin in ciast; i only found out during yesterdays meeting. i was called back to office for a meeting with him about resources. i was asked, why do we need so many more resources in the project? isnt 15 ppl more than enuff?

i took over the board and drew up what was happening in ciast; our resource plan and who are still in the team. i have only 5 programmers with me. out of which, 3 have to be parked under the management reports modules development, 2 parked under implementation(to travel around malaysia to implement the application), 2 to be parked under support team. so where do i get more people to get the project done and over with? i have to plan something soon....

few things to put in mind:
1. people do not want to do the things over and over again. so, park ppl under different job scopes so they will learn.
2. appreciate ppl and tell them their career path in the company and help them achieve their goal.
3. give them ownership of what they are doing. cos nobody ever washes a rented car!

my new project manager is comin in on sept 1. now, my concern is, whats the expectation of this new pm? how can we work with him? shall we adapt to him or him adapting to us? well, for a pm and in that position, his main objectives for the first few months is PERFORMANCE. so he will do anything to increase his kpi. and proof to the management that he can do it. and can do even more. will we be sacrificed for his kpi increment?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

...trainings i attended yesterday...

...i attended 2 1/2 very short but knowledgeable "training" yesterday. this is what happened...

session 1 :: 4.00pm - 5.00pm :: ciast
my project manager conducted a short training for me - project management. there are 4 parts to the training. he only managed part 1 to 3.

3 main things to lookout for in project management - SCOPE, COST, TIME. usually management will push for COST - the cheapest best possible ways. customer will push for SCOPE - they want everything in the first rollout. and project managers will go for TIME - meeting deadlines! if all 3 parties dont come to an agreement on where to focus on, then all will be stucked in the middle - which is the no way out syndrome. so, how do we come to a consensus of where we are?

WBS and PRINCE. WBS - work breakdown structure. PRINCE - forgot the name.
WBS - breaking down the project in task that needs to perform. and each task is further break down into more task.
PRINCE - more towards product side. the break down of modules based. not by task. example, module 1, module 2, etc
then he told me the difference - WBS is what we are doing in TMS - project based. while PRINCE is what the zlab is doing, breakingdown into modules based - ERM, EIM, etc...

Crtical Path Methodology (CPM)
Calculation of the dates and stuff. Concept of Earliest StartDatevPossible, Latest FinishingDate Possible. how to calculate the delay time, the project duration, working backwards in the calculation, etc...

session 2 :: 8.10pm - 8.40pm :: bgf

alex gave a short training on the levels of awareness and some urgent/important management training.

the 4 levels of awareness
1. you do not know what you do not know
2. you know what you do not know
3. you know what you know
4. you dont need to know what you already know

unconscious, incompetent :: 1
conscious, incompetent :: 2
conscious, competent :: 3
unconscious, competent :: 4

if you do not know what you do not know, then that person might be called stupid. hahaha. if i know what you do not know, i am in charge.

the 4 levels can be explained in a way that - driving car; we are in level 4 of awareness.
we have to identify which level are we in while performing a task. once we have identify which level we are in, then we can know which level is our counterpart is in. by knowing that, then our goal is to bring our counterpart to the level which is the same as ours, so that a consensus can be made.

urgent vs important
what is urgent and important, the 4 quadrants of urgency and importance.
1. urgent, important
2. not urgent, important
3. urgent, not important
4. not urgent, not important

if we do enuff no 2, we wouldnt arrive at no 1.
if everything is at no 1, what we can do is NEGOTIATE.

what to negotiate on? MONEY, RESOURCES, TIME (almost the same as the project management one - COST, SCOPE, TIME)

if all are NON NEGOTIABLE, we SET EXPECTATIONS. like in my project lar, all also non negotiable.

session 3 :: 7.30pm - 8.00pm :: kanna curry house
a short chat with aaron. a wonderful talk about life.

an interesting day to have learnt so much from all the gurus.

Monday, August 22, 2005

...i am still still tired...

...got this from a fren's blog...

Passionboundless enthusiasm
Strengthcapacity or potential for effective action
Mutually exclusiveunable to be both true at the same time

do we assign people based on what we think their strengths are? or do we allow them to choose their own job scopes based on their passion? how far do strength and passion intersect? or are they mutually exclusive? Do we assume that someone’s passion is never their strength, vice versa? how do we set the balance between personal development and organizational excellence? how can we compromise between project effectiveness and personal satisfaction? how can we align strengths and passions in order to bring about an organization of inspired individuals that love what they do?

a question that i have been pondering for so many years.

i believe that my passion will drive to the strengthening of my strength. with passion i can drive it towards my strength but with strength, it will not drive my passion. with passion, it will drives me to go another step further, but with strenght it will only takes me as far as i want to go.

