Sunday, 3 November 2013

Diwali - A Festival of Lights!!!

Season's greetings from entire MintStat team.

Diwali (or Deepavali) is a Festival of Lights celebrated worldwide by Hindus to spread cheer and joy. It is a five day celebration of human life and relations. The festival is to forget sorrows, worries (~darkness) and enjoy the good things, happiness (~light).

So, if you want to know more about this festival, just drop in a mail to us!!!

MintStat Team


Saturday, 27 July 2013

How to track Quality of your IT project?

Quality is what every project sponsor want from project execution. Important point to note is that quality is relative term. For some zero defect is quality, for others acceptable number of defects is also quality. Zero defects present only in ideal world and our experience tells us that no IT project can be delivered with zero defects. So, there should be some practical but, stringent goal for quality.

Also, achieving quality goal should not add extra cost to overall project budget or schedule. To make sure quality goals are met and no extra cost is incurred, following quality parameters should be tracked:

1. Number of defects  - First set maximum defects goal for your project. You can decide this based on industry standards. Track this parameter at end of each phase of project. e.g. Check number of defects detected at end of Analyze, then after Design, then after Build. The number of defects should reduce in each later phase.

Defect prevention meets help reduce defects in each consecutive phases. So make sure you identify root cause and action item to avoid defects properly. 80/20 principle helps in defect prevention meet.

2. Functionality coverage - Once requirements are frozen, make sure all functionalities are covered during each consecutive phase of project. Any missed functionality identified during testing will add extra cost to project as team will have to re-do design and coding.

Requirement traceability matrix helps cover 100% functionality coverage during each phase and can avoid above extra cost.

3. Effort spent on reviews, rework and testing - Make sure sufficient efforts (hours) are planned at start of project for reviews, rework and testing. Keeping it very low or very high can impact quality or cost of your project. Track this effort again at each phase of the project and identify variation / action items, if any.

Use charts and graphs to easily track variation and set control limits for this variation.

We feel if above parameters are tracked properly and proactively, one need not worry about quality. Please contact MintStat if you want to make sure your project achieves all Quality goals.

Thank you,
MintStat Team

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

What is Human Resource Development(HRD)?

Human Resource Development (HRD) is a part of Human Resource Management. It is a developmental approach for individual, group and ultimately the organization development. Human Resources are not only a resource for running the business, but, they add value and hence are assets for the organization. HRD is a set of planned and organized learning activities to provide an opportunity to: 
  •  Individuals to improve their competencies
  •  Groups to initiate and manage change
  • Organizations attain effectiveness and development
How to achieve this development and plan these activities? Here are three primary functions of HRD:
1.Training and development (T & D): It involves imparting new and improving existing knowledge, skills, abilities, attitude & behavior required to perform a job and development capabilities for future job. To meet organizational needs we have to meet individual job need. Training can be imparted by employee orientation, coaching, counseling, mentoring, knowledge/skill/behavior/technical training, strategic/ management/ development training, assessment and development center. Stepwise T & D process is given below:
  • Identification of training needs
  • Compilation of training needs
  • Training plan
  • Conducting training as per plan
  • Training feedback analysis
  • Training effectiveness analysis
2.Organization development (OD): OD is a planned intervention to enhance organization effectiveness and individual performance. At micro level it focuses on changes in individuals, groups, teams and at macro level implementing changes that will benefit an organization, community and may benefit a nation also. OD interventions or practices current state of individuals, groups and processes, systems, practices of the organization. Then to meet desired state of high performance and organization effectiveness, ideas or solutions are found out; also concepts of behavioral science are applied. OD interventions can be implemented internally in the organization by its team members or externally by third parties like consultants, professional agencies etc. Following are some of the major OD interventions:
  • Employee Feedback Mechanism
  • High performance work system
  • Goal setting
  • Change in organization structure
  • Job enrichment
  • Participative management
  • Process consultation
3.Career Development: It is formal approach of the organization to ensure match between competencies of the employees and his current & future career needs, reevaluate plan for development and provide support mechanism / systems. Mutual benefit of individual progress as well as management succession in the organization is achieved through career development. It helps to attract and retain talent, reduce employee turnover, improve employee morale & motivation, effective utilization of manpower & meet future manpower requirements in the organization.
Career development practices are as mentioned below:
  • Career planning
  • Personal development plan
  • Succession planning
  • Key employee identification
  • Potential appraisal
Thus, we have tried to give overview of HRD. If you find this interesting and wish to learn, understand or implement HRD practices, please contact MintStat!!!
Thank you,
MintStat Team


