Recent posts

Does my business need a Chatbot?

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about Chatbots – applications that make use of a conversational user interface instead of a graphical interface that has been the norm in the past decade or three. With any buzz-worthy technology, there is the usual confusion about what exactly is a Chatbot – and depending on how many articles you have read, it is anywhere between a simplified IVR or the technology which will result in world peace.

What is the hallmark of process maturity?

Spurred on by demands for certifications placed upon them by their sales teams, many organizations embark on "process improvement" journeys, creating processes that are well decorated with myriads of certifications and industry accolades. Having invested time and money into this journey, and having displayed these decorated processes over and over again to their customers, these organizations then recklessly start enforcing these processes upon their unsuspecting victims – the hapless employees. Most consultants call this phase as “institutionalization”. Very much like flogging a donkey till it agrees with you that it is a horse. Some of the keywords that you hear in such organizations are - audits, compliance (or lack of it), discipline, certifications, evidence, data, metrics, checklists, procedures, etc.

Being an enabler of Enterprise Agility

Several organizations have adopted agile, such that today an agile approach is ubiquitous. Since the Agile Manifesto was published in February 2001, agile software development practices have come a long way. However, there is still some debate on the application of agile in distributed offshore teams as it appears counter to agile principles. There are additional challenges within companies because agile teams exist within the context of an organization that may have a limited or diverse understanding of agile, and therefore its ability to support it - the money simply doesn't work like that. Furthermore, an agile approach can encompass a wide range of interpretations from something that is closer to "pure agile" as per the agile manifesto to something cynics might describe as "waterfall with stand-ups". The resultant solution to this challenge is in adapting agile that works within the Enterprise, with distributed teams - Enterprise Agile.

Nagarro and Pixar: An unexpected commonality

I have been reading “Creativity Inc.” by Pixar’s President Ed Catmull. Chapter 5 just blew me away.

ASSA ABLOY unlocks success with its offshore Innovation Centre

When ASSA ABLOY opened its new Innovation Centre in India, the initiative’s success hinged on finding the right partner. The past few years has seen ASSA ABLOY grow dramatically. It now dominates the market for door opening solutions. With the industry increasingly becoming digitized, ASSA ABLOY’s businesses now focus on developing advanced lock and security systems.

Threat Modeling: 5 simple steps to a secure system

Imagine that you are working on a new e-commerce website with a team of developers. Everything appears to be going smoothly. With the release date coming closer and the marketing team ready to announce the new site to the world, everyone starts to celebrate in anticipation of a successful launch.

Backlog grooming in practice

Over the last few years while working in numerous scrum teams, I have come to realize one thing that all of us seem to struggle with - completing user stories within sprint boundaries. The most common reason is the long list of tasks we have at hand. Tasks that need to be completed so that a user story can be accepted. Delay in any one of the tasks usually leads to the story spilling over to the next sprint. After a detailed introspection of the scrum, I often find that the only way to avoid delays is to diminish the unknown factors in a sprint and have a better plan. In other words carry out effective backlog grooming. Unknown factors can range from UX layout issues to crystalizing requirements for setting up a test bed.

Wealth management and the middle-class German

Wealth management, one of the most appealing facets in the financial sector, is undergoing a fundamental transition in European countries. This is due to the emergence of a new generation of investors whose preferences are greatly influenced and shaped by new trends and technologies. In fact, banks have redrawn their potential customers’ profile and are now focusing on prospective investors who have accumulated their wealth gradually. While continuing their traditional focus on UHNWIs and HNWIs, some banks have also included all individuals who have a potential to save money, famously referred as ‘middle-class millionaires’, in their purview.

Guarding against 'disruption'

'Disruption' is the most dreaded word for any CXO nowadays. Every CXO is worried about his/her industry being disrupted by a new player - probably by a tiny startup. Most startups claim they have a new platform that will disrupt the industry. And in this atmosphere of fear several industry trends are going haywire. Business models are taking major U-turns. For instance, brick and mortar stores are getting desperate to make their online presence felt and are creating their virtual stores and apps. On the other hand, online only stores are looking at setting up their own physical stores.

Are you losing out to disrupters?