Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Published on 18 Nov 2013

Google Australia is committed to investing in and empowering women in the tech community. In an effort to highlight some of the amazing work being done by Australian women in technology and bring to light their stories, Google hosted the inaugural Women in Technology (WIT) Week, which was held in Sydney from September 9-13, 2013. We celebrated with a variety of programs and events in the region, including a mentorship program, the first Google Women in Tech Summit (gWIT) and the APAC Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Retreat were held.

Source : LIFE at Google

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Application developers are racing to have their software ready to go when Google Glass, the wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display, finally becomes available to the general public by year-end.

But while most apps will focus on the infotainment space, analysts predict there will be a huge secondary opportunity for app development in healthcare and physical-activity monitoring.

Indeed, Shane Walker, associate director for Consumer and Digital Health Research at IHS, believes blood glucose meters, cholesterol meters and pill dispensers are just a few of the dedicated medical devices that could potentially tie into Glass via Bluetooth connections.

Image at the top of the page is Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin demo’ing Google Glass (Photo Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP)

“You might have the app set up for automatic reminders to the Glass wearer with recurring data points throughout the day,” he said, “or Glass could provide warnings through the eyepiece that there might potentially be a problem of which the wearer needs to be aware.”

In a recent online presentation hosted by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health, app developer Silica Labs demo’d Glass, indicating that one of the company’s objectives is to develop healthcare apps for the device.

But right now, said Antonio Zugaldia, Silica Labs’ chief builder, the Google API isn’t optimized for real-time streaming, so connecting to peripheral devices — such as activity monitors — would require a workaround.

However, said Walker of IHS, the Glass software is updated on a monthly basis, and Google did add video streaming in a recent update to the Mirror API. Meanwhile, developing native applications can be done using the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), even though this is something of a workaround until the full Glass Development Kit (GDK) arrives for native applications.

For the time being, however, a handful of app developers are proceeding with their healthcare-related creations:

CPRGlass. An app that will guide users step by step on how best to perform CPR. It will contact 911, inform users regarding adequate compressions (by playing the disco hit “Stayin’ Alive,” whose beat guides the user to compress at a rate of 100/min.), let users know if there is an automated defibrillator nearby (information which comes from AED4.US’s crowd-sourced database), and perhaps contact someone nearby the AED to ask them to bring it to the user if possible. At the moment, CPRGlass is in the prototype stage, but its developer, Dr. Christian Assad-Kottner, interventional cardiology fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, hopes to release a beta version soon to selected Glass testers.

CATHGlass. Also on the drawing board of Dr. Assad-Kottner, this app for cardiologists will provide important patient information during procedures.

Cerora’s MindReader. BrickSimple, a developer of mobile apps, has demonstrated wireless Google Glass integration with Cerora’s MindReader over Bluetooth. The MindReader technology is designed to help medical personnel identify head injuries in both battlefield and sports scenarios.

“When you’re dealing with head injuries,” said Det Ansinn, BrickSimple’s president, “time spent glancing away at equipment is time not spent on studying the patient for important visual cues. The integration of Google Glass with MindReader will improve the physician/patient experience and potential for better diagnosis.”

And at mobile app developer Somo, senior innovation manager Joel Blackmore reports the company recently held a companywide “Hack Day” to encourage staff to come up with ideas for development. Of the seven proofs of concept that emerged, two medical-specific POCs are being turned into fully formed products to showcase to clients as part of Somo’s Innovation Lab:

For diagnosing patients. The app will allow a doctor to use Glass to diagnose symptoms more accurately. Speaking into Glass, the doctor might say: “Patient has the following symptoms – itchy skin, fatigue, dry patches, and insomnia.” Glass might respond with two possible diagnoses – food allergy or mercury toxicity.
For the operating room. The app could help a doctor compare a patient’s anatomy to a normal or healthy standard. The doctor might say: “Glass, show me what a normal liver looks like.” Glass would respond with an appropriate image.

Because users hear Glass not through typical headphones or earbuds but through a bone-conduction transducer, Walker of IHS believes — and a professional audiologist concurs — that there will be an opportunity for Glass to be used for hearing augmentation.

