Burt Ratan talks about Project management practices in building commercial space travel

George Bernard Shaw once said ” The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man ” And entrepreneurs belong to this rare breed of clan who bring path breaking changes to the society at large. Creativity happens when things are not going good and you tend to be lazy . Even for such rare breed of individuals when they take efforts to translate an idea from its conception to reality they adopt certain project management practices to ensure that they are able to clearly communicate their requirements to the stakeholders and able to transform from design to build seamlessly and with precision.

For the last 2 years, we have been hearing about a few commercial organizations working on sub orbital flights. Off late a lot of startups are exploring the boundaries of space travel on a commercial basis. One among them is Spacex a startup based out of US ( http://www.spacex.com/updates.php ) This startup is heavily invested by companies like Paypal, Tesla motors and is churning some very interesting projects on Space travel. Not to mention the infamous Space travel by Virgin One (http://www.virgingalactic.com/ ) powered by Richard Branson – Virgin Atlantic founder . Today you can book your seat for space travel on their website. Today that niche domain is so overcrowded with a lot of smaller initiatives spawning with great vigor.

It all began six years back when one great visionary climbed a podium at a Ted event and addressed this issue. This person has been one of my great inspirations on most of my initiatives. He is none other than Burt Ratan and you can listen to that speech here

Burt Ratan is one of the prolific speakers at the forthcoming PMO Symposium http://copevents.pmi.org/pmosymposium/program/featured-speakers . We at PMI connect with such visionaries to bring them to relate their journey to our community and also how they had followed various principles of project management in their goal quest. At the forthcoming PMI National Conference 2012 of the Region 11 we are showcasing such visionaries from our region with greater fervor. Come and register for a 3 day of packed excitement and to hears from a stellar speaker list here ( http://pmi.org.in/conference2012/ )

Core organizers meet at ground zero for the PMI National Conference @ The Leela Palace #pmnc12


The core committee steamrolling through a saturday at ground zero with the event WBS. Watch this space as we update you on behind scenes action as we countdown.

We would like to invite bloggers to join us here for being part of a big campaign starting on Aug 27. Pls leave ur expression of interest to participate here

Live blogging a musical evening with Pankaj Udhas at Music Academy

A prolonged Eid treat that i was so eagerly waiting for was to see, hear and experience one of my favorite ghazal singers, Padmashree Pankaj Udhaas. Headed out of office as early as 6:15 for this event looking forward to soulful renditions from the maestro himself only to realize that the show was sold out. This is my fifth concert listening to him rightfully qualifying as a rasika. I was initiated to listening to ghazals by my dad since my school days and took an instant liking to his music. Much later in college started listening to another maestro that i was equally passionate about : Jagjit Singh.The creative work of both these icons has been pathbreaking transcending to illiterate and rustic souls like me.The concert started with lighting of the lamp by Pandit PB Srinivas

He starts the musical journey with ” Dil dhadkne ka sahab yaad aayaa..” . After that, digging deep and pulling the heartstrings with ” Deewaron se milkar rhoona aacha lagta hai.. ” absolute nirvana listening to the 80 classic ! ” Aur aahista keejiyee baatein ….” from the late 90’s . Then there was this nazm by zafar gorakhpuri ” Dukh sukh ka ek …. ” just took us on a time travel. ” Sabko maalum hai mai sharaabi nahin phir bhi koi peelayaen to my kya kaaroon…” Followed by gem of rendition of “Chandi jaise rang hai tera..”


The evening was a classic chicken soup to a ghazal starved soul.

Contemperory racy music of likes of Linkin park, Rihanna, Adele, Jason mraz or shakira top charts faster yet the seem so superficial lacking the melancholy of artists of this genre.

It is so invigorating to hear artist of such calibre have chennai in their annual iternary. Altogether it was a memorable evening to cherish and remember. May god bless him to carry his work to younger generations.

Annual General Meeting of PMI Chennai Chapter, 2012 #pmiccagm12



Date : Aug 19, 2012

Venue: Hotel Deccan Plaza

Attendance : 160

The day started as early as 3 AM in the morning for me as this was the last day of Saher (Fasting) before Ramzan. After Saher and the morning prayers there was not much time left to catch a shut eye as we had a volunteer meeting scheduled at 7 AM at the venue followed by a planning over breakfast. 

