Sunday, 11 November 2012

Getting things done, quick Time Management Tip

Recently, someone on LinkedIn posted a question on ideas concerning to-do lists. Gave a quick reply but got inspired enough to write a blog post on getting things done. These are tried and tested insights based on my numerous years of Project Management experience and inputs received during a Master’s degree in Project Management and Operational Development, you should find them helpful.

From the beginning of time, we humans have had a constant urge to organise and manage things, and hence this great civilisation of ours which began its journey in the jungle on four limbs has travelled all the way to outer space, jumped from the edge of space, and yes dived deep enough where even light can’t reach. Up until some decades ago, things were far less complex, an average human Woke up-Farmed-Slept. Nowadays, living an integrated life in a globalised environment with ICT innovations all around, there is always so much more to do than the available time and brain-resource, so a lot of us started using to-do lists on Paper, on Personal Computer, on SmartPhones.

Those who stepped-foot in that direction enabled themselves to manage better, relatively. However, doing it effectively is more important, that's where our modern day gadgets and my 3StepProcess come in with great help. Everybody who has access to a mobile phone does have a calendar as well.

Below is my suggestion to you of a 3StepProcess for getting things done effectively:
1. Understand the goal you want to accomplish / task you want to get done
2. Break it down into actionable sub-tasks
3. This is the important step. See when you are going to be free and schedule time slots in your calendar - Date as well as Time interval. Do not engage in anything else during this period. If you happen to be occupied with another high priority task when the reminder pops-up on your phone, schedule it for another moment in time, Do-Not-Simply-Dismiss-It, most of the times you will forget if not rescheduled immediately.

You will find this mechanism much more helpful than just a set of To-do list, instead of making you feel better they may make you feel more stressed out, since your mind comprehends: a lot of things need to be done but has no idea of turnaround time so is in a constant state of activity trying to solve the puzzles. ICT technologies evolved much faster than human brain did, so most probably its better we provide some external help and let it do the thinking bit. Spare a thought!

1844: First telegraph sent
1876: First phone call
1946: First mobile phone
1969: World Wide Web a.k.a. Internet launched
1971: First e-mail
1985: First SMS
1996: First Hotmail
2004: First Gmail
2007: iPhone launched

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Re-imagined and exciting web, coming soon!

It’s interesting how technology developments happen in spikes across periods of time. World Wide Web & Google indexing became popular in the 90s and everyone wanted to create their most amazing websites for presenting to their stakeholders – ones who grew up in Mumbai in that era might recollect “Dreamweaver,” anybody and everybody wanted to go to Aptech, NIIT or other private institutes to learn website designing and animation. Those were the days of basic websites, next came Adobe Flash and now its HTML5.

Across the last two decades, users graduated from basic CRT based, low powered, immovable desktops to the smart, slim, agile, computing powerhouses which we proudly flaunt around in our palms, bags and pockets - a form-factor whose capabilities we are just beginning to unearth, but let’s keep that for another blog post.

Now, the important observation and business opportunity here lies in the fact that, owners would desire to provide and users would appreciate to enjoy, the same experience across the four devices which they end up using on an almost daily basis. Two non-touch i.e. keyboard and mouse based: (1) Office computer (2) Home computer & Two touch based: (3) Handheld smartphone (4) iPad and the rival tablets. Anybody who has tried accessing an old enough website on their iPad would understand the plight I am trying to emphasise here.

Until the last week of October 2012, I wouldn't have cared to think deep about this when dictating terms and not accepting initial proposals, of the 20 something website coding entrepreneurs I employed to develop a corporate website. In my opinion that moment in time was game changing, Steve Balmer decided to catch-up and join the bandwagon unveiling the competitively priced TOUCH BASED re-imagined Windows 8 devices with all his might and voice. Certainly, iDevices brainchild of the late Steve Jobs, were the genesis of this new innovation. However, with its majority market share in the corporate and consumer segments, potential easy scalability due to a substantial number of legacy OEM partnerships, probable reduced prices in future due to economies of scale, and eventual hardware upgrades in some years as old devices begin to wear out, in my opinion the next five years a substantial number will access a touch based Microsoft device. Having said that, Android, the very first real competitor in this space has already acquired a sizeable share of the market, and their Ok-quality-Low-priced devices are quickly spreading throughout the emerging markets, where product price has an upper hand over relative quality in influencing the right parietal cortex to make the decision.

These create a unique challenge as well as creative opportunity, for proponents of Design Thinking who desire to impart the same experience on either of the four type of devices mentioned above, to push their coders to the next level. To say the least, amazing technologies like LEAP motion are possibly going commercial very soon!

To counter the aforementioned school of thought, one might argue: nowadays everybody uses apps so much then why would websites be relevant. To answer that simply: World Wide Web was based on websites, they exist from the beginning of time, and lastly if they were destined to wane out anytime soon pioneering devices like the iPad would never have kept a web browser on their home screen as a default option.

Happy Surfing!