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Role of HRM in Business Management

Human resource management is a field of business management that deals with the most important resource for business - “manpower/ human resources”.  Any organization, may it be a small scale unit, retail store, multinational bank, manufacturing , IT, hotel, travelling agency, BPO, KPO, education institution or hospital, it’s success is totally dependent on Human Resources-“ Talent” of that organization which drive entire business right from deciding vision, mission, strategies to generating output. HRM plays a strategic role in achievement of organization’s objective and has a significant impact on organization effectiveness.

HRM is a very crucial field but challenging to manage as it deals with people, their psychology, behavior and its impact on management decisions and organization development . HRM’s role is developmental; it develops people, organization and ultimately the society.

Let us see various functions/ roles of HRM:
Strategy, policy formulation: Role of HR is business partner of any organization. Designing HR strategies in line with organization goals. From entry to exit of an employee, there should be guideline of procedures to be followed i.e. nothing but policy for each and every HRM function. Defining code of conduct and core values for the employees to follow organization culture.

Organization design and manpower planning: This is a strategic role of designing systems and structure to complete various tasks in order to achieve organization’s objectives within stipulated time and budget, in an effective manner. First of all level wise organization structure should be defined, then no. of job positions. Perfect design ensures effective flow of information and integration of efforts and roles.

Job description and goal setting: After designing structure we have to define tasks, ,responsibilities, authority and controls that an individual appointed for a job is required to perform. JD for each position gives idea of content of the job of that position which may be used to analyze with capabilities of the individual. Goal setting defines goal statement for each position which is linked to goals of superiors and ultimately goal of that organization. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Goal setting is done with Key result areas/ key performance indicators which give inputs to set performance goals to be achieved in a review period.

Recruitment and selection: HRM’s role starts with manpower planning. Once required no. of manpower is freeze, next step is to identify, attract talent to feel all vacant positions. Recruitment means having right person for right position at right time. Selecting perfect job fit is very important.

Induction and socialization: To ensure employee commitment and high employee morale from the day one, we need to complete smooth induction of the selected candidate and his socialization in organization culture. Introduce him to all the functions, systems, policies and procedures. His role in the organization and what will be his contribution in achievement of goals.

Training and development: Only hiring employees and assigning tasks will not give desired results. Organization's effectiveness is gauged by knowledge, skills and behavior of employees. Continuous learning, educating employees will ensure availability of skilled talent. Training and development is catalyst for any organization. Knowledge based, skill based, strategic, technical, behavioral trainings can give desired skill level and develop talent of the organization. 

Performance management system: Strategic goal can be achieved only if there is proper management of employee and system performance. Alignment , measurement and assessment of performance is done from time to time in a fair manner. This process not only appraises but reviews progress, gives guidelines to enhance individual performance.

Compensation and benefits: It focuses on policy making on compensation, remuneration structure and benefits given by employer to employees. Compensation comprises of pay components in guaranteed pay, variable pay and benefits include health benefits, insurance, car and other perks given by employer, pension plans,equity based compensation like stock options. Major roles of compensation and benefits are deciding level wise remuneration structure and benefits, ensure internal and external pay equity, countrywide compliance of legal framework, study of internal and external factors which may influence pay policy of the organization. 

Employee Engagement : This is a concept to ensure emotional attachment and commitment of the employee with the organization and to improve his productivity , willingness to learn; which will result in retention of the employees. It includes practices like employee communication, reward and recognition, employee retention ,organization climate surveys, employee grievance redressal system , exit interviews etc.

Employee Relations: It deals with maintaining employer-employee relationship. Code of conduct, disciplinary issues, conflict resolution, counseling, equal employment opportunity, anti harassment mechanism, wage agreements and union related issues these are some of the employee relations activities.

If you need any help or wish to understand HRM in detail , please contact MintStat.

