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Inefficiencies in Indian telecom sector - A case for change in regulations

almost 3 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

While telecom operators world over are embracing digitization to deliver improved customer experience and make operations more efficient, their counter-parts in India are seriously handicapped by a set of stifling regulations.Sample this (Source - Regulation on Verification of new mobile subscribers )3 (i) - Physical Customer Acquisition form (CAF). "A passport sized photograph of the subscriber should be pasted ....The person at PoS shall get the CAF duly tiled and singed..."3 (iv) - Manual Verification as a pre-requisite to activation - "The mobile connections shall be activated only after the requirement of filling up of customer acquisition form and copies of documentary proof as per requirement have been fulfilled by the customer and the subscriber details have been updated in the subscriber database of the licenser for this purpose, the licensee (the employee of Licensee) shall verify and record on the CAF under his name, designation and Signature that all the documentary requirement has been completed and subscriber details are updated in the database of licensee"3 (vii) - Pre-activated SIM Card is not to be sold.3 (xi) - Pre-paid to Post-paid change (& vice versa) - "incase of change of existing mobile connection from pre-paid to postpaid and vice versa also, the above instructions from 3(i) to .3(viii) shall apply"Here is an estimate of inefficiencies (in Indian telecom industry) resulting from these regulationsAbsence of a Digital CAF - In 2013, approximately 9.1 million new subscribers available mobile connections. Assuming Rs 10 goes for handling of physical CAF/ subscriber and Rs 2 / subscriber goes for storage, retrieval, the Industry spent approx Rs 11 Crores (9.1 mil * Rs 12) on processing physical CAFs in 2013 alone. Imagine the level of efficiency, if the govt allows Digital CAFs for a certain segment of people with strong POI e.g. As of last count nearly 50% of our population has Aadhaar cards)Need for Manual Verification? - On paper, this clause places a nominal accountability on the licensee to detect and prevent fraud. But at what cost. A national player has to keep approximately 1000 to 1200 employees at various hubs to manually verify and sign the CAFs. Considering top 5 national players we are looking at 6000 full time employees dedicated to serve this regulation alone. Assuming bare minimum Rs 4 lakhs CTC, we are looking at Rs 240 Crores salary spend on this non value adding activityWould DoT wake up from it's deep slumber and take a objective view on such archaic regulations?

Use of Operations Research to plan optimal capacity for a Kanban team

over 3 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Imagine you are responsible for setting up a new Kanban team to develop a piece of software. You have the following contextual background while forming the teamRequirements are progressively elaborated and you expect on an average 3 new feature requests per day adding to the "To Do" listNew requirements are likely to follow a Poisson distribution. ~ Pois(3) Since new feature arrival follows a Poisson distribution, naturally the inter-arrival time will follow an exponential distributionThe feature development distribution would mimic the inter arrival time and follow an exponential distribution as well (i.e in Kanban model, you move the card from "To Do" to "in progress" as soon as you are free to take up the card)You have flexibility to change the team staffing to increase or decrease the average service timeProblem Statement:What is the optimal feature development "capacity" you should plan for to minimize the time between a feature arriving in "To Do" list and moving on to "In Progress" list (i.e. The "Wait time" for a feature). Solution - 1:The following points are evident through application of common sense / gut feelThe minimum capacity should be an avg 3 features per day ( same as "feature arrival rate"), otherwise the "To Do" list (or backlog) will grow on to inifinityThere is cost associated with increasing capacity. We need to make a trade off between minimizing the wait time in "To Do" bucket and limiting the cost development to an acceptable levelMay be we can pick a capacity anywhere between 5 or 6 features per daySolution -2: Application of Operations Research \ Queuing ModelsThe above scenario reflects an M/M/1 queue model. i.eArrival rate follows Poisson distributionservice rate (= Feature development rate in our case) follows exponential distributionSingle server (one Kanban team in this case)average wait time in an M/M/1 queue (refer to this paper)                                                                 = (Arrival rate)/ service rate * (service rate - arrival rate)in our case, arrival rate is = 3 features per day. We have option to vary the service rate (= # how many features can be developed in a day) by changing the team staffing. Given below is a plot of the Wait time as a function of service rate (= feature development rate)The following points can be inferred from the above plotWe must plan for capacity to develop >3 features per day, otherwise the wait time in "To Do" list can grow for everHaving a capacity to develop higher than 7 features per day gives diminishing returns. Having a capacity to develop 7 features may just be good enoughTo Summarize, most of the functional managers, team leaders use their gut feel (Solution #1 above) to do capacity planning. In most of the situation, the gut feel gives us good enough results. However there are certain critical situations where the business impact is so high that we require a more scientific approach to base our decisions. As we demonstrated above in solution #2, the appropriate Queuing model can be applied to make more informed decisions. 

