Best Practices from the PMI National Conference 2012

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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.

Open Internet Policies for Businesses

ISOC India Chennai hosted an interesting discussion on the significance of Open Internet Policies for businesses at the Sindhi Chamber of Commerce on Saturday evening. Leading the discussion was Mr Rajnesh D. Singh, Head, Regional Bureau for Asia, Internet Society on how ISOC and its members can help in the policy making process.

ISOC Individual members , industry partners comprise the technical community. They along with the government and the public sector / civil society complete the various stakeholder of ISOC . Together they are a great influence to the government on Policy issues. And meetings like this are opportunities to raise awareness on emerging issues within the member community.

Studies in UK reveal that Internet access has direct economic impact on the GDP on the country. Today companies like Google, Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, Cisco and 15 such Fortune 100 companies thrive on the power of internet. Our annual online transactions based on internet businesses alone amount to more than a $ 1 Trillion annually. Internet as a medium to engage in free exchange of ideas, communication has been touted a a key economic driver. The value thus created is in terms of employment it generates, financial value as well as the time value one is able to save. Such a vibrant medium has to be unfettered and safeguarded from interception.

The need for an open internet policy is paramount today ! This is the equivalent of democracy in our society. We call it the freedom of expression. Such a policy facilitates open access to communication infrastructure for all as well as right to individual privacy . An open internet policy is all about empowering internet users to create any content, access any content as well as find way to innovate. It is all about setting a level playing field online that is neutral to all.

The issue we are talking is very much related to how google.cn was banned or how Pakistan has recently banned popular social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. In India there is an emergent need for Open internet or Neutral Web at an organization level. There needs to be more emphasis that Such a vibrant medium should continue to evolve as a open medium, free of barriers and political restraints.

Ideacamp, India Search Summit and Socialmaxx : Forthcoming initiatives at The Knowledge Foundation

How many times have you felt an awesome idea and wanted to validate it with a peer group ? How many times have you felt that you are found sitting at a great idea for so long that you find that competition has been capitalising on that ? And how many times have you reached out to your community to build something together ? The answer to all this  #Ideacamp .

Events like #barcamp , #ignite have ventured partly in this direction but with Ideacamp we just want to celebrate ideas (any domain) and understand  how collective brainstorming can take things to the next level. This platform will seek to validate ideas as well as gather support in building a team around the idea. The key component of Ideacamp would be the audience. The more diverse they are the greater will be the input to the event per se.. Already we have members from ISOC Chennai trying to connect the event with global thinkers. Due to be held in the third week of May 2010 Follow developments on twitter and facebook by tracking the tags #ideacamp

Search meets Social and Social meets search. A few weeks back twitter announced with twitter predictor it was able to predict box office success.Lately a lot of commercial organisations are listening to social media streams like twitter , facebook, linkedin to understand their customers, service levels as well as online branding. Naturally its imperative that we combine both streams without diluting content in each of these domains. Searchcamp has been renamed as India Search Summit Owing to the tremendous success of the previous two editions of Searchcamp , we wanted it to grow into a larger and serious initiative that can bring together more Search professionals so that we can take it to other cities in India on the long run.

The Knowledge Foundation has already done events in the past like Buzz140  ( #buzz140 ) on twitter (2009) , India’s first Facebook Garage in Proto.in Pune edition (2009) , its time that we elevate the bar to combine all into one focussed event on Social Media. This time we want to combine popular tools like LinkedIn also to the discussion . India Search Summit and Socialmaxx will be held on consecutive days at the third week of August 2010. We welcome volunteers and enthusiasts who can join us to help in these initiatives . To follow development updates on this event pls search for #socialmaxx

Strategies to prevent and fight online child sexual exploitation in developing countries !

This has been one of the most grave topics that needs a greater voice in the online world. Unlike other issues where there is only sustained impact of IG in our day today life this topic has greater impact in invasion of our privacy and with serious implications. The topic was moderated by Hindeburgo

Child abuse and child pornography is a key issue that needs wider addressal as it is of paramount importance to protect our children. The panel had key experts from the industry and the public enterprises too. Companies like google, Friendster and social networking sites (sns) like orkut, myspace, face book  were addressing their strategies at operational level and holistic macro level .Google seems to be lobbying for stricter laws on Child pornography in India. Safe search, net smart and similar iniitatives in google search have been driving across internet safety to users at the grassroots level.

The session was followed by an interaction initiated by Adriana Scordamaglia who is the head of Cybercrime division of Brazil. She was presenting a case on the behaviour of online users in brazil (MPF -Ministerio of Public federale) and initiatives to curb child porn that has been done by Brazil. The cybercrime unit was established way back in 2003 at sao paulo and today brazil stands 5th in the top internet users in the developed world. Each user seems to put in 26hrs per month online. (www.safenet.org.br) has been one of their initiatives to report and track child pornography in brazil. Nearly 25000 cases of child pornography are reported in a quarter from brazil. 2/3 of the internet users in brazil are on orkut. Offenses like cyberbullying, distribution of child porn content, hate crimes, grooming, insult and slander and harrassment of children were discussed in detail and steps that we need to take to handle such offenses. All these sns (social networking sites) seem to be bound by the laws prevailing in the country in which their server is hosted and not the jurisdiction and legislation where the crime has been committed. This issue needs to be addressed with top priority and IGF comes to forefront to enforce such laws among the participating countries with reasonable standards to prescribe to a common law that can be on par with international human rights standards. Initiatives like safernet have been drafted in place at brazil to make the internet easily accountable on conflicting images posted by perpetrators of such crime.

Worldwide there are nearly 80 countries that dont seem to have proper legislation, technology or infiltrations mechanisms to curb such child pornography. Some third world countries have individuals looking at child pornography as a home based business opportunity. Even india didnt have sufficient legislation in this space until lately. Only after the incident where Baazee.com CEO was apprehended for the selling of a MMS clip ( of a DPS school student) seems to the the waking hour. And we have so many miles to go inthis initiative which is still at its infancy stages in India. One of the stronger logic points are that wherever such digital images emanate from into the online world there is a greater possibility that the real crime is happening in the immediate vicinity.

The session was amazingly informative with plethora of speakers on cybercrime from different countries talking in their native toungue thus there were digital translators available. Looking at IGF has opened up the immense possibilities by which we can raise the quality bar in PROTO to an entirely higher level that can be synonymous with global standards.  

 

 

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