20 tips to become successful and live life happily
 

Sandeep Jain

  1. Have a habit of spending lesser than what you earn.
  2. Do appreciate at least THREE people every single day.
  3. Never hesitate to accept your mistakes. Feedback is the way to improve and get better hence never shoot the messenger instead hug him.
  4. Don’t make fun of someone’s dream. If people wouldn’t have unrealistic dreams, you are probably not living the life that you have today.
  5. Sometimes, give a chance to a person to get ahead in life who is standing behind you.
  6. See the sunrise every day whenever it’s possible.
  7. When it is extremely urgent then only borrow anything from other people. Do ensure to return that in minimum possible time.
  8. If you want to know something from somebody, do ask twice with discretion.
  9. Never allow your enemy and debt to get bigger.
  10. Always have faith in God. Never forget to pray, as there is so much power in prayer.
  11. Live in present. That’s why it’s called a gift.
  12. Mind your own business.
  13. Time is the most precious. Make use of it wisely.
  14. Whatever you have, you should learn to be happy with it.
  15. Never say something bad about someone. Talking ill of anybody is like a hole in the boat.  Whether it’s small or big, it would sink the boat for sure.
  16. Always think positive. The law of attraction does work.
  17. Every person is born with at least one talent. All you have to do is to identify and bring that talent in front of the rest of the world.
  18. There is nothing called small work in the world. Every work is great. For instance just think about the work that you are about to perform, if you don’t do, what is going to be the impact on the rest of the world.
  19. Take risks in life in order to be successful. Not taking risk itself is the biggest risk in life as you are not going to get anything
  20.  Read at least a book every month

 

Don’t take life too seriously, you are going to die anyway

It’s good to postpone sometime – Life is worth it
 

I never knew that upbringing of a toddler will be that much laborious and tedious task furthermore requires maximum utilization of your saved energy, patience and quick decision making to say “Yes” and “No “all the time.

But today I was in so much hurry to wind up all my routine household chores and sending my son back to school, the reason behind the lady who is one among my favorite female personality I have ever met and her name is “Anupama”. Whose meaning in Sanskrit is “Incomparable”,” excellent” and she has truly justified with her name. Anupama’s presence in my life is sometimes as a mentor, many times as a true companion, and all the time as my motivational guru or speaker with whom I never hesitate to share anything yet. Though she is quite older to me, her symbolic big brown eyes on a radiant oval-shaped face and thick long waist-length hair are peculiar oomph attributes to enhance her impeccable personality.

She reached my place at the expected time. I gave her a warm welcome and took her inside the living room where she made herself relaxed on my blue color cozy sofa fully loaded with big cushions. I could not stop gazing at her until she intervened by asking to have a glass of water. I just moved to the kitchen like a jet speed and brought some homemade snacks, fruits, water and tea whose preparation was already done prior to her arrival at my place as I don’t want any interruptions while having our conversation. While placing all the stuff on the table, I was amazed to see that she is still smiling with “breath a sigh of relief” as if she has accomplished some herculean task. She is good enough to sense my rising inquisitiveness and reverted “It’s good to postpone sometime!!”Now this reply was more bewildered before I could say something she continued, “I knew it Prem is a wonderful guy”. Now this time my astonishment has reached a peak just like mercury of BP instrument suddenly rises up while measuring. Before I utter a word she gasped a long breath and started…….

Prem was my neighbor and I always treated him like my younger brother who also loved to see dreams and thought of their fulfillment. His cheerful smile and “Happy go lucky” behavior made him different in the crowd. He had always been a meritorious student as well as a good athlete built up who hardly skipped any extracurricular activity organized by our society or his school. His parents admitted him at one among the famous and prestigious school in Mumbai whose handsomely fabricated fees was more than sufficient for the livelihood of three to four middle-class family for an entire year. Initially, all went goody-goody like a typical Bollywood masala movie where everything gets changed once the villain’s entry is made. There was a villain in Prem’s life also but who that I would tell you later on.