Using Term Document Matrix

almost 4 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Problem Statement:Let's say you have a number of documents. Each document has a number of words (we refer them as terms). The problem is to identify two documents which are most similar.Given below is one of the solution approachesUse of Term Document Matrix:Each row of a Term document matrix (let's name it as D) is a document vector, with one column for every term in the entire corpus of documents. The matrix is sparse as not all document might contain a term. The value in each cell of the matrix is the term frequency.example:docid      term1      term2     term3     term4                                term nd1            2             1            0              0                                    3d2            0             2            3              4                                    1d3            1             0            4              2                                    0..The transpose of the same Term Document Matrix (DT) will look as followsdocid      d1     d2        d3  .............. dnterm1       2      0          1 term2       1      2          0term3       0      3          4..We can create a Similarity Matrix (S) by multiplying D with DT { e.g. S = D * DT}The structure of Similarity matrix will be as followsdocid   d1       d2        d3 ............. dnd1       x11     x12      x13             x1nd2       x21     x22      x23             x2nd3       x31     x32      x33             x3n..dn        xn1    xn2      xn3               xnnwhere Xmn = SUM Product of all term frequencies of docids dm and dnIntuitively higher the value of Xmn, the more similar are the documents with doc ids dm and dn.Coming back to our original problem, find which to documents are most similar. Simply look into the Similarity matrix and find our the row, col of the highest value in the matrix. 

The Serving Leader

almost 4 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

"The Serving Leader" by Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert was my weekend reading. The book talks about five actions that can transform teams, business and community. My key takeaways from the book areServing leaders run to great purpose by holding out in front of their team a "reason why" that is so big that it requires and motivates everybody's best effortsThey qualify to be first by putting other people firstThey raise the bar of expectation by being highly selective in choice of team leaders and by establishing high standards of performance They teach serving leader principles and practices and remove obstacle to performance. These actions multiply the serving leader's impact by educating and activating tier after tier of leadershipThey build on strength by arranging each person in the team to contribute what he or she is best at. This improves everyone's performance and solidifies teams by aligning the strengths of many peopleSome of the thoughts were counter intuitive such as "focus over strength over addressing weaknesses". Yet the argument that "it is foolish to pour all our energy into turning weaknesses to serviceable mediocrity" - makes profound sense. Overall a good read and fodder for introspection. 

