Thursday, December 29, 2011

Applying Broken Window Theory to Project Management

The broken windows theory is a criminology theory of the norm setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that monitoring and maintaining urban environments in a well-ordered condition may stop further vandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime.

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.

Do we know what determines our behavior? A major factor in determining individual behavior is social norms; Humans constantly monitor other people and their environment in order to determine what the correct norms are for the given situation. People do as others do and the group makes sure that the rules are followed.

How this helps Project Manager? It teaches that Project manager must follow principle of Zero Tolerance, problems crop up when we begins to tolerate constant non conformance. The more we turn a blind eye to problems, the more problems crop up. We need to follow Zero tolerance policy by examining every incident of non conformance, we need to ensure that broken windows are fixed and that recurrences are rare in the Project.

All Project commitments need to be tracked and it should not be acceptable to slip commitments for even small tasks. Task tacking tools (like one I made using goolgle apps , and it is free) should be used to ensure complete tracking of due tasks . Project Manager needs to ensure that task slippages are tracked and fixed else it will become norm.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

How fast are we adopting Cloud Computing?

I have been thinking about potential of cloud computing since I visited Cloud camp last year, cloud was not much known concept till that time but things have changed. PwC report includes cloud computing in three trends that are changing the face of $250 billion software market.  A report  by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says that Cloud computing 'could give EU 763bn-euro boost' and could also create 2.4m jobs.

Cloud computing market in India currently stands at USD 10 million and is expected to reach USD 1,084 million by 2015 as per Zinnov Management Consulting Report, 2010.

A trend result of “cloud computing” on google trends (  reflects how cloud is becoming buzz word by passing years, but when I checked “Software as a Service”, “Platform as a Service” and “Infrastructure as a Service”,  I found that  not all are trending like cloud computing. Software as a Service has been  known for many years, where PaaS and IaaS have still not picked up.

As per survey done by DPCI and Wipro, Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS) model is the most preferred Cloud service model being used / intended to be used by more than 90% of the organizations surveyed though there is also a growing use or willingness to use ‘Platform-as-a-Service’ (56%), ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service’ (53%) and ‘Security-as-a-Service’ (53%) delivery.

There are several reasons for adopting Cloud Computing but ‘On Demand Scalability’, ‘Reduction in Capital Expenditure’ and ‘Reduction in Operational Expenditure’ were the top three reasons selected by the surveyed

The same survey revealed that – Data Security & Privacy, Compliance issues, and Legal & Contractual issues were perceived to be the top three challenges faced by the organizations in the adoption of Cloud Computing with 95% of the respondents rating Data Security & Privacy as a ‘Critical’ and ‘Very Important’ challenge.

Large enterprises are hosting non critical business application i.e.  Dealer management system, CRM, learning system to public cloud , critical application that demands data to reside within organization system , remains on the private cloud, I expect by next year most of the IT professionals will be knowing what cloud is as they know about XML.