 The chief guest at the AGM was Thiru. K. Rajaraman, IAS.  He is the Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu, Special Initiatives Department and currently the Managing Director for Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL)

The agenda for the day was as follows 

09:00 am-10:00 am Registration & Networking
10:00 am-10:05 am Welcome Note
10:06 am-10:25 am Secretary’s 2010 – 2011 Annual Report & Bye-law Amendments
10:26 am-10:45 am Treasurer’s 2010 – 2011 Financial Report
10:46 am-11:05 am President’s Address
11:06 am-11:20 am Tea Break
11:21 am-11:45 pm Awards & Recognition 
11:46 am-12:15 pm Portfolio update by Vice Presidents.
12:31 pm-01:30 pm Key Note Speech – Chief Guest.
01:30 pm-01:35 pm Vote of Thanks  followed by Lunch

Synopsis of Growth on the Communication Portfolio:

Here is the short presentation that we made for my portfolio (Communication) at the AGM 2012

Post AGM had to rush to my hometown for Eid celebrations with family and friends. At one end there was this feeling that AGM just a day before Eid was really taxing yet we were able to carry it with ease and flair. A event that was a full house attendance and went well. And we volunteers carry forward with renewed vigor for another year and fresh burst of energy for the PMI National Conference 2012 that is just round the corner. 

Pls watch this space for more behind the scenes action …



Countdown for the PMI National Conference 2012 #pmnc12 has started ..




We have started the countdown for the 2012 PMI National Conference, a largest gathering of project Management professionals, Practitioners and academicians to converge to chennai for a 3 days of knowledge exchange, networking, debates, fun and presentations that will be revolving around topics related to project management for individuals, community, corporate and national interests.

Come meet the industry leaders, top managers, social thinkers and participate in this interesting discussion of how we can take project management the extra mile on setting organizational direction in these three days. The conference is hosted by the PMI Chennai Chapter with PMI Kerala Chapter as joint hosts at the newly built Hotel Leela Palace at MRC Nagar Chennai from September 28 – 30 , 2012.

For more details on the conference and registering for the same visit the site here

Watch this space for more updates as we near the conference dates and to get the behind the screen action on the makings of this conference here ….


Pinterest and its impact on Social Media !

Pin up everything that is of your interest to your board and of personal interest . Follow my activities at the launch of the badges and posters for the upcoming PMI National Conference 2012 there. Watch for more updates here. For those who are new to Pinterest know more on the same by reading this doc 


Stories maketh the pursuit of goal purposeful !

A master story teller has always captured our imagination during childhood. Stories told by our mom and dad , by friends have been a key influencer in our formative years. We have sought inspiration on stories at school, home and at work in building key input for our system. Stories have a powerful impact on the communication.

Back in 1893 one dark man was thrown out of a train bound to Pretoria at the Pieter Maritzberg Railway Station just because he was on the first class compartment that was mentioned for whites. A small story that was the beginning of a major “Ahimsa (non-violent) ” struggle in the history of the world. Today world over Ahimsa is a powerful phenomenon. Good or Bad, Stories by itself have been a powerful vehicle to boost communication of the message that we intend to pass to our listeners. And the power of story telling is a key enabler in effective communications.

Corporate world particularly IT has taken a great affinity for Storytelling. Right from building requirements based on user stories to playing real life scenarios to comply with business perspectives, stories are used to make a point across to listeners and as stories it becomes easier to remember and has lasting impact on listeners compared to abstract points. Today there are a lot of project management models where user stories form a key input to building solutions.

A lot of startups and entrepreneurs have a powerful and compelling story behind its formation. Be it the infamous Steve Jobs Speech at Stanford or Randy Paush’s ” The Last Lecture ” at the Carnegie Mellon or stories behind formation of Facebook, Reliance or Infosys, there is always a real life story that relates emotionally with the entrepreneur that led to the formation of the enterprise. Such stories tap into human emotions and connects a strong bond between the story teller and the listener. Stories tend to make it meaningful for people who build upon it. Organizations need to have compelling stories to align with their vision and collective purpose for achieving the larger goals. As leaders we need to be great story tellers and always lookout for that compelling story that can further our purpose and goals.

Project Managers / Product Managers need to acquire story telling skills to capture market opportunity , user requirements and how solutions seem to address market pain points effectively. Today’s agile development models are shaped on user stories as vital input not just for writing requirements but also to talk about users and for building effective solutions. User Stories tend to shift the focus from writing about features to talking about them.