Semi-Closed mobile wallet - Transforming Indian mCommerce space

about 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

It's paradoxical that the number of Indians who have access to toilets are fewer than those who use cell phones. In that context, Government of India issuing "Semi closed mobile wallet" service licenses to seven entities a couple of months back, can prove to be a critical milestone in indian mCommerce space. Indian Telecom major Bharti Airtel and Nokia (closed wallet service) have already launched their mobile payment services. The Reserve Bank of India has already given its conditional nod to the finance ministry's proposal to allow 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) through the automatic route in these payment services. Needless to say, these are interesting times for Indian mCommerce space.How does a Semi Closed mobile wallet service work?In 'semi-closed' mobile prepaid instruments, you can load money into your cell phone from a licenced company and make payments with it, but you can't use it to withdraw money. For example, Airtel Money (subsidiary of telecom major Bharti Airtel) allows easy subscription by dialling *400# from any airtel phone or through their online portal or by visiting nearest airtel money retail outlet. Upon activation you get a mobile PIN. You load cash on to your cell phone through your netbanking account or manually from a retail outlet. Using Airtel Money, you can pay utility bills, shop for products at designated outlets (each outlet will have a designated airtel mobile number, payment happens by transferring money to this phone number) and transfer money from one phone to another. At this point, online shopping using Airtel money is not available.Impact of Semi closed mobile wallet services on Indian mCommerce spaceThe semi-closed mobile wallet is particularly exciting because it has something in it for everyone – consumers, banks and telecom operators. It is a convenient cashless mode transaction, accessible even to those consumers who are not eligible for a credit card. Banks could save the cost and effort of credit card maintenance and administration by getting more customers to switch to the semi-closed wallet. That said, semi closed mobile wallet services are at very early stages of adoption. In order for mobile wallet services to replace Credit cards/ Debit cards or the use of hard cash, the service providers must take radically different approach, explore new monetization models and apply true potential of technology. Here are my thoughts on alternate business models semi closed mobile wallet service providers should considerIncentivize mobile wallet adoption for merchants by driving down interchange fee: By a recent study, credit card companies suck out upwards of $50 billion / year in the form of interchange fee. Needless to say, interchange fees are never a hit with merchants. Mobile wallet service providers should incentivize merchants to adopt their services by reducing (or eliminating) interchange fee and focus on monetizing alternate value added services to earn their revenueMake the transactions secure/frictionless: Adopt contact less NFC technology. Own up arbitrage responsibility (in case of conflict) to give the necessary comfort feeling to consumersExplore alternate Revenue models: It is obvious that mobile wallets will compete with credit card companies in enabling B2C, B2B transactions. However the mobile wallet service can be extended to other segments such as Money transfer between consumers, can be positioned as a facilitator for government welfare schemes etc Explore value added services: explore the power of web and analytics to provide value added services to consumers(e.g location based services - show mobile wallet coupons for your nearest retailer, customer loyalty program etc) and to merchants (analytics on customer purchase, targeted advertising etc)In Indian context, mobile commerce provides immense opportunity for indian consumers to simply skip credit cards and jump on to the next stage of evolution in payment systems. If you are already working in this space, please feel free to share your views on how to make this transformation smooth yet effective.

Entrepreneurship Moments

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Who is an entrepreneur?In the mid 1980’s, Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson defined Entrepreneurship as “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled”. Theoretically anybody who demonstrates the aforesaid behavior can be an Entrepreneur.What it takes to be an entrepreneur?Unfortunately for many, being an entrepreneur is an end state and it requires harsh trade-offs. Some leave stable jobs to chase that one Big idea. Others start by putting together a business plan backed by a detailed market research. Even some start by searching for the right angel investor. Often times, the very entrepreneurial spirit perishes in the complexities it entails.Is it really that arduous to be an entrepreneur?Not if we treat entrepreneurship as a journey, a collection of contiguous decision points and apply our entrepreneurial spirit at each of those. John Burgstone in his book, ‘Breakthrough Entrepreneurship” writes “Every time you want to make any important decision, there are two possible courses of action. You can look at the array of choices that present themselves, pick the best available option and try to make it fit. Or, you can do what the true entrepreneur does: Figure out the best conceivable option and then make it available.”So the right question would be “did I act like an entrepreneur” today? Yesterday? Everyday? If answer is consistently yes, you are an habitual entrepreneur.

Analytics using R: Most active in my Twitter list

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

I follow some 80 odd people/ news sources on my twitter account. For a while I wondered which of these sources are most active on twitter. I picked a simple metric '# of status messages posted to twitter' as the measure of activity. Using R I quickly wrote a program to generate my top 10 most active twitter sources.Here is the bar plot of the result  As expected news sources dominate the list. Among individuals "Michael Hyatt" and "Jurgen Appelo" are most active. If you are interested in 'R', here is the code to extract this report:## Prerequisite: Install twitteR package 'install.packages(twitteR)## load twitteR packagelibrary(twitteR)##get handle to a twitteR user object (in this case for user d_lalittuser ##get list of friends of d_lalittfriends ##create an array to store the name and number of status messages for each friendfriendsCount friendsName friendsMsgCount for (i in 1:friendsCount) { friendsName[i] friendsMsgCount[i] }## prepare a sortedlist and extract top 10 values from the listsortedlist top10friendsName top10friendsMsgCount for (i in 1:10) { top10friendsName[i] top10friendsMsgCount[i] }## plot the chartbarplot(top10friendsMsgCount, width = 0.25, names.arg = top10friendsName, horiz=FALSE, main="Twitter friends by activity count", ylab="Number of status messages", xlab="twitter friends", space=0.2, density=50, angle=45, cex.names=0.7)    I realize the code is not optimally written. Any suggestions refine the code will be appreciated.Update: 11/29/2011In the latest version of twitteR package, the method userFriends() has been deprecated. You may replace line#9 in the above code as with the code given below:tfriends