Prem’s father who had been associated with a Private Bank as Managing Director post and earning hefty package with lucrative Bonus and a substantial amount of power and perquisites. Prem’s mother is a practicing lawyer in the High Court and trustee of an NGO which is mainly working for socially deprived women and small kids who are abandoned by their parents. As per my knowledge she had been working on high profile cases with an intense legal issue. Prem’s parents had been a consistent topper of their batches and doing very well in their individual profession. Prem was a very loving and adorable kid who never troubled so much to their family and always spread a beautiful smile on his face. He quite often visited my home whenever his parents were out of town regarding their work, to have some chit chat with me and playing with my pet “Tiger” a German shepherd dog. However I never found him complaining about his parents regarding their busy schedules and unavailability on various occasions like his Birthday, Parents meet at school or Annual function. Although they kept on enquiring towards his academic performance, attentiveness in the class, and most important the “Mark Sheet”. My flat was adjacent to his flat on the 22nd story segregated by thick wall thus I could hear frequent sounds of reprimanding and screaming from his flat which assuming their personal matter I usually ignored. In our duplex apartment, there is a beautiful sea-facing balcony with a sight of green hills and waterfalls in rains. It has always been my favorite place to have morning tea and sometimes evening also, as I usually reach home late due to work pressure. We both had shared the same balcony with concrete partition and now it is fully covered with overspread of Money Plant branches. There was always some mixed exotic fragrance of flowers flowing from their balcony to my balcony and soothed my mind and body, I must say good fragrance not only works like a tranquilizer but responsible for physical well being also maybe that’s why aromatherapy is so much prevailing nowadays. Prem’s mother told me about his fondness for flowers and very often brings different flower plants at home. But I would call such practice as a passion bringing great rejoice and ecstasy on his face even he asked me also to adorn my balcony with some variety of flowers something that he called Petunia, Geranium and, and Fuchsia. On the contrary, I find myself fumbling while pronouncing those flower species but I purposely turned him down by saying tiger will spoil them because I don’t want any issue hampering his studies and gave a clue to his parents. Till 9th standard, all went well but the moment he promoted to 10th situation got altogether altered. Prem’s parents started enforcing immense pressure and strict rules to be followed pertaining to his studies. From the beginning of the year to the end, he spent most of the time in a coaching institute, self-study and confining himself in his room.

Finally, Board exams were over and Prem’s Mother came to my place with Box of sweets, she told me Prem has scored 85% in Board though she was disappointed with his performance in science and maths who were the culprit of escaping his overall aggregate to cross the border of 90%. Eventually, he had been forced to opt Science & maths stream in 11th standard to achieve a sheer dream of their esteemed parents to become an IIT engineer. But it is said, “Reluctance and apathy will only take you frustration and anguishment” that’s what had seen with Prem now. A volcano had started forming inside him and waiting for an opportunity to erupt. Now I barely got a chance to see Prem or interacted with him. But even those few acquaintances were enough to assume his deep pain. Afterward, I was also busy with my next seminar which was going to be held in a different city and simultaneously was badly tied up with my New Book Launch. However whole year had passed and as it was anticipated he got marks on a threshold to move into the next class. On the other hand, as per my information, Prem’s parents maintained good repo with school authority and staff which could be the reason he had not been failed. Now again the battle started with the 12th Board exam and I still could not understand why Board exams are over-exaggerated and overstressed by us. If you are also in under a lot of stress, you may want to check out products from sites such as cbdarmour.co.uk. From now he was completely different Prem whom I knew earlier. His rugged hair, puffy eyes, and dull face were indicating like he has not taken a good sleep for long. Parent’s pressure and expectations were increasing day by day as if he was going to fight the IIIrd world war. Contrarily my work commitments and continuous seminar made me so engrossed that I have almost forgotten about Prem. Finally, Board exams were over and result declaration Day arrived as expected he got failed in science& maths subjects. Although the result was not shared with anyone but loud scolding noise mixed with frustration and muffled whimper revealed everything. I saw Prem’s parents leaving home in anger and agony. However, I could not dare to go to Prem’s house and console him but trust me I really wanted to meet him once that time. Somewhere in-between I was also feeling bad for not look into this matter conscientiously, which has got now worsened. Meanwhile, I just went to my balcony to have some fresh air holding along with my newspaper. Instantaneously I could hear deep mourning and weeping sound coming from Prem’s Balcony and made me anxious. Hurriedly I arranged my coffee table close to the wall and adjust the chair on the table so that I could peep out in his balcony what’s wrong is happening. But the other side was frenetic what I had seen was completely unimaginable. Prem was half stood on the railing and bent down his upper half body but what he was looking for was my biggest concern. I am sure he is not doing this stunt casually that’s for sure and this sudden event made frozen my blood instantly as if the temperature drastically went down below ‘zero’. For a second my eyes were remained wide open with the half-open mouth I wanted to scream but somehow managed to keep mute myself. It was pretty clear Prem was trying to commit suicide and any wrong step could have been fatal. Fortunately, I have had a habit of carrying my Phone and this recalled me to make a call.I dialed his number silently and his new white color sleek pattern I-phone 7plus started ringing which was gifted by his father last month on his birthday. My heart was throbbing so badly that I could feel the heartbeat and seemed it would jump out at any time and get burst. It was my first live confrontation with a person committing suicide thus it was obvious. I was just hoping he could pick my call for once plz….

