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Learn and Earn Sessions
On 5 November, PMI West Bengal Chapter hosted PM Network, as a part of its “Learn and Earn” program. The session on “Avoiding Estimation Errors” brought together some of the city’s most experienced practitioners. The event kicked off with a lively introduction of the subject by Ms. Sonali Bhattacharya, president, West Bengal Chapter. Mr. Arijit Sarbagna, an experienced project manager and agile practitioner, conducted the session.

He explored the myths and realities of agile project management and explained the nuances that can influence an estimation outcome. He took members—many of whom were new to agile project management—through the fundamentals of the framework. The lively discussions and sharing of experiences by members representing diverse fields of work enriched the session.

The event ended with the announcement of the chapter’s first annual conference, Aviskar. The theme for the conference is “New Horizon of Project Management” and is scheduled for 17 December.

Volunteers Show the Way

The West Bengal Chapter is conducting training programs to help PMP aspirants in their certification examinations. The training program is aimed at helping practitioners in the region prepare well for their certification and build a strong community that shares and learns from each other’s experiences. This program has received tremendous assistance from volunteers. The chapter awarded Mr. Sanjoy Bhowmick the top volunteer honor for this program last quarter. Mr. Bhowmick is a project management professional with IBM and has played a key role in conducting events for the chapter with end-to-end responsibility during Q3 of 2011.

Busy Days for Members

Participants at a knowledge-sharing session organized by
North India Chapter
The past few months were quite eventful for PMI North India Chapter and its members. The chapter released the second edition of its quarterly newsletter, Synergy, in September. Several members contributed articles for the newsletter, and all the contributors have earned PDUs for their effort. The chapter now invites articles for the next edition due in December.

The chapter board is exploring various avenues to take the message of project management across sectors. On 23 September, Mr. Manoj K. Gupta, chapter president, presented at the Power Management Institute during a conference organized by the National Thermal Power Corporation. Mr. Gupta spoke on “Challenges/Case Studies in Project Management in Power Sector.”

On 28 September, the chapter in association with PMI India, participated in a daylong event on “Project Management - 2nd Edition | Delivering Value and Excellence Through Project Management in a Growing Economy.” The conference was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries in New Delhi. Chapter members, who volunteered during the event, spread awareness about PMI and PMI North India Chapter. More than 10 members volunteered for the program and earned PDUs for the time devoted. Mr. Gupta’s presentation during the opening ceremony at the event was well attended by senior executives from multinational and Indian companies and infrastructure giants such as Larsen & Toubro, CB Richard Ellis, Infrastructure Development Finance Company, SAP India, Bharti Airtel, Aconex, DLF, Shapoorji Pallonji, Bharti Realty, HSBC, and 3C’s.

The chapter has been organizing regular knowledge-sharing events for members in collaboration with corporate houses. On 30 September, there was a knowledge-sharing session on “Project Management in Cloud Computing” in collaboration with IBM India. The aim of the event was to provide project management professionals a clear understanding of cloud computing and project management methodologies and best practices for cloud-based projects. Over 140 practitioners and budding practitioners attended it.

In other news, the chapter launched a membership awareness campaign to win back members who were either members earlier or members of PMI who are not aware of chapter membership. So far, the campaign has helped bring 42 members back to the fold, with total membership rising to 834. The chapter has also started a new online initiative to educate members about the chapter and answer their queries regarding membership status. The link is: The website now also provides a link for “Quick Renewal of Membership.”

Project Management in Mobility Industry
The first conference on project management for the automotive industry took place in Chennai on 30 July. The conference, “Project Management – Fuelling Success of Mobility Industry,” was jointly organized by PMI India and SAE India (The Engineering Society for Advancing Mobility Land, Sea, Air, and Space).

Mr. Raj Kalady, managing director, PMI India, inaugurated the conference. Mr. Karthik Ramamurthy, president, Chennai Chapter elucidated the relevance of project management in the mobility industry in today’s times. He spoke about the four pillars of PMI—research, standards, credentials, and education. According to conference chief guest Dr. V. Sumantran, executive vice chairman, Hinduja Automotive, Indians have an intrinsic project management capability.

Some of the interesting project management practices that emerged during the conference were: how Toyota pioneered the creation of cross-functional teams to gain greater success in projects, Tata Motors works on two extremes of a spectrum— the most frugal Tata Nano and the most plush global Tata Aria, and Project Sunrise, which is a joint venture between Nissan and Ashok Leyland focused on frugal engineering. Experts spoke about virtualization of manufacturing processes at the next big trend in the future. This will open the doors for India to contribute to global projects.

Dr. V Sumantran (second from left) with PMI members and Mr. Karthik Ramamurthy, president, Chennai Chapter (extreme right).
There were two panel discussions on “Project Management Challenges in New Product Launches” and “The Bottomline Impact of Project Management.” In a session on project management in aerospace, Mr. Bala Bharadwaj, managing director, Boeing India, highlighted the reasons why projects fail, such as lack of an understanding of requirements and inaccurate estimation.