Cheapest Tablet in the World - Made in India

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Check out "Akash" - World's cheapest tablet.  It is unabashedly optimized for cost. To be priced at $35 a piece (subsidized by Govt of India) for educational institutes and $60 a piece for retail sale. Aakash Tablet from Venturebeat on Vimeo.SpecificationsScreen: 7-inches; 800-by-400 pixels; Resistive touchscreenOperating system: Android 2.2, FroyoProcessor: 366 MHz Connexant; HD Video co-processor (both with graphics accelerators)Memory: 256MB RAM (internal); 2GB Flash (external)Storage: 2GB card included, expandable up to 32GBPorts: Two USB 2.0; 3.5mm audio out jack; 3.5mm audio in jack (No built-in speakers)Connectivity: GPRS; Wi-Fi 802.11 a,b,gPower: Up to 180 minutes on battery; AC adapter, 200-240 voltWeight: 350 grams

How great leaders inspire action

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

One of my favorite talks from TED by Simon Sinek.Simple, effective and insightful.

Agile tour pune - 2011

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

I delivered a talk on "Scaling agility" in the enterprise at Agile Tour 2011 @Pune. It was a great experience addressing some 70 odd agile enthusiasts, including some renowned thought leaders in the industry.The talk aimed to answer the following questions:- What are the typical challenges faced by enterprises while scaling agility (slides 8 ~ 12)- Why we can not leave it to self organizing teams to manage scaling of agility (slide 14)- What values the agile leaders should espouse for successful scaling of agility, in the form of a manifesto (slides 15-28) Scaling agility - Story of a chicken View more presentations from Lalatendu Das Any suggestion or feedback to further improve the content will be appreciated.

A Chicken's manifesto for scaling agility

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

In agile Scrum parlance, the term 'Chicken' refers to those who are involved (but not committed) in the project and stand to benefit from it. Examples: Managers, Leaders, Coaches, Sponsors etc.In a typical Scrum team, the role of Chicken is somewhat marginalized, at times to the extent of being derogatory. However as organizations Scale agility from doing individual pilot projects to enterprise wide Agile adoption, the role of Chickens assumes significant importance. A thoughtful organizational change management by the Chickens, can be the differentiating factor between success and failure.Introducing 'A chickens manifesto for scaling agility':-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"As responsible agile practitioners, we are optimizing the value delivered  through agile software development by adopting innovative practices. In addition to the manifesto for agile software development, we have come to value:attitude over skilladaptability over predictabilityeffectiveness over efficiencyoptimizing the whole over improvement in partsThat is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more."-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I picked these values based on my own experience of scaling agility from a small team to be an enterprise wide phenomenon. Keeping your agile adoption journey in context, do you identify with the above mentioned? Do you have any other useful values to add?Please leave a comment.

Offline Google Docs - Too little too late

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Google (re)announced offline feature on Google docs recently. For those who noticed, would also remember that Google Gears was decommissioned nearly an year ago, hence this new HTML 5 version took too long to get to beta status. Is the new offline version worth the wait?I guess not..here are some important notes about new offline capability (source: Google Docs help)You'll need to Set up Docs offline from your Documents List to start accessing your documents and spreadsheets without an Internet connection.Offline access is available in Chrome only. (Oops!)Offline access is available only for documents and spreadsheets. Presentations, drawings and other items from your Documents List are not available offline at this time. (humm..okay..it's in Beta anyway)Documents and spreadsheets are only available in view-only mode. You must restore your Internet connection to make any edits. (??!@#? - useless..I stopped reading next two points)You can't create new documents and spreadsheets while you're offline.You'll need to allow offline access separately on each computer where you want to view your Google Docs offline.I wish Evernote comes up with a spreadsheet application. Till then, I will stick to the 'online' google docs..