“If you have one-sided deafness, you could potentially use the bone conduction transducer as a hearing aid,” Walker explains. Companies like TransEar currently employ that technology, he says, but their device is constructed to fit into the ear canal. Fairly common, too, are implanted bone conductors for severe hearing loss.

“Using Glass for this purpose wouldn’t require an implant, which involves a surgical procedure and is very expensive,” he says. “For some people this would be an inexpensive alternative. I can even imagine using speech-to-text technology so that the written words would display on the Glass eyepiece, making the app even more powerful.”

With a little imagination, says Dr. Assad-Kottner, one can conceptualize all sorts of possible medical uses for Glass. For instance, he says:

Help With Procedures. Imagine this: A resident says, “OK, Glass, call Dr. Smith.” Dr. Smith responds (via Glass) and the resident explains that he is stuck and not sure how to proceed with a patient. Dr. Smith may recommend a different approach since he is able to see what the resident sees – or he can instruct the resident to stop the procedure altogether.
Electronic Medical Records [EMRs]. Teams like Evermed are working on an app to use Glass with EMRs. A patient would come into the doctor’s office, Glass would identify the patient using facial recognition and then pull up the most recent medical information for the doctor to view instantly, such as allergies, previous plan, if goal was achieved, scheduled procedures, results from last ordered tests, and so on. (In a challenge to the marketability of this app, Google recently announced that it is banning facial-recognition applications for the near-term until privacy concerns are addressed.)
Telemedicine. Dr. Assad-Kottner has experimented with a colleague to do the first cardiology consult over Glass. “The way it felt,” he says, “was practically like being next to the patient.”

Jack Kent, IHS principal analyst, mobile, said he definitely agrees that medical applications, as well as industrial use cases where hands-free access to information is useful, “will be a real opportunity for Google Glass.

“For the past few years, smartphones and tablets have dominated developer activity with new apps and experiences tailored to the specific demands of those devices,” he said. “Google Glass is one of a number of new devices that will hope to attract the developer expertise. It is important to remember that these will usually be tied to a smartphone to provide core functionality and connectivity. But the overall app experience will be very different.”

Source : electronic360

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Posted On Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 05:48:18 AM

Chennai-based siblings Shravan and Sanjay, joint founders of Go Dimensions – a company that creates gaming and learning software for mobile phones – will address 120 business management students, including those from the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad and Kozhikode), today.

The talk is part of a lecture series to be delivered by the CEOs and business tycoons for Wedvaan, the annual three-day festival organised by Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research at their campus in Matunga.The audience comprising students in their early 20s is impressionable and ambitious. The two speakers, Shravan and Sanjay, are aged 13 and 10 respectively, and like any other boys, spend half their day in school learning math and English and history.Shravan, the president of his firm, is a Std VIII student while Sanjay, the chief executive officer, studies in Std VI. Their company is a year-and-amonth-old, and has launched five applications that are available for free download at the Apple Store, and encouraged by the response, is launching the paid applications this year.

The boys, who missed school on Friday to make it for the fest, say stagefear has never been a problem. “We spoke at IIM-Bangalore last year, so it isn’t an issue to address students who are twice our age,” says Shravan.The boys are accompanied by their parents who say life hasn’t changed much since they started their company in January 2012. “They have a routine when they return from school. They play for an hour and then get on to complete the programming for their business projects,” says the lads’ father, Kumaran Surendran, himself a director of a software company.Sanjay, the CEO, cheekily adds, “Our friends in the school also play some of the games we have developed but they don’t fully understand what we do.”The boys say their started off with an idea two years ago, which they bounced off their dad, and things started to roll. In a couple of years, they picked up the nuances of programming, and launched their firm which required very little capital.Kaustubh Dhargalkar, a professor at the Welingkar Institute, says the boys’ understanding of market dynamics was “astounding”. Says Dhargalkar, “I first met them when we shared a stage at a TED event in Pune last year. I was amazed at their understanding of the market. They were able to identify an opportunity and monetise their business. We could learn from their experience.”Akshay Bahadur, 23, a first-year student of the PG diploma in management course, plans to specialise in marketing next year. While he admits he is looking forward to the lecture by Kunwar Sachdev, founder and managing director of SUKAM, he is equally curious to learn more about the boys. “Mr Sachdev runs a Rs 3,000-crore empire that he started from scratch and worked on for 10 years. At the same time, I think these kids who know their business so well is worth a listen,” says Akshay.Age isn’t a factor, says Neha Bhandari, another first year student who claims she doesn’t mind the fact that the speakers will be ten years younger than her. “They are being looked at as prodigies. In the business world, only numbers speak and you have to be humble enough to listen to those who have achieved something. We also have a talk by two dabba wallahs who will explain how their celebrated distribution system works,” says Neha.