Since childhood, I always love to play Rubix cube where you have to try different permutations and combinations to resolve it similarly that “keep on trying” continuously coming into my mind. I did not want to give up and just tried, tried, and tried. Prem was standing like a Bungee Jumper who was about to take a dive but it was not for fun not for an adrenaline rush and not for excitement. He just wanted to run away from all his grief and problem, he wanted to end up his life and embrace death forever. However I reached on 7th attempt to redial his number at the same time he leaned ahead, Oh no he was jumping as I thought but against my scary imagination he raised his hand to take out his phone from the rear pocket of jeans and stammered “Hello”…

I replied casually, Hey “How are you Prem” and in spite of waiting for his response meanwhile jumped on another question, how are you doing??

As if I wanted to delay his action by keeping him busy in conversation and then there was a deep silence like “the calm before the storm”. After a long pause, he broke out with sobbing and crying but I let it go away this “rupture of damn sufferance”.

“Didi, I can’t take it anymore. I am fed up with this humiliation and frustration. Please tell me, How many times I should confess that I don’t understand science maths, I don’t want to become an engineer and I really hate to do what I don’t like and I am not good at that. I have lost my patience and willpower both by trying, trying, and trying harder. Every failure is worse than the previous one and wipes out my all efforts and now my mind and my body both gave up, I am feeling so hurt from my soul so there is no point to live in this materialistic world, what’s the point to survive. All he conveyed in one breathe. I have never seen such a massive conviction at this adolescent age. The most saddening part was that his parents still did not understand his hardship.”

Now it was my turn to speak and I did not want to let it go away though I had to be very careful. I replied calmly, Prem I truly understood your resentment and I will not take much of your time. Just give me 30 seconds and in those 30 seconds if you don’t find justifiable to survive then carry on…

I knew what I said could be dangerous but I knew that even if I succeeded to escape him, for now, this will not be an end because till the time your heart is filled with misery your brain is trapped by frustration such step could be reversed again.

He was quite ok with our deal and murmured, go ahead. I felt great and continued, I will ask you three easy questions and an answer should be given either “YES” or “No”, no complications anymore.

He nodded and I started with the first question, do you want to die?

He said, “Yes”

The second question, what if all your problems get resolved then still you prefer to die??

“No”, He said (as if he wants to say who the hell wants to die when he has no problem at all)

The third question and the last, I would resolve all your troubles but you have to keep faith in me, Will you??

He reluctantly first then said unwillingly, “Yes”…..

Yes, that’s what I want from him, keeping my small victory hiding from him.

Ok, Prem, you have to abide by your answer before moving to any next action. Now please open the door and let me in your house now. He was still wondering what has happened and why he is bothered to listen to me but indulging his thought in another direction, this time I said more loudly, open the door, Prem.

He said, Ok..Come and the time taken to reach towards his flat was merely two to three seconds.

For instance, I felt like crossing the railway track at the same time train is ahead of me to crush me down. I stared at him, he was totally messing with red swollen eyes overfilled with tears and he was still whimpering. Without utter a word I directly went to the kitchen and brought a glass of water. While holding the glass his hands were still shivering but he could manage to gulp few sips in one breath. I asked him to sit and then I said, listen, Prem, I know you faced immense hardship which caused you pain frustration and hatred but the path you have chosen to get rid over that was not correct rather this will only lead you and your family to great devastation. Instead of taking too much of your time and giving you life lesson speech let’s have a simple deal. A Three Day Deal. Furthermore waiting for his reply I kept myself continue to speak. I have some work commitments in the next three days which I want you to accomplish in the meanwhile I surely resolve all your troubles and escape you out from all these. I knew it he had no option to negotiate thus just nodded his face to say “Yes”. I told him to get ready tomorrow by 9’o clock sharp and the rest of the things will be explained by my assistant who takes care of my work schedules, meetings, and upcoming seminars.

The same day I met with Prem’s parents and explained to them the vulnerability of the situation and how to clear out from this. I had also revealed his deep interest in becoming a florist and a list of colleges which best suit their son. Initially, they were in deep shock as quite obvious I had presumed, with Prem’s drastic step. Anxiety and fear just have taken out all the courage to say something and what would have happened if I would have not intervened at the right time and stopped him. They silently provided all the approval to fulfill prem’s dream to become florist without any discussions as if they just want their son at that moment none other than anything in the world. From the other side Prem’s three-day task had begun, next day morning he came to my flat on time seemed he already prepared himself for the tasks no matter whatever it is….

I narrated in from of him, Prem you got three tasks in the following three days and how to execute, will be explained at task spot only.

After Three Days….

When I confronted Prem, He was no longer an old Prem who was completely shattered, whatever sufferings and pain he had gone through were wiped off and he was enlightened to persuade new beginning. He came forward and touched my feet with full of gratitude, tears rolled down from his cheeks and soaked my toes but this time I did not bother about his tears because he just unleashed all the negativity and agony through his tears.Didi, now I came to know why did you send me to accomplish those tasks.

