Monday, August 6, 2012

Hunger Strike and Agitations - "Support" or "No Support"


 
Once again I wouldn't want to create an impression that I have completely switched from Technology Blogging to Socio-Political writing. Previous article regarding Olympics, was simply a look at the current situation from a Project Managerial view. An attempt to analyze if Project Management best practices could efficiently manage, enhance and stabilize the current disastrous performance experienced by the Indian team representing at London Olympics 2012.

In this above subject too, I am only attempting to discuss the effects of Political instability caused due to agitations and hunger strikes. Its effects on foreign investments. Effects that could be clearly seen and experience even at our/my level.

To start with I appreciate the efforts taken by Mr. Hazare. I am almost close to certain, rather I'd say I am 90% sure that Mr. Hazare's intention behind the agitations and hunger strikes are true and positive. I leave the remaining 10%, since similar to a normal human being, even I possess the humanly impurity of 'getting influenced' by 'something' to an extent. Yes, talking about the recent media reports of a foreign hand (through an NGO cover) involved in this movement to disrupt the growth, investment and GDP figures.

Now on Mr. Hazare’s stand against ‘the Government’. Surprisingly it’s the Government and not the Parliament. Well, my point here is not that who the war should be against. I feel, the public demonstration of power to bring instability in the country in inappropriate. It is unacceptable that a politically unstable picture/impression of India as a country is been portrayed globally. We know that the heart of any so called "Developing Country" is foreign investments from the so called "Developed Nations". The Developed countries benefit in terms of Services/Products/Warranties at optimum costs from the Developing Countries. Similarly the Developing Countries benefits in terms of generating jobs, employment, skills enhancement, development, improved standard of living, improved education and many more. This fruitful union/setup is the output of decades of diplomatic negotiations, policy making and hard work at the ground level. This is what enables today's generation to take home a fat salary home. This may be through IT, Manufacturing, Functional Services or through Entrepreneurship.

Considering this Prime Source in the Progress of India in last 15 years, we are nowhere in a position to disrupt this existing smooth setup we possess. Not even if this disruption is to bring in a positive change. How helpful do you think this change would be, if the object for change itself shrinks down to nothing? No investments, lesser taxes, lesser contracts, lesser development; so now does it even matter if lesser corruption after all this? I haven’t yet checked the campus placement numbers this year; however I was told that the numbers are not quite impressive. This market instability is clearly stopping companies abroad leasing contracts to Indian counterparts for service provision. This lacuna into the Indian framework is exploited heavily by other competitors like China, Philippines, Malaysia, Dubai and more. To survive and come back as winner into this race, stability into the Political and Legal framework is much essential.

Understanding this in detail, makes me appeal that, attempts to improve the current condition is great however one should be aware of the repercussions our actions generate on the environment while introducing change. I understand the great vision; however a thorough risk assessment is also required to gauge the negative impact of any change.

Thank you !!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

India's recent stint at the London Olympics 2012


Most People around me, apart from my humble calm posture, know the rigid, patriot inside me. Especially when it comes to supporting and following some Sport. The loud, true and at times a stubborn supporter I am, let be it for my Company, City, State, School, College or our own Nation Team at Olympics. All I always want them is to win. Win at all costs. To begin with, hope this love for 'MY' team would justify reasons for me to choose such a different topic today, out of the blue.

At Beijing Olympics 2008, when Mr. Bindra struck Gold in Style, it was been said and believed that London 2012 would be different. However so far until 3rd Aug' 12, for me things don't seem to be that different. Me being a Project Manager by Profession, someone who loves to get into the scene and snatch control of the situation/deliverables, would never be content either with the progress nor the preparations for the games.

India, as a country even after possessing such diverse, skilled and able population; disappoints all to limits. We are a nation stuffed with talent but lack skilled, efficient and strong willed management to nurture this ability and turn it into success.

As once said:
"Discipline is the refining fire which turns ability into Success"

Agreed, the Athletes are not to blame here. I'd be brutally assaulted and bombarded with posts if I even slightly wink towards indicating that the Athletes lack discipline (I better be well aware of that :-)). Nevertheless, on a serious note, I believe it to be true, yes Indian Athletes display and possess high disciplinary standards. My point here is again pointing to towards the Talent Management Wings here.

To my opinion, at first, a Plan needs to be in place. I'm sure, on reading this the Government officials could easily point us to a stack of files named "Delivery Plan" or similar. How about a Practical-Feasible Plan of Action, that  is readable, easily understandable; is what I am talking about here. Something which could be and should be followed and implemented till the end irresspective of all odds.

I feel this entire National Project could be divided into a time period of 3.5 years. This is not about a 'fat budget' as we call it, its about efficient management of resources.