Skillsoft Selected as Best of Elearning! 2012 Award Winner

http://www.skillsoft.com/about/press_room/press_releases/October_31_12_ELCE.asp

HI A360s visitors,

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Apple lover, I am in process for your guys too 🙂

Monday, April 25th, 2011
Posted by: mike

Recently I was sent an email from a past client, asking me for some advice, team building activities and programmatic ideas about developing programs for change within an organization.

Below is the gist of my response; This person hired me to facilitate a 3 day workshop on Instituting a Successful Change. The follow-up reported the project is operating fully and the resistance has been minimal.

3 ideas for change based activities:

  1. Transition Phase Solution Focus
  2. Solutions Future Focus Process
  3. Planning a Change Model with Processing and Action Sequence

1. Transition Phase Solution Focus

I deal with change constantly within my facilitation programs. Here are some ideas of processes that may prove effective, while not specific activities the process works;

1st example – working with a large technology firm that was about to roll out a new product. Generally in the past with new tech products the transition phases created problems therefore people were unlikely to fully accept the change. Here is the suggested program I sent to my client (I eventually lead the program for 3 days with ~100 people, some minor changes to the original plan). This is the idea….

“I wonder what are “transition phases” ….

My idea is something like – Breaking the group into 4-6 people teams.

Assigning each group a “transition phase”…(duplicate the phases in needed)

Supplying each team with a one page handout with bullet points of the solutions and requisite steps to move through each transition phase.

Ask each group this question, “when challenged with a similar scenario dealing with change of IT and processes; How, what in the past proved successful for completion? What else? What else? How can you do that with this transition?”

Ask each group to read the handout and answer the question in the following way;

With words – 1 flip chart explains words only answering the questions above – specific to the transition phase assigned that group

Visual mapping – another flip chart is a visual (pictures only) map answering the questions – specific to the transition phase assigned that group

Allow for 20-30 minutes…then ask each team to hang both flip chart papers in the sequence that the IT transition phase will be instituted.

Allow time for a “gallery walk” where the attendees take time and walk through the  process and examine other people information in reference to their own.

Then (if time allows) facilitate a discussion of each phase, how the team has succeeded in the past and how they can apply that to now and the future.

Also type up and take pictures of the information and now the team has solutions to transition phase problems.”

Links of images and groups in action:

2. Solutions Future Focus Process

Another idea:

Solution Future Focus Process.

3. Planning a Change Model with Processing and Action Sequence

Final Idea – Planning A Change…Model and Process questions

A process of planning for a change. Before and while involved on projects and exploring areas of challenges with existing clients I often look to this chart.

By setting a model for you to place objective thoughts into. As a leader you will be better equipped to determine areas of success and which areas to proceed into next with your Micro-Decisions.

question please contact me.

mike cardus is create-learning

Change happens and new knowledge + intellect ensure successful completion…Contact Mike to institute successful change within your organization, team, and self.

 

How Project Management was done by the Government
(A case of Perfect mix of Planning, Team Work and Committement)

This case is a reflection of how the India’s biggest Hindu Festival “Kumbh Mela” is Planned, Managed, & Executed, which has risk fact scale to be very high.

About Kumbh Mela
The Kumbh Mela, world’s largest Hindu spiritual festival, occurs once every 12 years, rotating among four locations in India. In 2010, the Kumbh Mela was held in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, from 1 January to 30 April. Hindus from all over the world came for a holy dip in the divine Ganga. In the span of four months, about 82.8 million pilgrims visited Haridwar. Out of this, more than 16 million came in for a dip on the holiest day of the Kumbh Parv, that is, 14 April.