“First day when I was taken at my first task spot I was surprised to see it was an old age home.I was instructed to spend a whole day there and had words with 20 people for minimum of 20 minutes and write down my experience with everyone. When I entered inside with shaky legs I could realize only I am not alone in this world who has suffered. Moreover, when I personally interacted with 20 people, I learned every person’s problem is worse than others but they never prefer to choose the path of an end or destruction. They taught me happiness is a state of mind which if you wish could exist all the time with you no matter what the damn circumstances knocking your door to bang you out. The woman there was rejected by their own families, many were sick and counting their last days but failed to steal smile on their faces and made me ashamed for a nonsensical act I was about to commit”!!!

If we would love life with all our hearts it would embrace us back. While cursing our failure and pain we forget to admire all the beautiful things which we already are blessed with. We blew ourselves in the air of negativity to throw out all positive elements of our life…..

After listening all this from Prem’s voice I felt passed with distinction marks in my exam.

Second Day….

“On the second day, I was headed to the orphanage where God’s beloved kids who are unfortunately physically challenged are given shelter and education. It was so heartbreaking to see that those tiny kids never let their physical deformity to dominate their happiness and liveliness. And the most mesmerizing part of my task was giving the speech on “Life and Laugh” with a mere 30 minutes preparation. I really enjoyed with kids with all my heart who taught me, most of the time while regretting what we do not have actually spoiled the fun that actually we could have. My best learning was “why can’t you just be with the flow in spite of whatever circumstances coming in front of you”.

It is truly said that,

“For every blocked path there is an open one

And for every disability, there is an ability one……

Now my ecstasy was on the seventh cloud after hearing all this. I could not resist listening to the third-day experience.

Third-Day….

And the third day was most heartbreaking and saddening. When I was brought to meet a family.

A family who were in deep mourn and sorrow due to the tragic death of their beloved child. He had committed suicide a few months back and left their family members in endless trauma. After meeting and interacting with them I actually realized what a foolish mistake I was about to do and I am fortunate enough that you emerged on the right time and saved my life, saved my family from the pain they would suffer. I don’t have words to show my gratitude and he just bowed down to touch my feet.I patted his shoulder and said prem this just the beginning and you have to go very far… “Chuckles”.

I have some surprise for you now, one more surprise, He exclaimed. I handed over the envelope with

List of floriculture diploma course colleges in Mumbai and said, I have shortlisted few colleges and had a discussion with your parents and obtained their approval to go ahead. He laughed joyously and hugged me tightly. Now you can fly over your dreams and grab them one by one.

After 6 Years…

Prem had completed his Diploma course in floriculture with distinction marks and persuaded his masters also. Simultaneously he opened his florist shop also where an extensive range of flowers, bouquets, arrangements, and cost-effective flower gift basket are sold as well as delivered. He enhanced his services from office decoration, seminars, Business opening to Shop decoration, weddings and various festivals. His mother told me that response is so good that he got tied up with big corporates, Hotels, and Temples also for decoration and regular supply of flowers.

“It is said that creative minds and devoted spirits never needed to be nurtured to find their path”

Same I was seeing with Prem.

Later on, Prem initiated Waste Management Mitigation by his own efforts to curb all the waste flowers and leaves leftovers remained after pooja, decoration, and celebration. Its general practice of maximum Indians to immerse flower residues into the water or keeping underneath a tree after offered it to god or used in holy rituals. Prem’s this new thought not only be helpful to prevent all this but promote the use of waste and recycling process also.

His new mission tagline says, “You take flowers from us, we take waste from you”.

Whatever the waste was accumulated from people is being used to form compost which is an organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming.

At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter known as green waste (leaves, flowers) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months. Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil.

Initially, he started with his area to collect all flowers, fruit scraps and plants waste to make compost using Hot Compost Method. And the most significant thing came out from this compost formation was people here stopped immersing flowers in the pond, lake after being offered to god. This idea is so blossomed up that he started getting orders from relatives neighbors and friends for their personalized gardens, society parks and at home to flourish their plants and enhance the productivity of soil because compost is a great material for garden soil.

His earnings got doubled by selling it and that led to encouraging him to open another branch. Meanwhile, he got married to a beautiful girl and blessed with two adorable twin daughters. He had bought land outside Mumbai where large varieties of exotic flower species are grown in the supervision of well-trained staff.

Suddenly Anupama’s Phone rang and I could hear Anupama was saying Oh, Hi Prem…Yes yes, I am on my way to your place don’t worry I will be on time. She hung up and said its Prem’s third branch inauguration is there in your locality and that is the purpose of my visit today and I thought we will also have some talk J

It’s his personal desire that the Ribbon cutting ceremony should be done by me and inaugurate the opening of his new branch. We both laughed in rejoice and promise each other to meet again soon.

