Finding out what is really broken, usually takes more time than fixing it !

Find what’s really broken before fixing it

I enjoy coding. While I have a long way to go as a programmer, coding does put me in a zen kind of a state. The mix of learning and building something new, is almost magical. It does fuel and inspire the problem solver in me. And it is a great teacher too. I just learnt that …. Finding out what is really broken, usually takes more time than fixing it ! Last week, I was trying to fix a bug on a piece of code that was first written few years back. The software itself has undergone multiple iterations

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Factory and Lab mindsets in product management teams

Factories and laboratories evoke very different images. With a factory – I am usually thinking the industrial revolution in all its glory – machines, assembly lines, robots, workers, all working in a disciplined and predictable manner – churning out products that are all identical and meet the claimed specifications. Low room for error. Designed for scale. On the other hand, when I think of a lab – I usually come up with a white coat wearing team of specialists pouring over data. Going deeper into a topic. Asking fundamental questions. Pushing boundaries. New ideas being discussed and prototyped. While I

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pegasus bridge

Why so serious ! Need for humor at work

This happened yesterday – We settled down for a discussion first thing in the morning and a colleague says- smile guys, its a good day! But, it was a spirited discussion . And the smiles quickly vanished. We shared our views and debated. And I realised I was talking with a lot of emotional energy. I told myself, its ok  – because I am committed and passionate about this. But there was clearly another voice telling me – its not ok. And then something interesting happened later in the evening. I was reading Pegasus Bridge  June 6 1944 – By Stephen Ambrose and came

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Effective rules implementation

Good rules should be designed for higher adoption

How do we drive adoption for rules in a country, a community? Should a good rule be easily enforceable too? I think it should be. If we want to build a society where most follow the rules, enforceability should be an important criteria. To decide whether a new rule should be introduced or not. Whether an existing rule needs to be modified or scrapped. Why? It is my belief, that when we have rules that can be easily broken without any consequences, it sends a signal to the community. And this signal usually leads to a gradual loss of respect

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Wheat Green Revolution

Public policy, ripple effects and feedback loops

I have always been intrigued by product design and by extension policy design (& implementation). If the government were to look at itself as a start-up technology venture, the policies, schemes and guidelines issued by the government would possibly be the “products” of this venture. And like any good product manager, one should study not just the immediate impact of change(s) in product design but also the delayed and maybe stickier changes in consumer behaviour. And that is what I want to share with you today. Shift in dietary habits due to Green Revolution Sometime last month, I was visiting

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3 tips for New To Bank Acquisitions – Digital Banking Toolkit

Why Online Acquisitions Acquiring New To Bank (NTB) customers is a key agenda for most Digital Heads at Banks. Its only logical that online acquisition budgets are getting bigger, given the following: Consumers are spending more and more time online. Digital is the best channel to start a dialogue Digital channels are tracked exhaustively. You can measure the return on each dollar spent. Digital channels allow data to flow at higher speeds. This could translate into better context, targeted products, straight-through-processing, upfront checking of applications etc etc. Tablets have provided the ideal form-factor to do an assisted digital sourcing, as

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Easier to be Krishna than to be Arjun

The other day, my mom shared a powerful and thought-provoking quote, that she has just read. It’s easier to be Krishna, than to be Arjun !! And she went on to explain, that being Krishna requires one to look inside and discover the highest qualities that each of us are bestowed with. But to be an Arjun, one needs to be full of faith. Infact have so much faith and trust, that you see a Guru in your friend, who then becomes the Krishna in your life. Its a very powerful thought. To be able to trust someone or something

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Embrace APIs – Digital Banking Toolkit

Digital is the latest buzzword in banking. Not only are the bank boardrooms echoing with digital keywords, its what seems to be driving the pitches at most IT and Management Consulting firms. And rightly so ! When the data tells us that 9% of the population already uses Mobile Banking, we know that Digital Banking Revolution is already upon us. In the last article, I mentioned, how the Digital Banking Journey will be different for each bank and why it might be a good idea for the banks to play to their strengths. Equally important is to acknowledge and understand,

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Play to your strengths – Digital Banking Toolkit

Nadal is the king of clay. Given a choice of surface, I guess he would choose clay 9 out of 10. We all get it – one should play to one’s own strength. Its obvious in sports, but most of us fail to apply the same rule(s) in business. As most banks embrace digital, this is one rule we should not forget. Look at the bigger PSU banks in India – it’s fair to assume that they have a big list of areas to focus on when it comes to going digital: Channel migration of customers onto internet banking and

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How to save the Boiling Frog?

We have all heard about the boiling frog phenomenon – Put a frog in boiling water and it would immediately jump out. Instead keep a frog in cold water and heat the water slowly, the frog would just boil to death. While I don’t know if this experiment was ever done or not (one guy actually tried it and uploaded a YouTube video), or whether the frogs of today are smarter than their ancestors, but the underlying phenomenon is all too common in the corporate world. Companies fail to see the “inevitable change” in consumer behavior. They fail to notice or

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