Friday, August 08, 2008

Customer is King

I was chatting with my spouse, who incidently is no stranger to IT industry. What we discussed, gave me enough to share with my dear readers.

So Lets first understand the context with a question:- What are the most common reasons for client escalations?

If i were to dare, from my (our) past experience, i will try to collate the key reasons for any escalation.

Disclaimer:- Please pardon, these are from my(our) very personal experience and any resemblance of any sort is purely coincidental.

Alright, here goes my list:-

1. Art of delegation:- Everyone in team think "they can do all". This is the most common problem i feel we face with stakeholders who are reluctant to delegating the things at right time to right people. Customers may not know the reality (or root cause), but they fume at not seeing the results. After all they pay for the results.

2. Assumptions:- Teams make so many assumptions, that they over-kill themselves.I feel the pragmatic approach to any service is waning. Teams have started living for the day/moment and are decreasingly future oriented. If i were to use technical jargon, Teams have started becoming "Agile".

3. Pompousness:- This is so very implicit that teams tend to ignore the fact that clients are smarter these days. Any degree of Pompousness will be killing for any team.So we need to be aware.

4. No status reporting:- This is seriously gross. Teams refrain - may be for zillion of practical and mental reasons, to share the very status of any deliverable/service.They report when asked.

5. Sitting on issues/problems - I somehow feel the tricks we learnt during our entrance exams are very life living. The thumb rule we were taught was - never sit on a question, instead leave it and move on. If i were to apply the same rule - i would say teams, sit too much and donot go back to client for more information. I know leaving situation is anachronic but going back to client is best. Even they will appreciate.

Miscellaneous others:-

7. Not creating the motivating team culture.

8. NOt relating with each member of team

9. Team Thinking every project/assignment a stop gap arrangement for different personal goals in life - could be money, designation(power), onsite experience etc etc

10. To top all - People have become "Being individual" and does not work/showcase and live as team .

There are definitely many more. But this is what my(our) small experience has taught. Maybe will retrospect more some other day, some other time.

Till then..lets recite and create a placard - "Customer is King".

~ Manav Ahuja

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Recipe for success

I came across this very thought provoking recipe

Setting Goals
but NOT in concrete

Staying Focused
but turning aside to Help someone

Following Plan
but remaining Flexible

Moving ahead
but not too fast to miss the smell of flowers

Climbing the Ladder
but not stepping on Toes

Fighting to Finish
but choosing your battles

Taking a Bow
but applauding those who a part in your success

wow - i am amazed at the thoughts and variations who ever coined this. Brilliant

~ Manav Ahuja

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Large System Integration Testing Projects - What to watch out for...

Testing was looked down (even in some corners it is still prevalent). But let me take a lead and proudly say, that after seeing the IT world from all sides - Dev,Testing,Maintenance - Product and Services as well...I feel Testing is a REAL intellectual challenge and process. It gains its enormity from the point that No other process except testing can give a solace(or sleepless nights) when it comes to credibility of a release. It also is infact one of the most THORNY activity in any software Life cycle.

Various factors make it critical - Type of bid (Fixed, T&M, Size of project,Domain etc etc)

Anyhow i thought of putting my thoughts togather on What are the key characteristics and challenges when there is a testing planned for a LARGE System Integration projects

Tighten your seat belts ...Here you go..

•Large systems integration projects usually are mission critical and have high quality goals not only in terms of providing functionality but also towards high availability, performance, resilience and robustness of the system.

•These projects span over multiple years and business dynamics tend to change during this period.

•More often than not, these are developed in multiple releases having parallel development and testing phases of overlapping releases to maintain the schedule of the project.This increases the complexity of managing large projects.

•These have very typical characteristics of having many possibilities of getting under estimated due to the uncertainties and large number of independent variables that leads to schedule slippage and effort over run.

•Generally significant number of stakeholders and big team size of large programme leads to issues related to communication and coordination.

•Typically in such projects, project team can never be sure that the functionality that is being designed is the one will be deployed finally into the production. There is high possibility of the scope creep that is initiated by the customer, from technical point of view initiated by the vendor and from risk point of view that is decided by the need of the project.

•Usually large projects executed by multiple vendors from multiple locations in different countries having diverse culture and exploit multiple technologies.

Can you collaborate more.,...

~ Manav Ahuja

Newly coined phrase for the current phase of my life

Today while chating with some near dears of mine, i accidently coined something which is giving a new meaning to my life.

Without keeping it a secret any more here it is:

"Be optimistic to the last iota of the breath, even if you are the ONLY one to be so".
..... Manav

Friday, March 21, 2008

What IT Vendors SHOULD provide

I know surveys are the most crudest things to proclaim anything.They are the best means to corrupt the thought process as well.


Recently i was reading one of the blogs and found this intrested piece (a survey report) and felt its so very relevant to us. So thought of sharing through my blog as well.

Keep strategizing...