Thank you,
MintStat Team

Sunday, 14 July 2013

What is Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)?

Some of us might have come across the term cost benefit analysis (CBA). Let us understand what is cost benefit analysis.

In simple terms, cost benefit analysis is the process of identifying total cost involved and total benefits (revenues and not the profits) over some period (say 5 years). Obviously the total benefits should be more than total costs over the entire period.

The benefits may not be more than costs in the first period itself. When total benefits matches with total costs after some time, that point in time is called as Break-even point. You will start earning profits post break-even point.

When you have multiple ideas and don't know which one is really profitable or sustainable, calculate CBA for each idea and then decide which is to go-ahead with.

One important point to note is that while considering future values (costs or benefits), you need to consider 'time value of money'. That means today X $ will fetch you less benefits in future. 'Inflation' is what we are referring to.

To calculate 'Return on Investment', you will need to consider total costs and total benefits. Still confused, contact MintStat to evaluate CBA for each of your ideas or existing offerings and then take decisions.

Thank you,


Saturday, 29 June 2013

What are the different areas of IT project management?

Lets discuss different areas of IT project management. IT here means information technology. An IT project is "set of tasks which has a goal to achieve within given timelines with limited budget and resources (human as well as software and hardware)." The project ends when the goal is achieved.

The easy thing is to set the goal but, the challenge is to achieve it without any delays or extra costs. Project management is the way to handle this challenge. Following are different sub-areas to IT project management.

1. Financial Management - Track the finances of the project from start till end. This is the area every leadership wants to be aware of and so is given most importance.

2. Team Management - IT project is completely dependent on skills of your team. So managing team skills, team aspirations, team availability is another area one needs to manage effectively.

3. Risk Management  - Identifying potential risks in project as early as possible can increase the probability of project success vastly. Risk prioritization, tracking and mitigation are part of Risk management.

4. Knowledge Management - Making sure the team is aware about all aspects of project such as domain or business process knowledge and technical knowledge is necessary. However, not everyone recognizes the need of knowledge management. Most of the successful projects have knowledge management as an integral part of overall project.

5. Quality Management - Setting up quality goals such as zero defect rollout, industry level productivity, cost of quality etc.. are part of quality management. These activities are generally tracked and reported on weekly or monthly basis depending on project criticality.

6. Release Or Configuration Management - Managing rollout of each project without any breaks to existing business process or functionality is known as release management. A bigger organization with lots of applications having continuous changes needs to have proper release and configuration management.

7. Innovation Management -  This is relatively new but gaining lot of traction now a days in every organization. It is expected to innovate instead of doing routine tasks in same way. A proper framework is required for effective innovation management.

Management term is generally not liked by technical people and they consider each of management activity as overhead. But, without proper management activities in place, the project is surely heading for failure. So choice is yours.

If you are looking for any help with your IT project management, contact MintStat.

Thank you,
MintStat Team

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Are feedback surveys important?

Are feedback surveys important?

I think the answer is big 'Yes'. Feedback surveys are not only important but, should be made mandatory in each process. Most of the organizations are implementing it. How much importance is given to survey responses depends on how faithful one is towards one's customers.

Surveys can be of two types
1. Pre-launch Surveys
2. Post-consumption Surveys

Pre-launch survey can help an organization to offer a better product or service to their targeted customers and probability of success is higher post launch, if sufficient features are incorporated as per responses.

Post-consumption survey is the feedback taken after the product or service is consumed. It is a real reflection of quality of product or service. Making changes as per survey response will make your customers loyal and advocates of your product or service.

So, if you are looking to improve your product or service and make it more popular through surveys, MintStat can help you with 'Online Survey' service. MintStat will launch the survey questionnaire amongst your target customers (you just need to provide email ids of customers) and we will follow-up to get their responses. A regular status update is provided and towards end, a detailed survey response report is provided along with recommendations.

MintStat Team

Launching MintStat

We are happy to launch new Management and HR consultancy - MintStat. The aim is high and honest.

MintStat would be catering services in following areas
1. Market Research
2. Design Solutions
3. IT Consultancy
4. HR Consultancy

We are looking forward to create thought leadership in each of these areas and come up with excellent solutions for our esteemed partners.

MintStat Team