When I went downstairs to drop Anupama, a carbon black color Audi was waiting to take her to the inaugural function which was sent by Prem.

I must say Prem was fortunate enough out of those thousands of youngsters who hardly got a second chance by life to relive again. As per recent estimates in 2013 alone, 2471suicides (https://scroll.in/article/694364/) and in 2014 alone, 8,032 student suicides were reported, out of which, in only 30% of these cases, failure in exams were attributed in the country. A common cause for concern is the pressure from parents to do well in national board examinations, especially for class XIIth, before finishing school. As scores in these exams often determine college admissions and subsequent employment opportunities, students aged 16-18 are often subjected to undue pressure at home to succeed.

Major causes of students suicide in India are Poor Education System, Forced career choices and lack of speaking up in front of parents’ guardians or friends.

I still don’t understand why Parents, across all income groups, are petrified about letting their child do anything less than engineering or other conventional courses. Awareness about new subjects may be there, but acceptability is missing. Arts is still considered a poor cousin of science subjects, even though it offers plenty of interesting and even well-paying career options. Just a little out-of-the-box thinking is needed. We need to allow our children to dream.”

 

 

Have you guys ever plant a tree/sow seed if not then each one of you must do this beautiful activity before becoming a parent. To grow a beautiful plant a seed needs fertile soil adequate sunlight and an optimum quantity of water and pesticides to fight all the adversities to turn itself a big green tree. I am sure we all are certainly aware of this fact then how come we forget the same one to be followed while nurturing our own child. The biggest misery of life is while knowing everything we tend to pretend ourselves and our sheer ignorance and our own selfishness cause major pitfall in our child’s growing seeds of dreams and unfulfilled desires. Please don’t set too many expectations and pressure which further carried away to your kid as a burden. Being a Parent you must have decided something good for your kid but while keep putting this on their shoulder making sure you don’t miss something extraordinary which was about to come from them.

 

“Wonderful things are not created rather cultivated and nurtured by Brilliant People

Who are indeed lucky enough to follow their dreams only”

How do you pass SAFe SPC Certification with high score (Implementing SAFE) – Download questions for free
 
SPC 5.0

SPC 5.0

The SPC is a SAFe program consultant (Also called as Implementing SAFe). This is probably the highest level of certification SAFe has and undoubtedly highly valued in the software industry.  I am fortunate to have it cracked within 3 days of effort plus 4 days of a class. I definitely would like to write this down so that it would become easy and you don’t need to wonder how would I go about not just passing but scoring high marks.

I feel you should first decide whether you truly want to do it. If you just want to add another certification to your profile, probably I would say you don’t need to go for it.  If you aspire to be an Agile coach and/or know that you would be implementing/supporting SAFe then it’s the perfect thing to go for.

I have cleared a SAFe Program Consultant a couple of weeks ago.  I am going to share tips that would focus more on learning but at the same time, you will clear the exam with an excellent score.

  1. Read the material given by SAFe at least two times. If any concept is not clear then refer to scaleagileframework.com. The explanation there is far better than any other place.
  2. Click on the big picture and understand every item. The better way to do is to click on the item and read about it.
  3. The specific links are given in exam preparation material, read them all at least twice. Create notes only for high-level titles that would help you to connect with questions.
  4. The practice test must be done and if you score less than 80% then you need more preparation.
  5. The exam guide clearly states the most important chapters. The way you determine is based on the number of questions that appear from the respective chapter. Anything above 10% is very imp and every concept should be understood well.
  6. If you need any guidance in terms of how to prepare for exam, you can send an email to me at srsagilechamps@gmail.com . There are no sort cuts but right preparation will yield excellent results. Alternatively if you are on whats app, you can join my group to participate in SAFe discussions                                       https://chat.whatsapp.com/IsMoFcc7znF4y5Y8s131LX
  7. Avoid searching for answers to questions on the internet during the exam.  You may find the question while the answer available on the internet may be wrong.  Study well and go by what you think is right. The questions are prepared with very well thought processes and I am sure you should be able to answer. If you want to score high, trust your judgment. Remember certification doesn’t have lots of value while knowledge does. 
  8. The questions that I found on the internet are

9. I would recommend reading Get SAFe Now book before even you go for training or start reading materials from SAFe.   The book is for beginners and explains the concepts in layman language. The questions after every topic make you think a little deeper.  It helped me a lot to hit high scores in a bunch of certifications I did.

The above is just for basics while if you want to be really confident then I would recommend reading the below book (SAFe distilled 5.0) instead of going through the website and reading random links. This book is organized so well that everything seems to be a story.