Best Practices for Agile Managers

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Agile Managers! Sounds like an Oxymoron? In reality, there are organizations which have functional or product manager roles which do not fit under the traditional roles defined by agile methods. Jurgen Appelo started a thread (on his blog) to capture the best practices for a newly minted agile manager.Here is what I think (as interpreted from the Agile principles)..please add on if I missed anything importantAn agile manager should:Focus on optimizing the "business value" being delivered by the agile team. You may decide on your own metrics for business value (qualitative, quantitative or gut feel), but key is to have a sense ..at all times Pursue delivery of a fully working software at end of each sprint Periodically (pick your own frequency) Review and optimize the 'Done' list Identify key stakeholders and ensure their participation (as required) during the entire project life cycle Set expectations clearly (with all stakeholders), manage expectations to avoid last minute surprises Make an genuine effort to understand all aspects of the project (example: if you are not technical, don't avoid the architecture all together, try to gather just enough understanding) Set up information radiators (to convey real time information to all stakeholders) Focus on attaining a sustainable velocity quickly and early in the project life-cycle (it helps in planning and avoids burn outs) Watch out for 'Smells' (things which might be an impediment to agile practices Last but not the least, an agile manager should demonstrate thought leadership and show genuine concern for professional growth of each member of the team. It's essential for the agile manager to win the respect of the team. You would always be better of by being a 'Leader' rather than a 'Manager'

Myths of agility

over 5 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

In the context of Software development, the term “agility” is widely misunderstood. Even many seasoned software engineers associate agility with complex process changes to adopt ‘Agile’ methods such as XP, SCRUM, DSDM, FDD and Crystal etc. But in reality, this specious association can’t be any farther from the truth. Before you join the ‘Agile’ bandwagon and start reading a XP or SCRUM book, it is essential for you to understand the fine line between ‘Agile methods’ and being ‘agile’. Being ‘agile’ is a state where your organization is completely adaptive to changing environment. You are driven by business value. Your entire infrastructure, not just IT department but also other business functions such as sales, marketing, finance, production, procurement etc look to maximize the business value generated for the organizations. All it requires certain level of maturity in the way you work, nothing else matters. In the context of Software development, you can adopt any methodology you like (yes, even waterfall, RUP) as long as you focus on a) maximizing “Business value” instead of “through-put” b) being “Adaptive” instead of being “Predictive” c) and Continuous sustainable improvement. All that ‘Agile’ methods do, is to enable some of the aforesaid attributes a bit more than any other traditional methods (such as Waterfall, RUP etc).Looking from a holistic perspective, being agile is the end goal of all organization and adopting an ‘Agile’ method (for that matter any other software development method) is just a mean to achieve the end goal. However it’s unfortunate to see many organizations blindly adopt XP or Scrum process without giving sufficient thoughts to the values required to make an organization truly agile. It is, therefore obvious that such changes fail over long run. If you care for being agile, have a look at the Principles behind agile methods. Have a open discussion within your team to determine what each principle means to you as a group. Look at your existing processes and see if they adhere to these principles (fully or partially). Start working on those processes which needs refinement. Change if you must, but only after fully grasping what change means to the overall organization. Rest assured you will ensure a successful and sustainable process change towards being truly agile.