...i am still tired...

...i am still tired...

what i am goin to do today is to stand up and face all the challenges with confidence and ensure that things goes well. i am a responsible kind of person and i will stand up to face the challenges as they come. yes, i am tired. yes, i am sick. yes, i feel demotivated. and yes, i feel depress. and everything seems to be out and against me.

but that will not stop me from standing up to bring the team to the other side of the shore and taste glory! i will show you my commitment, even though you dont gimme any support!

i will be ok soon...

...i am tired...

...basically, i am tired. i feel down and miserable. many reason, one main one being not getting the support from the management in the company.

i am supposed to be the senior system analyst for this project. but my project manager screw up big time, rather i should say, didnt do the things that he is supposed to do to to his perspective, which i do not know what the heck is his perspective. things seems to be so easy from where he is looking from. and things seems to be like the whole world crumbling down on me, from my perspective. ok, so the point is, the executive director wants me to take over his job. but on the contratry, a new project manager is coming in. so, how? i oso dunno how?

but, why am i so depress and demotivated? firstly, i do not understand what the management is trying to do? i talked to another project manager today and i told her, basically i do not know what is appropriate to say or what is not appropriate to say. she then told me that being a project manager is not easy. pm get scolding when staff is leaving, blaming pm for not doin a good job in maintaining the staff, wherelese, the management is not givin any support to make the staff stay. the fact is, isnt this supposed to be done from the management side? the thing is, we have done our role to motivate, to talk and to guide my staff, then out of no where, management say somehting STUPID, then the whole morale goes down. whatever i said so long, doesnt mean anything anymore.sucks! so, who should bear this responsibilities.

i asked her, should i bring this matter out to the exec. director? or should i keep quiet about it? she told me, things that you can manage, manage it properly. things in which u cant do anything about it, leave it to ur manager to get it done. he is still the project manager. i am a system analyst, acting as project manager all these while, taking over his role and making sure deadlines are met. but, the thing is, i need to manage my own stuff now. i feel tired managing things

another depressing case, i have a colleague who is dem good. she does a good job and can perform well. but she is leaving mid of sept. one reason being, hr lied to her. when she joined, hr say she got no .net experience so her position is only programmer. but subsequent ppl who joined, also without .net experience, gets the position as analyst programmer (higher pay ler) but she is not.after appraisal, she voiced out again, but still, hr say, stick back to policy. i was like, what is hr role in all these things?

which brings me to another question, what is hr role in human resources department? when a staff resign, when a staff is not performing well, who is supposed to do something about it? should the project manager fire ppl or is it the hr to issue the warning letter?

well, today i just felt tired and tired. all the things tht alex told me yesterday was like, i dunno how to make it work now. being transparent or hide some stuff to avoid scolding. let me go back and think and think and update later...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

...take my quiz...

...inside jyon...wakakaz...
something rather interesting from the incovar team...
...check it out...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

...cutoff date for f.a.t...

...tomorrow is the cutoff date for the fat aka final acceptance test. meaning, i told everyone that i want to see almost 0 bugs in our bugs tracking system. almost zero arr, not zero.

i just checked and found that, most of them already reached zero bugs, except for a few, one with 17, another with 3, another with 22, another with 6, another with 4. well, hopefully by tomorrow 4pm which is my cutoff date, i will only have less than 5 for each.

i cant fail the fat now. uat is done. uat is completed. and now, fat, i hope it will be as smooth.

arghh...i need to clear my leave. i still have 25 more days of leave to clear. i wanna go on leave...colleagues goin penang on sept 1 and 2. wakakkz...i will be there!!!

today i put a IR in my YM status. and everyone start asking what is IR. infra red...wakakaz...then when i told some of my colleagues here in shah alam, they started putting the same status. haih...ir - i resign!! a term coined by matthew, another colleague of mine...waakakakz...