I will be adding more blogs with cheat sheets and more informative ideas and content soon

The sample questions available on the internet may help you to prepare further

 

 

Digital Transformation – The Buzzword Simplified – Part 2
 

In my last post, I had quickly given a glance to my readers a brief on Digital Transformation – its definitions and elements. In this post, I will look through the Key approaches involved in the digital transformation journeys

Present and future shifts and changes, leading to the necessity of a faster deployment of a digital transformation strategy, can be induced by several causes. This is often at the same time, on the levels of customer behavior and expectations, new economic realities, societal shifts (e.g. aging populations), ecosystem/industry disruption and (the accelerating adoption and innovation regarding) emerging or existing digital technologies. In practice, end-to-end customer experience optimization, operational flexibility and innovation are key drivers and goals of digital transformation, along with the development of new revenue sources and information-powered ecosystems of value, leading to business model transformations and new forms of digital processes. However, before getting there it’s key to solve internal challenges as well, among others on the level of legacy systems and disconnects in processes, whereby internal goals are inevitable for the next steps. The human element is key in it on all levels: in the stages of transformation as such (collaboration, ecosystems, skills, culture, empowerment etc.) and obviously in the goals of digital transformation. Since people don’t want ‘digital’ for everything and do value human and face-to-face interactions there will always be an ‘offline’ element, depending on the context.

Hence A digital transformation strategy aims to create the capabilities of fully leveraging the possibilities and opportunities of new technologies and their impact faster, better and in more innovative way in the future. A digital transformation journey needs a staged approach with a clear roadmap, involving a variety of stakeholders, beyond silos and internal/external limitations. This roadmap takes into account that end goals will continue to move as digital transformation de facto is an ongoing journey, as is change and digital innovation.

The way we successfully strategize will be based on we ask the right questions and collect right/adequate responses. The illustration below depicts this in a detailed fashion.

Many executives feel like they are viewing a good jigsaw puzzle that they have to finish, and they have a bunch of pieces but they don’t know if they have all the pieces, and they don’t know what the finished picture looks like. As mentioned this doesn’t happen overnight and requires a series of incremental steps. And here the goal or ‘the what, why and how’ becomes a mix of intermediate goals and broader objectives within which they gain more significance.

5 Steps in Digital Transformation

Finally, the reason why we would prefer to speak about accelerated business transformation or, if needed, digital business transformation, is that it’s just a matter of time before no one makes a distinction between digital and physical or offline and online. Customers, for instance, don’t think in these terms at all, nor in the terms of channels.

How to lead a digital transformation

To meet shifting customer expectations, many CIOs are aligning with key executives, making sweeping organizational changes, reskilling employees, setting up innovation labs and experimenting with emerging technologies to meet strategic mandates issued by their CEOs and boards.

One of the first things companies should do in embarking on a digital transformation is answer the critical question: What business outcomes do you want to achieve for customers? It definitely starts   with the business outcomes and the new business models you are going after and working backwards from there. Here, a keen understanding of your customer journey map and lifecycle is key. Consider the process of settling an insurance claim, which typically takes 7 to 14 business days and requires a lot of paper shuffling. Thanks to algorithms and mobile applications, consumers and claims officers can resolve claims in minutes.

Approach to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation hits each industry. But it can also affect all activities, divisions, functions and processes of the organization as it can impact the very business model as such.

CapGemini Consulting was one of the first to come up with the concept of digital transformation and a digital transformation framework as you can see below. The company did so in collaboration with the ‘MIT Center for Digital Business‘ during a three-year study which defined an effective digital transformation program as one that looked at the what and the how.

The McKinsey chart below shows just aspects where digital transformation can play:

  • The (digital) customer experience (as said, de facto a key element with many digital transformations being a mix of customer experience optimization and process improvement – and cost savings).
  • Product and service innovation where, for instance, co-creation models can be used.
  • Distribution, marketing and sales: another usual suspect and in practice an area (along with customer service) that is often one of the earliest areas undergoing digital transformations.
  • Digital fulfillment, risk optimization, enhanced corporate control, etc.

Others we can add include:

  • Intelligent information management (with information, data and the processes they feed being key and a focus on activation).
  • Customer service, customer experience management and contact centers, customer relationship management.
  • Work, human resources, new ways of collaborating, workforce engagement and enablement (agile working, social collaboration, enterprise collaboration, unified communications).
  • Learning and education.
  • Procurement, supply chain management (with the digital supply chain) and supplier relationships.

It’s important to remind that in a digital transformation (and, for that matter digital business) context, all these aspects, functions, processes, etc. are interconnected and silos have less (or no) place, not from a technological perspective but most of all also not from a process and people perspective.