Where do good ideas come from?

almost 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

"Chance favors the connected minds" - Steven Johnson

Software G Forces: The effects of acceleration

almost 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Kent Beck delivered this talk at USENIX 2011Abstract:- Effective software engineering is a relative term. As deployment cycles shrink, what constitutes effective software engineering changes radically. Developers must reflect on and choose the right set of software engineering practices based on their release cycle

Carson's Law

almost 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Learnt something new about modern day innovation.Carson's Law (by Curtis Carlson, the C.E.O. of SRI International, in Silicon Valley) states:“In a world where so many people now have access to education and cheap tools of innovation, innovation that happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart. Innovation that happens from the top down tends to be orderly but dumb.”As a result, says Carlson, the sweet spot for innovation today is “moving down,” closer to the people, not up, because all the people together are smarter than anyone alone and all the people now have the tools to invent and collaborate.My 2 cents:Modern day leadership is all about creating a conducive environment where the bottoms up innovations are encouraged and validated real time. thoughts?

My first 'R' plot

almost 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Started learning 'R'.My first attempt was to plot data from Forbes 1000 list (refer to the exercise posted by Prasoon sharma)Here is a bubble chart showing Forbes top 25 companies by Market CapitalizationSource code:## read the csv fileFORBES.DF <- read.csv("forbes2000list_for_2011.csv")## assign titlesnames(FORBES.DF)<- c("Rank", "Company", "Country", "Industry", "Sales", "Profits", "Assets", "MarketCap")## create a smaller vectorForbes100ByMC <- FORBES.DF[order(-FORBES.DF$MarketCap),][1:100,]Forbes25 <- Forbes100ByMC[1:25, ]## plot the bubble chart using 'symbols'radius <- sqrt(Forbes25$MarketCap/pi)sales <- as.numeric(as.character(Forbes25$Sales))profits <- as.numeric(as.character(Forbes25$Profits))symbols(sales, profits, circles=radius, inches=0.9, fg="white", bg="light blue", xlab="Sales($'Billions)", ylab="Profits($'Billions)", main="Forbes 25 By Market Capitalization", xlim=c(min(range(sales))-50, max(range(sales))+50), ylim=c(min(range(profits))-2, max(range(profits))+2))## print the names of companiestext(sales, profits, Forbes25$Company, cex=0.6, col="dark red")   Any feedback toward writting better 'R' code is welcome.

Learning

almost 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

How do you approach the most critical objective of your organization? Probably you would start by qualifying this objective and start a project to accomplish it. Break it down to smaller goals, milestones and put some planning around it? May be you would further break down the goals into small actionable items and schedule some activities. Some of you would setup a rhythm to periodically accomplish the smaller tasks in order to realize your grand objective.No matter whatever process or methodology you follow, you would certainly NOT leave your most critical objective to chance..certainly NOT by adopting an ad-hoc approach.My moment of epiphany arrived when I realized "Continuous Self Learning" is the most critical aspect of my career. Probably the same applies to most of the readers of this blog.So, how to you approach your personal 'Learning'? Is there a method? Or is it left to chance?

VMWare Cloud Foundry

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

VMWare launched Colud foundry, an open extensible PaaS cloud built entirely on Ruby. VMWare is focusing on the following 3 key differentiatorsMulti-cloud - Enables seamless transition between Private,  public and hybrid cloudsMulti-framework - Spring (Java), Rails (Ruby) and Node.js - extensible to other frameworksMultiple applicationsCheckout this quick intro VMWare is pitching the Cloud Foundry directly to the developer community. This strategy is well summarized by this quote by one of the VMWare developers "Developers should write code, not IT trouble tickets"..Time will tell how well the developer community adopts this new service. Nonetheless, VMWare has managed to set itself apart from the multitudes of 'also ran's (read other run of the mill cloud service providers). 

jStat: Advanced Statistics using Javascript

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

While 'R' is getting enterprise ready, it's no longer the only open source option for advanced statistical programming. jStat.js is the new kid on the block.Things in favor of jStat:Based on Javascript, jQuery - future is assuredLight-weightAbility to visualize data using flot (jQuery plugin)Still no match for 'R' yet (complete API documentation is yet to come out), but certainly a bright prospect in application which require basic statistical analysis and data visualization (where 'R' is an overkill).Possibilities  with jStat.js - check this outThinking out loud..Node.js + jStat.js ...=..=!=..=... RIP 'R' ??

Demystifying the financial Crisis

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

A small presentation I prepared to explain the Causes of the Subprime led Financial Crisis..prezi-player { width: 500px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; }Subprime Financial Crisis on PreziPlease feel free to give feedback.