Similar to any Project Management methodology, we could further divide this Project into stages:

Stage 1: Maximum Coverage (To ensure coverage for all Sporting Events. Mostly we know, there remain a number if sporting events both in Summer and Winter Olympics where we do not even succeed in sending Athletes for the initial Qualifications. This is disappointing. We need to identify study and setup bases to prepare Olympic standard Athletes and ensure 100% participation atleast for qualifications with a minimum throughput of 60%, which could be gradually extended with time and progress.

Stage 2: Infrastructure Setup (Excellent facilities should be setup at least 2 in each state covering each sporting event identified in Step 1, to enhance the talent of "the chosen ones". These facilities should not only include excellent world class equipment but world class support staff too. Along with the emphasis on Physical Preparedness most Olympics events required tremendous mental fitness, balance, stability and calmness. Regular routine of the Athletes should also include session of Yoga/Vipassana to ensure that the real talent is delivered to its best when needed the most.

Stage 3: Talent Acquisition (This could primarily include recruitment of Athletes. This would be the most important phase of this Project. There needs to be recruitment under three sections. Immediate - next game Athlete ready within 3yrs, Mid-Term; 7yrs and Long-Term; 11yrs). District level selection Recruitment/Induction Programmes needs to be setup/conducted similar to the impressive stint, one would remember what ‘Krida Prabodani’ in mid 90s had displayed. This has to be centralized, ensuring access to all schools, for all ages. Most importantly, carefully examined and selected candidates should be awarded/entitled with some sort of monthly/weekly compensatory allowance. This should also include food and other benefits and re-imbursements/arrangements.)

Stage 4: Auditing, Examination and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI): Ensure that this entire setup is under continuous vigilance from the CSI team that could be split-up into Process and Project Auditing.


Well, I know/realize the above is a reactive/angry note from a young Project Manager as a response post disappointment on his country's performance at London Olympics 2012. I know there are challenges, issues and risks that are been overlooked by me at my level.

However I truly believe in Learning from yesterday, living for today and hoping for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. We must accept finite disappointment, but NEVER LOSE INFINITE HOPE.

Jai Hind !!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Setting up a Test Environment for Mail Servers (sending and receiving emails – Internal (LAN) to External (WAN) and vice versa)

 

This time I am going to write about the procedure on setting up a Test Environment for understanding Mail Servers (sending and receiving emails- Internal to External and vice versa)

 

Here, in my case I first installed VMWARE ESXi server on my Server which has 8 GB RAM

 

Then deployed 3 virtual machines (VMs) with the Operating System as Windows Server 2003 SP2

 

Let me first explain why three VMs/Systems:

  1. Domain Controller and Exchange Server (Internal)
  2. RRAS (used for LAN Routing)
  3. Domain Controller and Exchange Server (External)

 

Setup a Static IP Address with a Completely Different Subnet for the Two Servers. For example setup 192.168.1.30 for one server and setup 192.168.20.30 for another server

 

Install and Configure DNS on both the identified Systems

 

Install and Configure Active Directory on both the identified Systems making it a completely new Domain Controllers (DCs) in a completely new forest for each one

 

Make sure that both the DCs are completely different domains in completely different forest

 

For Example: myhome.abc and company.abc

 

Prepare the server for Exchange Installation by running “forestprep” and “domainprep”

 

Once successful, install Exchange Server on both the identified Systems

 

Then go to the DNS Server snap-in and Configure both the DNS server to use each other as forwarders

 

For Example if we assume the two Server with the IP Address as:

  1. 192.168.1.30
  2. 192.168.20.30

Then we need to configure DNS Server 192.168.1.30 as a DNS forwarder for the server 192.168.20.30 and vice versa

 

 

To configure a DNS server to use forwarders

  • Open the DNS snap-in.
  • In the console tree, click the applicable Domain Name System (DNS) server.
    Where?
    • DNS/applicable DNS server
  • On the Action menu, click Properties.
  • On the Forwarders tab, click Edit.
  • Type the IP address for the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of a forwarder, and then click OK.
  •  

    Once the DNS forwarding is completed, verify by sending an email to any user in the other Domain from the Existing one

    For Example: Sending an Email from the Domain myhome.abc to company.abc which are two completely different domains in completely different forest working on different subnets connected via a router

     

    Mail Sent Successfully isn't it ?

     

    This setup can now be used to simulate a Internal Email to WAN and WAN to Internal Email, since we can assume and configure one of the Domains as Internal and the other on WAN connected via a Router which is RRAS in our case

     

     

    All the best and Let me know how it goes or incase if you need any inputs

     

     

    Thank you for reading :-)