~Manav Ahuja

Sunday, March 16, 2008

GUI Testing - "Most Common Bug Patterns" - Part -1

Being a long timer Web developer and thereafter Web Tester i think it has been long due that i start recollecting my experience and share it here for the entire community to leverage / synergize and take a note of for future. I have just finished collating a few so thought of penning at these early hours of Sunday morning (BTW its 05:18 AM) and haen't taken the nap yet whole night. Well i believe Make hay when sun weekends are for me and me alone.

Ok enuf...back to business...The moment we think portal / website, the first few things come to mind are the - Promptness,Lesser the number of mouse clicks better the site,Ease of navigation, less text and not to crumpled Home page.

Well to further my thought process here are some of the bug patterns in standard GUI Implementations:

- In case of combo box, we should check the functionality of arrow keys. Most of the time, we checked up / down keys, we should check right / left keys also.
- Bit map should be provided for all the tool buttons.
- CTRL+ shortcut for the various options doesn’t work consistently.
- If two / three dialog boxes are opened at the same time, then the dialog boxes shouldn’t overlap one another. They should cascade.
- CTRL+tab key should result in to flipping among the open windows.
- Arrow keys should also be mapped with spin control buttons.
- Whenever there is some activity going on, some way of notification to the user should be there. It may be Hourglass mouse pointer, display on status bar, an animated GIF, or use of a progress bar. The point is that the user should be aware that something is going on in background.
- Menus should follow the standard conventions, e.g. “About” submenu should be under Help menu and so on.
- Tool tips should be displayed for all the tool buttons.
- Floating toolbars should not be another task bar window, but should be positioned inside the GUI window.
- Any additional user created toolbars or menus should not distort the GUI.
- Change in Font should reflect at all intended places. Also, the views should not get distorted.
- Tiling and Cascading should be tested thoroughly along with Minimize and maximize options. Windows should not get lost at any point of time.
- Check box should get checked/unchecked with SPACE bar, when in focus.
- Option buttons should get set/reset with SPACE bar, when in focus.
- Whenever a “Select ALL” facility is given, a “Clear All” should be provided and vice versa.
- All the Control buttons and Menu bars that launch another dialog should have three trailing DOTs (…) in the name. E.g. Browse…

Whoo hoo...this has come out good. I will put more pressure on my "medula oblongata" and try to make this a series. to complete most of the critical GUI components.

Should we not say this...GUI Testing Bug Patterns - Part 1.

Have a good one...

~ Manav Ahuja

Entreprenurship - Ignite the passion within

Who and what defines Entre...

Noun : Entrepreneur – An entrepreneur (a loanword from French introduced and first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon) is a person who undertakes and operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risks. A female entrepreneur is sometimes referred to as an entrepreneuse. …… From Wikipedia

Simple...uhh. Its more beneath than out. These nerds cannot be a part of herd (except the herd of achievers/loosers). They really are people who feel fear is just another word, Loss is an oppurtunity and success is just a milestone not destination.....Wow i am turning and playing with words. :-)

But is it that easy to be an entrepreneur. I thought of sewing my thoughts and come up with my kinda insights on the game - Entrepreneurship.

I feel Entreprenurs are crazy souls for whom life is all about passion. And they donot rely on any source of inspiration. The catalyst for the ignition of their passion comes from within. what abt the characteristics of these buffoons..Let me try

- Work-a-holics
- Die hard optimists
- Least emotional (this is subjective but i would still list this among the prominents)
- Risk takers (Both calculated and un-calculated)
- Self driven and believers
- Problem conquerers
- Hands on - Not Task delegators
- Unstoppable
- Donot take but provide Inspiration
- They are the change and real innovators

I may have missed some key ones (but they might be your perception/perspective) :-). Mine - i have listed all. But one thing for sure We all are entreprenurs in our respect isn't it? Its just that some of us take the plunge and rest sit back in cubicles(cozy spaces within our organizations) and see the other quarter making history everyday.

Before saluting a "Bye" ...let me leave you soaked with famous quotes from REAL Entrepreneurs of the era:

It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer."- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's

"I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent."- Thomas Edison

"Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make."- Donald Trump, real estate and entertainment mogul

"I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!"- Madam C.J. Walker, creator of a popular line of African-American hair care products and America's first black female millionaire

O-la-la...thats real thoughtful stuff....i have enough Food for thought ...for my coming week(s) :-)

In my son's words let me move off in true US style --- "Have a good one" -

~ Manav Ahuja

Friday, February 15, 2008

Most Popular Licenses in Open Source

Today researching the Open Source (after a loooong break), i comtemplate that i have forgotten all the different types of licenses and their grants. It proved a catalyst and here i have agregated the content from

NOTE : What i am providing is a brief overview what would be of intrest to all of us - the open source community. So please visit the whole terms in license and then Build-Operate-Deliver :-)

Most Popular Licenses among Open source communities and the ones widely used::

- Apache License, 2.0
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free,irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare Derivative Works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute the Work and such derivative Works in Source or Object form

- New and Simplified BSD licenses
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so.