Thursday, August 4, 2005


...i was in marriot putrajaya yesterday, 4 august for our iitc conference, EMTECH - education management through technology. a huge big event, with a turnout of almost 250++ crowd (not ler like microsoft event so big) but for iitc, its big enuff lor.

most of us were there in marriot. our principal sponsors is none other than the big giant microsoft, with the big boss of microsoft south east asia also here to join us, and also microsoft malaysia big boss was here too. the event was also jointly sponsored by hp...wakakaz. but one migh assume, got many freebies lor, yea, alot, got bag, got the thermos mug, got stress ball, diary, many more, but nothing for us the organiser. cheh! but anyway, met alot of people there, my previous project punya clients - inti college, many datuks and tan sri, etc...

so, since this is good opportunity i went into the track and listen to the conference. many issues were discussed - best practises in education management, technolgy in education, usage of instant messaging in lecture hall, mindset changing, and they showcase a video of a lecture room where studetns are all equipped with notebooks and students use IM to message lecturer and ask question, and they don need to put up their hands and shout loud loud, there is one statement - is technology limiting what we can do through education..wakakaz...

anyway, some nice photos taken in the conference...

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

...my gawd...

...ok, back after a long silence...

these few weeks have been so very the tired with my uat. i was so hoping that after my uat, i will be FREE.FREE.FREE, but aiks, wtf even more things to do.
compilation of all the issues from my snag list is already killing me, and assigning job and stuff is like gawd, why still got so many things one. haih...

yesterday i was at mohr again for presentation. i was told that i need to show the project owner of the change request that was asked and see if we can implement it or not. to my horror, i was in a room of about 25 people, coming from all direction in malaysia looking at me present. the session was so so formal until like parliament where i have to stand up and greet, selamat pagi yb tuan pengerusi...waliao...and all my users are there. all eyes were on me. and when i open my mouth, they stared at me like, i am accusing them something. shit, wtf. i dowan to spoil the relationship there. and my position was like so wtf. i need to do something. i asked my manager softly, pleaseee save me, but he was like doh! so, i have to save myself.

i started my presentation with, greetings and etc, then i said of our objectives of being here again, and highlighted to everyone that all the feedbacks that i wrote on the paper(as distributed out) are all VALID feedback by such and such person and that i thank them very much for their contribution and ideas and that what they have suggested are good feedback that will help everyone else in future when they use the system, as their feedback will make the system more user friendly and good. i got stuck in many of the words, using them again and again, but wtf the users are all so doh. first few minutes was dissastrous.

wtf man, i was sked like shit. hands trembling cos sked make user hate me. as i talk and talk, i began to feel more comfortable and i started making compliments (which i learnt from the book) to all the users whose name were mentioned in my listing of issues. here on, they were getting comfortable with me and in times when i stumble and fall, they helped me out by searhing for the correct number from the list of what i am sayin (me too sked, cudnt see properly).

there were some stages where everyone was like so shit quiet. i told my manager, quick help me, say something. but, in such short notice, i realised that no one can help me except myself. so, i mar say things to control the situation and like, talk louder to show my melancholy side - "ok, can we all decide on this issue now as to whether the issue raised is required to be done now or later?" tuan pengerusi was like, suddenly shocked by wht i say, and wrap up my question by saying, "macam mana? cadangan yang diberikan oleh pihak iitc ok tak? kalau ok, kita teruskan dengan issue seterusnya". then everyone agreed and said ok. phew, tuan pengerusi also like lost and help me to speed up their decision making...wakakakz...

so, since i was not at the winning side most of the time, i had to give them things that will make them happy. so, i told them, in all the issues there, alost 150+, there are priority 1, 2 and 3 stuff. can we all agree to postpone priority 2 and 3 to later stage and focus on priority 1 first. and i will complete all issues relating to students attendance, allowance and discipline. plus i am giving you those issues of hrdb/psmb as well as the duty/task issues cos, (this is what i said) cos i know it will affect your business processes, and i know puan sharida's workload will be reduced tremendously if we are able to rush it out. not forgetting pn azlina, cik azizah and puan norhayati's workload too. cos, the last thing i want is to add in more load to the users when we deliver the things in mid of august. wakakaz...the tuan pengerusi said, terima kasih kerana faham kehendak kita and masalah yang kita hadapi sekarang, dan kita amat appreciate lar, effort iitc dalam hal ini.

waliao, with this, relationship is getting better, but a bit more work on my side. but at least, i did well infront of the parliament style presentation. phew! after that, i called mj and asked for direction to alamanda for a shopping...wakakz...

now, more work to do onli...haih...

so, in this situation i learnt something.

1. when in deep shit like this, u have to find ways to get out - YOURSELF
2. compliment people for their effort and ideas. they will feel happy.
3. if no one dared to say anything to conclude, u have to take charge of the situation.
4. manage scope properly. dont over promise things we cant do.
5. smile all the time.