The travels of a T-Shirt in the global economy

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Read an interesting book "The travels of a T-Shirt in the global economy". Author Piethra Rivoli traces the travels of an ubiquitous T-Shirt, from the cotton fields of western Texas to the manufacturing bases in china, back to the US market and then to continetal Africa. In the process she introduces the complex labyrinth of market forces in place, global trade, protectionism and power.A bit detailed at times, but still interesting read if you want to understand global trades..

Seth Godin on Leadership

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

"Say what you believe, see who follows."Inspiring!Exclusive interview with Seth Godin from GiANT Impact on Vimeo.

Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

Just completed reading 'Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference' by Malcolm Gladwell.The book primarily covers three basic rules that apply to spread of any epidemic. Those are [sic]:Law of the few: There are always Early adopters for any new idea. Success of the idea depends on the work and influence of the Early adopters. Typically Early adopters can be one of the following categories a) Mavens - One who accumulates knowledge b) Connectors- Who knows a lot of people c) Salesmen - People who can influence others  Stickiness Factor: There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is to find it.Power of Context: Human beings are a lot more sensitive to their environment than they may seem.While the author discusses the above mentioned points in the context of epidemics in general, in hindsight, these laws have profound application in Managing Organizational Change. I would certainly apply these rules, when I plan next to introduce a new process in the organization. 

When Agile becomes Anarchy

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

I have seen successful agile teams innovating on process front..and quite successfully so. While I am in favor of such evolution in Agile ecosystem, what bothers me is the resulting lack of discipline.One of our high performing project teams has successfully implemented Kanban processes into Scrum framework, but to my surprise, in the process the team has lost focus on some key agile processes. For example, there is neither any sprint commitment (Scrum CTQ*) nor any limit on WIP items of each workflow state (Kanban CTQ*). While the team continues to measure sprint velocity, the complete lack of predictability is equally puzzling (i.e Avg Sprint velocity assumed to be 40 SP**, where as, for last number of quarters team is consistently maintaining a higher velocity). To the credit of this particular project team, it's successful in meeting sponsor expectations (The process works!?..so it seems.)While some teams can get away with such transient process implementation (like the aforesaid team), in order to be successful over a long run, I would strongly recommend to bring in process rigor.Agile is already lean on processes, but it requires a disciplined approach towards maximizing value from it's limited set of processes. Keeping with the ethos of 'Inspect and Adapt' if you plan to change any of the existing processes, consider this simple approach:Make sure the process changes doesn't break any of the agile values or practices As a project team, discuss and agree on the new set of processes to be adopted (if possible share with others as well - make it public) As a team commit to the new processes with utmost disciplineAgile without discipline would result in Anarchy.It may work for you today but you can never be sure how it turns up tomorrow.Thoughts? Reactions?*CTQ - Critical To Quality**SP - Story Points

If Powerpoint were designed today..

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

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Recommended Reading: The Big Short

about 6 years ago | Lalatendu Das: Interpretations of technorealism

The fall of 'Lehman Brothers' in the later half of 2008 was a defining moment for me. Not as much for what Lehman stood for as for the resulting job losses in Lehman India (where some of my dear friends were proud employees once).What I did not realize then, pretty obvious in hindsight, is the fall of Lehman Brothers had a more profound effect on wall street. This event marked the demise of high leverage Investment banking that was a hallmark of USA's capitalistic economy.How did then this well oiled machine go so wrong? How come top notched financial innovations got punished by the very market they created?Michael Lewis's 'The Big Short' takes throws light on what caused this catastrophe (biggest recession since 1930s'). A must read for all to understand how the fundamental weaknesses of the system (allowing esoteric high-leveraged deals), action (or rather inaction) of credit rating agencies such as Moody's S&P and above all the greed of Capitalist world joined hands to derail world's biggest economy.Michael Lewis's deft treatment of such a prosaic topic is commendable. The sensitive handling of key protagonist coupled with thoughtful explanation of exotic financial instruments, makes the book, a compelling read.Highly recommended.