Stay tuned…. Part 3 of this foray, we will look into the tips, key roles and pitfalls to any Digital transformation journey. Please feel free to review my earlier series of posts 

Please feel free to review my earlier series of posts 

Authored by Venugopala Krishna Kotipalli

The Culture Code – Daniel Coyle – A Quick Book Review
 

Figure – what is common among a special Operations Military Unit, a professional movie studio, a Professional Basketball Team, and of course a Gang of Jewel Thieves?

Confused how this most diverse set of groups can have anything in common – The one loud response I could gather was exemplary Team Culture.  Team culture is one single most powerful force to achieve the maximum outcome in any undertaking.

In the Culture Code, Daniel Coyle, takes us deeper into the team-building aspects of some of the leading organizations in the world.

Coyle starts with a definition of culture that’s a little bit different than the norm. He says, “Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are, it’s something you do.” So, what is it that you do? What do people in organizations that create strong cultures do that their peers in other organizations don’t do?

Culture Code - Daniel Coyle

There are three most significant skills at the heart of great teamwork as per the book.

  1. Build safety to make everyone feel comfortable in working together

Safety is an important enabler that allows us to do great work. For example, keeping our day job can help us practice our creativity freely in a side hustle. Similarly, a work environment in which you feel safe in acting as you naturally would and speaking your mind is very conducive to group work. It’s only natural: you don’t want to keep looking over your back all the time, because if you need to, you can never really focus on the task at hand. Anybody could predict the outcomes of negotiations within five minutes of starting a session. That’s because how close we are to our co-workers, whether we mimic their behavior, and look into their eyes, are instant tells of how safe we feel. One good way to make others feel safer is to confirm you understand what they’re telling you by occasionally interjecting affirmations like “uh-huh,” “yes,” “got it,” and so on. Just don’t interrupt them.

  1. Share vulnerability to show no one needs to be perfect

When we share our own flaws with others, something amazing happens. He calls it a vulnerability loop, in which other people detect when we signal vulnerability, thus signal vulnerability too, and thus both parties become closer and trust each other more. Workplaces are usually seen as competitive, especially in the Western world, we think we need to look confident and powerful all the time. But that’s not true. It’s usually the person who takes the first step in admitting they’re not perfect, who’s perceived as a leader, not the one who berates others for being weak.

Vulnerability not just increases trust, it’s also a way to show acceptance: if you admit no one’s perfect, people will feel okay even after making mistakes, which are inevitable in accomplishing a shared goal.

  1. Establish purpose through a common goal and a clear path to get there

Put simply, the purpose is a set of reasons for doing what you do. In the case of a group, it’s the sum of all beliefs and values among your team, as they relate to achieving your common goal. That goal might be something straightforward, like selling the most phones any company has ever sold, but ideally, it’s about something bigger, like making phone users feel special and that they have good taste. Since the goal is in the future, but your group lives in the now, your purpose should be like a bridge between the two. Thus, if you can come up with a simple narrative as to how your purpose will help you go from today to tomorrow and reach your goal, you’ll be able to activate those around you.

With safety, vulnerability, and purpose all in one place, it’ll be almost impossible to stop you and your team from accomplishing whatever you set out to do! There are several chapters about each skill. There’s a good mix of stories and studies. Coyle chooses his examples carefully and tells their stories well. He doesn’t use bullet points or frequent summaries, so sometimes you will work to tease out his meaning.

Most business authors put summaries of key points or action steps at the end of every chapter. Coyle doesn’t. Instead, he includes a chapter at the end of every section, titled “Ideas for Action.” That chapter functions as a review of the other chapters in the section. I think that’s a good device, but I’d rather he also put his key points at the end of every chapter.

I thoroughly reinstated my beliefs of building team cultures after reading this book and will recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the transformation of the team culture.

You can buy “The Culture Code” book here

 

 

Agile Myths
 

Myth 1. Stand-up is a status meeting
Reality – The Daily standup is a Planning Meeting. It promotes Collaboration, Self-Organization, Enables inspection and Adaptation, Focus on achieving the outcome.

Myth 2. Pair programming decreases the productivity
Reality – The pair programming increases the productivity in majority of the cases if done in right way.

Myth 3. Agile doesn’t need project manager
Reality – The Scrum Master plays a role of a project manager.

Myth 4. Agile is another word for Scrum.
Reality – The Scrum is one of the Agile framework. There are many more like Kanban, XP, FDD etc.

Myth 5. Agile is faster than Waterfall
Agile is less about delivering software faster, and more about delivering value faster.

Myth 6. Agile means no documentation
Agile doesn’t do documentation for documentation’s sake. Documentation is like any other deliverable on an Agile project. It gets estimated, and prioritized like any other user story.