On 6 October, PMI India and SAE India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Chennai to facilitate the utilization of complementary capabilities of both the organizations for advocating, promoting, and the institutionalization of the profession of project management across organizations within the mobility sector. PMI and SAE India will jointly work toward identification and development of training modules, tailored to the needs of government departments, public sector undertakings, and corporates.

The signing ceremony took place before the inauguration of the 16th Asia Pacific Automotive Engineering Conference at the Chennai Trade Centre. The MOU was signed by Mr. Raj Kalady, managing director, PMI India, and Mr. R. Dayal, president, SAE India & executive officer, Maruti Suzuki.

During the chapter’s annual general meeting, there was a presentation on “Skills to Take You from Good to Great” by Mr. Ketharinath Kamalanathan, engagement manager, Microsoft Services India. According to him, projects fail due to factors such as a weak business case, poor project planning, inability to manage the triple constraints, and inattention to human aspects. Project managers are sometimes unable to connect with stakeholders and see the big picture, or fail to resolve conflict, negotiate, and manage change. Successful project managers envision the big picture, deep dive beyond the scope of the project, and connect project scope to the overall organizational strategy. To make the transition from good to great, a project manager needs people management skills, general management skills, and core project management skills.

Mr. Ketharinath said project managers also need to develop conflict management skills. Conflict management involves implementing techniques such as avoidance, withdrawal, domination, and capitulation. The routes to manage conflict are by unilateral power play, referral up the chain of command, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation.

He spoke about the four stages of negotiation and that a leader must go through all the stages for effective conflict management. The four stages are preparation by finding out what the person wants, sharing information, bargaining to build a compromise, and closing and commitment.

Agile Tour 2011

Mr. J.R. Tanti speaking at the Suzlon One Earth Campus
PMI Pune-Deccan Chapter organized a series of talks and discussions in support of Agile Tour 2011 on 15 October. Agile Tour is an international confluence of events that promote agile project management and is hosted simultaneously in cities around the world. At the global level, the objective is to create synergies for a “better agile world.” At the local level, organizers reach out to local companies to adapt to agile the right way. Visit www.agiletour.org for more details about this initiative.

Agile Tour is an open forum for anyone who wants to learn about agile project management. The Pune event, put together by chapter volunteers Mr. Ronald N. Naik, Mr. Gaurav Chhaunker, and Mr. Vickhram B. Sanap, attracted project managers, agile coaches, independent software developers, and entrepreneurs. Representatives from as many as 35 companies and around 90 CXOs and senior executives attended the daylong event. There were 12 speakers in all who took the audience through various aspects of agile project management.

It was a first of its kind event for Scrum evangelists in India to get together and listen and share information on Scrum. The event featured paper presentations, guest lectures, discussions, and demonstrations from Scrum practitioners from across India. The event had three streams, “Learn the Ropes” or basics of Scrum, Kaban, XP, and Lean; “Big Agile” or stories of scaling Scrum and agile in large organizations; and “Change Management” or how to manage change in agile project management.

Mr. Madhur Kathuria, chairman, India Scrum Enthusiasts Community (ISEC), presented the keynote on “Coaching Agile Teams.” His talk centered on the finer aspects of coaching teams to follow agile project management.

On 17 September, Mr. J. R. Tanti, managing director, Synefra Engineering & Construction, delivered the keynote address at the chapter’s 85th monthly seminar. Mr. Tanti spoke about how the Suzlon One Earth Campus, developed by his company, was “project managed” to turn a vision into reality. The seminar attendees got to visit the campus after the session. The event was held at the Suzlon One Earth Campus.

Synefra has developed the 820,000 sq. ft. LEED Platinum and Griha Five Star rated campus in Pune. Mr. Tanti said this is the highest green building certification by any corporate campus in the country. This campus recently received a Five Star under the “Office Development” category that suggests that it is one of the best equipped campuses in Asia Pacific.

The chapter has launched an initiative called Innovation and Operational Excellence Forum (IOEF) to provide a cross-industry learning platform to professionals. Through IOEF, the chapter invites experts to offer their insights on the use of different tools/approach to achieve innovation and operational excellence at the workplace.

In August, IOEF organized a session on “Six Sigma: Operational Effectiveness and its Usage in Project Delivery Cycle” by Mr. Sarang Deshpande.

In September, there was a session by Mr. Harish Honwad, general manager, Persistent System, based on the Theory of Constraints professed by Dr. Eliayahu Goldratt in his bestsellers—“The Goal” and “Critical Chain Thinking.”

The chapter organized a volunteer orientation meet on 25 September where senior members of the board provided insights on various benefits of volunteering. Mr. Honwad gave details about the CXO Club for project management training. Mr. Girish Kelkar, chapter president, and Mr. Rahul Sudame, also spoke about volunteer opportunities in the chapter.

In October, Mr. Kelkar, who heads IT at Power Exchange India, presented on “Transformation from Individual Contributor to Manager of Others: A Perpetual Challenge.”

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