Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When ITS TIME for a Handover

In my post on handing over a process or any responsibility (can be read 'here'), I had listed the steps to hand over a process or any responsibility. My friend Usha (, came up with a way to make it 'sticky*' by using the sentence ITS TIME and relating the message to each of the letters.

My thanks to her for the pain taken to make the message catchy. Now over to the message.

Identify a successor.
Train your successor.
Share work with your successor, while front-ending activities.

Tell all stakeholders.
Induct the person formally; let him/her manage Normal Scenarios while you remain in the background.
Move in to manage exceptions, if needed.
Exit when you are not needed to manage the exceptions.

Hope ITS TIME will make it easier to remember ‘what to do’, when its time to hand over any responsibility.

*Sticky: A term popularized by the book ‘
Made to Stick’ by Heath brothers

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Whoever you are holding me now in hand"

Fighting to hold on to a certain standard in life is not easy. It comes with its own struggles, plagued by anxiety and self doubt. In my struggle to manage projects in a better manner, a way where good project management is a way of life, i have had my share of successes and failures.

But one thing is for sure. I have travelled too far in this path to drop everything and go back.

Over to Walt Whitman now from "Leaves of Grass".

Whoever you are holding me now in hand.
Without one thing all will be useless,
I give you fair warning before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.
Who is he that would become my follower?
Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?
The way is suspicious, the result is uncertain, perhaps destructive,
You would have to give up all else, I alone would expect to be your sole and exclusive standard.
Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting,
The whole theory of your life and all conformity to the lives around you would have to be abandon'd,
Therefore release me now before troubling yourself any further, let go your hand from my shoulders,
Put me down and depart your own way.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Now that you have a plan in place...what do you do?

You are the Project Manager. You have the Project Plan and Schedule in place. You have the resources allocated to the project. You also have a Risk Plan as a part of your Project Plan.

Now what do you do? Will you just track all the plans or do you also do something more? 

For example, do you go around and talk to people closer to the action? Do you ask them questions?


If questions, what will you ask? And if it is only one question what will that be?

From my experience, the one question that brings lot of value is asking people, ‘Now that we have a plan in place, what all do you think can go wrong?’. 

Asked right, this question shakes people out of the good feel ( that all of us get when we have completed planning and resources on boarded) and makes them think about what all can NOT work out as per plan.

Do the stake holders feel comfortable talking to you? Do they share the good and bad with you? All these matter a lot. 

But what is important is that the question is asked, answers got, analyzed and implemented. Don't get me wrong. this is not about being pessimistic. But about being as realistic as possible.

Monday, June 8, 2009

mysitcMundane is 'wordled'

Wordle takes the words from any web site one enters and turns them into a "cloud" of mixed up words reflecting the contents of the web site home page.

The resulting aggregation may look mixed up, but i believe it strongly reflects the content of this blog.

What do you say?

Wordle: wordle_mysticmundane

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How to hand over a process or any responsibility....

Projects, by definition, have a start date and end date. At the macro level, the Project Manager is responsible for the Project Outcome. But at the micro level, the Project Manager has to take care of many things. One of their important duties is to prepare (themselves, the team and other stake holders) to pass on their responsibility, to another person.

While there are different aspects of managing this hand over/transition, given below is the thumb rule that I follow, when I have to hand-over/transition responsibility.

  1. Give the background, educate and prepare the identified person.
  2. Educate/inform team and other stake holders
  3. Hand over the Norm
  4. Step in to manage exceptions (if needed)
  5. Hand over the exception
  6. Get out.
The steps given above are made as generic as possible and people are requested to ensure that #1-#6 are taken care of through one or multiple steps, when they plan the transition. The same set of steps can also be followed when we groom a person.

Tom Peters says 'Leaders know when to Leave...". Project Managers should ensure that the transition happens in as seamless a manner as possible, by giving the act the thought and consideration it deserves, and plan accordingly. Hope the steps mentioned above help towards this…

Updated on 6-Jan-2011.
People interested in this post will also be interested in the post When ITS TIME for a Handover .