- GNU General Public License (GPL)
The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software--to make sure the software is free for all its users. This General Public License applies to most of the Free Software Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to using it.(Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by the GNU Library General Public License instead.) You can apply it to your programs, too.

- GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL)
This license, the Lesser General Public License, applies to some specially designated software packages--typically libraries--of the Free Software Foundation and other authors who decide to use it. You can use it too, but we suggest you first think carefully about whether this license or the ordinary General Public License is the better strategy to use in any particular case.

- MIT license
Same as BSD licences but with an additional "NO Endorsement clause".

- Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL)
The Modifications which You create or to which You contribute are governed by the terms of this License, including without limitation section.The Source Code version of Covered Code may be distributed only under the terms of this License or a future version of this License released and You must include a copy of this License with every copy of the Source Code You distribute. You may not offer or impose any terms on any Source Code version that alters or restricts the applicable version of this License or the recipients' rights hereunder. However, You may include an additional document offering the additional rights described.

- Common Development and Distribution License
Subject to third party intellectual property claims, the Initial Developer hereby grants You a world-wide,royalty-free, non-exclusive license

- Common Public License 1.0
Subject to the terms of this Agreement, each Contributor hereby grants Recipient a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform,distribute and sublicense the Contribution of such Contributor, if any, and such derivative works, in source code and object code form

- Eclipse Public License
Subject to the terms of this Agreement, each Contributor hereby grants Recipient a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, distribute and sublicense the Contribution of such Contributor, if any, and such derivative works, in source code and object code form

Be Free, Have free...

~ Manav Ahuja

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What is "Project Management"? From my interview yesterday....

Very happy valentines day ...:-)

Yesterday after a long hiatus was getting interviewed (yes for a change not taking but giving one). And one question i was asked "What have you accomplished on Project Management and what would you say about Project Management"? I gave many an insights, my perspectives and facts and of course my accomplishments.

Retrospecting...i feel of penning my second (streamlined) thoughts.

What would you say about Project Management?

Here are my 2 paise on this...
Project Management, is an art not only skill.And I feel this art (SHOULD)comprise of
- Scope Management
- Integration Management
- Time management
- Cost Management
- Quality Management
- HR Management
- Communication Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement management
- Client (even Multi Vendor) Management

So if i were to march into the risky category, giving some thumb rules - Some of the keys (from my experience) to successful Project Management are

- Develop realistic project objectives / Goals
- Create / re-visit with predefined frequency - The MASTER Project plan
- Track / Measure / Analyse progress
- Solve problems quickly & effectively
- Motivate
- Keep Senior Management and even the Team members informed on project status. In succinct
- BE diplomatically transparent
- And above all follow my tips to make our team invaluable(see my post on "Lets Define Team")

Lastly, let me pictorially put the factors which govern "Project's success matrix".

Happy Project managing...

~Manav Ahuja

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lets define a "Team"

Well, seeing the life in a new perspective these days, i really am contemplating hell lot of things. First which have struck is "Who/whats makes teams for what they are". There are many an adjectives which can be appended to a team e.g Exceptional,Highly productive,Great,Fabulous etc etc. But moot questions remains - how to define them in this respect?

I thought of penning my 2 cents on this:
Key aspects from my perspective are:

- Fire in the belly
- Passion for work
- Enjoying what we do
- Not doing for the heck of it
- Matching experience
- Target oriented be it Profit,milestones,scale,innovation etc
- Integrity
- Values which they bring to the table
- Visionary Leader
- Dynamism of indivuduals

Anything to add.

~ Manav Ahuja

Friday, February 08, 2008

Upcoming Conferences

i think is turning to be the day of new initiatives. But whatever it takes, lets help each other and our community.

I, today on will start sharing the details on any and ever upcoming testing conferences. Please feel free to add to the list i could muster.

Here are the two of the good ones i have found:

Name Place Date Deadline Theme Link
PNSQ Orlando Oct 13-15 Apr-20 Collaborative Quality

Star West CA Sep29-Oct03 Apr-14 Many

Any and every addition : Most welcome

~Manav Ahuja

Best of the quotes - a daily dose

All these days i had the habbit of writing the good writings i come across. But always i fall short of space on my hand held pads.

Starting today i am planning to leverage this online space to keep updated with a daily dose of Good quotes that i may come across. This will serve two purposes
- Keep posting and keep blogging
- Keeping some good writing for ever with me.

Here i start with the ones i have come across since moring..

1. Either fight for your stomach or You fight for your dreams
Source : Net

2. "Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrow keeps you Human,
Failure keeps you humble
and Success keeps you glowing,
but only Faith & Attitude Keeps you going..."
Source : One of the forward mails on Arther Ashe

3. Always be a trumpet in herd of Elephants
A crow in company of cocks,
Bleat in the flock of goats.
Source: My resignation letter to my earlier company :-).

4. Search your heart with all diligence,for out of it,flows the issues of life
Source: Seven Habbits of .... Stephen Covey

Wow...this is something i am loving now, just for the mobility it provides and the quickness in terms of access.

Relish till next...