Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The magic of incentives

Sitting late at office is a common trend found among (very) young Indian IT professionals. There are many reasons why it is so, probably I'll have another article on it later, as it by itself is a topic worth writing. Anyways, everybody accepts that its not really good for both - the employee, as well as the employer. Its the employer who has the most obvious repercussions, and each keeps reminding their employees in various ways to get out of office in time, not to sit late, and have a life outside. Well, the trend hasn't changed a bit in the past many years I myself have been observing it; people still sit late - most of them, browsing the internet, or even playing games. I'm not considering the ones who genuinely work, in this article, that again would need another account of itself :-).

Now, if you go and ask many of these folks why they sit late at office, they might have many reasons, but at the end, if you put all these reasons together and factorize and re-factorize them, you'll find that people don't leave office in time, because they don't have an incentive to! While, to sit back, they have enough and more.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The importance of co-locating your team

Sometime ago, back in one of my previous projects, I had to ramp up my team by one, to resource some new work that came in. The new person was a 1.x years experienced lady, with technical skill set cohering with what I required in my team.

Now, before this lady came in, my team used to sit in two large multi-occupant cubicles, with just a small partition in between, which practically made it a large bullpen. This facilitated much interaction between the team members, who utilized it well to maximize exchange of information & knowledge, and of course jokes and light moments. I too found it most efficient in conducting stand-up scrums and short ad-hoc meetings, as we just had to pull our chairs together into a circle, and not hunt for a meeting room. We had consumed all seats in the two cubicles, and there were none free, when the new lady came in.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Creating a bolder generation

A few months ago, back in Kerala, I was on a visit to a certain school for some social work. It was lunch time, and kids generally play around for a while, before getting back for afternoon sessions. I walked around through the school grounds, watching the kids play, and kinda reliving the moments of my own childhood.

It was a muffled cry which drew my attention to near a tree, where three kids were standing around. They seemed around eleven or twelve; there was a girl, and two boys. It was the girl who was crying, and the expressions / body language of the boys did look a bit nasty for their age. It seemed that the boys had said something, and the girl had started crying. I looked around if any of the staff were around; upon seeing none, started towards the trio, intending to solve the issue. But hardly had I reached there, when another little girl came running towards the three.