Myth 7. We’re a self-organizing Agile team, so we can do anything we want
Reality – The core principles are not allowed to be tailored. It is a lightweight process while the core practices are expected to be followed.

Myth 8. Agile is a silver bullet
Reality – The projects done in Agile do fail. It cannot be an excuse to stop thinking. Agile promotes fail faster philosophy so that one can learn from it.

Myth 9. The story points can be exactly translated to hours.
Reality – When the team gets mature, you can translate it to approx but not exact hours.

Myth 10. The product owners, developers and scrum masters get to do what they like.
Reality – The Agile is very disciplined framework. Every role has set of responsibilities. The core responsibilities should not be switched.

Myth 11. There is always a right size for a user story.
Reality – Every team is different hence there is no right size of the user story. The team producing 30 story points can be more productive than the team doing 45 story points.

Myth 12. Agile means no planning, no design
Reality – Agile typically needs more planning and design than waterfall. Both of these activities happen throughout the development.

Choosing between Trunk based development(TBD) vs Feature branching
 

In a development environment like scrum, XP the branching strategy can significantly impact the overall speed of delivery of the product. There has been detailed documentation on the various branching strategies, and you can encounter TBD (Trunk based development), feature branching. In this article,  am covering the various factors that can impact the success or failure of a these branching strategy.

What is feature branching:

In this method, there is a code branch created for each and every feature. In agile based environments, typically, a branch is created for every story in the sprint.

 

What is Trunk based Development (TBD): When a single trunk/branch is used to create all the features of the product, then its called Trunk based development. Often a release branch is created when ever there is a release that is pushed to production.

Following are the various factors to look at before selecting Trunk based vs feature branching.

  • location of team members: when team members are co-located, the trunk is the best bet, helps us to get faster feedback. Also team can just talk about the code changes directly. Since the feedback will be faster in a single trunk, the team need to sync up more frequently. Co-location enables this sync trunk changes to happen frequently and faster. When there is a distributed environment (often in our teams), feature branching works best.

  • speed development environment: In a high speed dev environment, the trunk just shines as there are less and less process overhead, like branching, Pull request, review etc. Feature branching shines well when there is less speed in churning code.

  • size of code base: Insanely higher number of code lines can be better handled using feature branching. But for smaller code base, the cost of creating branches etc can be higher.

In our team meetings, we often talk about the right tools for the problem at hand. And using the right branching strategy is an important decision. We often question ourselves if the strategy is right for the given epic/sprint. If the answer is NO for few sprints, we know, we need to change something!

Please comment and let us know your opinion.

Docker – Basics and Benefits
 

Docker

How many times have you encountered a situation where the software built on one platform doesn’t work on another platform? It is a very expensive affair to ensure that your software works on all the platforms (Mobile, Tablets, PC and so on). This is one of the crucial problems which Docker helps you to resolve but this is not it. There is much more to Docker which we will explore as we move in my upcoming blogs.

Docker is a container management service or a tool which is designed to help developers to deploy and run applications by using containers.  It ensures that the code will behave the same regardless of environment/platform.

Key components of a Docker

  1. Docker File – A dockerfile is a text document that contains series of all the commands a user a make use of to create a Docker Image. The Docker images are automatically built by reading the instructions from a dockerfile.
  2. Docker Image – It’s a lightweight snapshot of a virtual machine. It is essentially an application with all its requirements and dependencies (read-only copy of OS libraries, application libraries etc.). When you run a Docker image, you get a Docker container. Once a Docker image is created, it guarantees to run on any Docker platform. These can be retrieved to create a container in any environment.
  3. Docker Registry – A Docker image can also be stored at online repository called Docker hub.  You can also store your image in this cloud repository (https://hub.docker.com/). You can also save these images to your version control system.
  4. Docker Container – A Docker container is nothing but a Runtime instances of Docker images.

Benefits of a Docker

  1. Build your application once and use it in multiple environments without the need of building or configuring once again. The application built on dev environment guaranteed to work in prod environment.
  2. Centralized Docker repository makes it very easy to store and retrieve. Moreover, you don’t need to build the image from scratch.  You can always leverage existing image and go from there.  The sharing of an image becomes very simple as well.
  3. Version Control – You can always create next image and version control them.
  4. Isolation – Every application works inside its own container and never interfere with other containers.  If you no longer need an application, you can delete its container. Every container has it’s own resources hence there is going to be no challenge.
  5. Security – The isolation ensures that the applications that are running on containers are completely segregated. The container cannot look into or have a provision to control processes running on other containers. This greatly enhances security.
  6. Multi-cloud platforms/Portability – The image built on Amazon EC2 would very well be ported to Microsoft Azure.
  7. Productivity – This is an implicit benefit of using Docker. The speed of development is much faster as the main focus is writing code and business over worrying extensively about deployment/testing.