Tucked in the foothills of the Himalayas, Haridwar was a challenging place for the authorities to host tens of millions of people, particularly because Uttarakhand is a newly formed state in India. The organizing committee had to surmount innumerable challenges such as manpower shortage, lack of technically equipped personnel, a small police force, weak financial strength, and many more. But with certain basic project management principles in place, dedication, and commitment, the 2010 Kumbh Mela turned out to be one of the most successful ones since the mela tradition began.

Mr. Anand Bardhan, chief mela officer, Government of Uttarakhand says, “Not a single infrastructure resource, human resource, financial resource, or administrative work like maintenance of law and order or crowd management or security coverage was in place. The first project management task before us was to identify people who would form the managing committee. Once the team was selected, they had to sit down to identify and enumerate the different challenges that would arise in the execution of the project.”

Project Management Challenges
To begin with, the committee had to get all government approvals and sanctions. Initially, the government had outlaid a sum of Rs. 100 crore for infrastructure development which was to be paid in three installments starting from the financial year 2007–08. However, this amount was found to be grossly inadequate to create the infrastructure and services required for the Kumbh. The committee had to approach the Planning Commission of India (PCI) for additional resources. The central government granted Rs. 350 crore. By the end, about Rs. 550 crore was spent on the Kumbh.

Once the budget was released, the team started its work. The first challenge was to create permanent infrastructure and services/facilities in a cost-effective and time-bound manner. Services such as bathing ghats (riverbanks), parking lots, bus stands, roads, bridges, medical facilities, sanitation, drinking water, and electricity had to be put in place. Huge coordination efforts were needed as the number of agencies involved was large and multifarious. In addition to state government agencies, police forces from the neighboring states, the Indian army, Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Central Paramilitary Force were involved.

Additionally, the capacity of the main roads, for example, National Highway 58 that leads to Haridwar, had to be increased and connectivity improved by constructing new bridges. The parking space all around the town had to be increased substantially to accommodate at least one laky vehicle. Temporary camping areas for religious and social organizations had to be enlarged from about 100 hectares to at least 150 hectares. The capacity to run shuttle trains with towns like Motichur and Rishikesh had to be suitably enhanced.

Risk
The second challenge that the mela committee faced was to ensure the safety and security of such a large number of people. Terrorist threats made it mandatory to secure the railways, hospitals, buses, and the entire Kumbh area, which was a tough task. The mela authorities had to ensure security as much to the common pilgrim as to numerous VIPs and religious leaders who would visit Haridwar during this period. In addition, it was important to ensure all religious activities performed by the various akharas (religious groups) during the period of the mela proceeded peacefully. Akharas have a history of rivalry among one another and a small incident could spark off an altercation.

Activities
The tasks before the mela committee were numerous: keeping the processions orderly, maintaining cleanliness, providing water, ambulances, security, ensuring regular communication with the control room and maintenance of sequence and timings of the simultaneous religious events. Moreover, it was crucial to ensure that the pilgrims and public would not come in the way of the processions that the various religious groups organize. On a regular day, the main streets of Haridwar are crowded. Particularly, Haridwar being an old and congested town with age-old infrastructure, the execution of permanent infrastructure works was difficult and required many coordination efforts. It involved cajoling the different departments while managing the public who faced many inconveniences, especially during the laying of water and sewage pipelines.

Apart from all these challenges, the committee needed to manage the interests of all the mela stakeholders: the rival groups of sadhus (holy men) and akharas, local traders, the municipal authorities, volunteers, security forces, purohits (priests), government officials, etc. The mela being a deeply religious and sensitive event, the committee had to keep in mind each group’s religious sentiments and keep their cool even during adverse conditions. It meant withstanding mental and physical stress and ensuring that every individual in the various teams worked towards the common goal of a peaceful and smooth Kumbh.

Major activities/attractions during the Kumbh Mela:
• Shahi Snans – On the most auspicious days, the 13 akharas go in a procession with splendor and pomp to bathe at the bathing areas. In the 2010 mela, there were four shahi snans.
Peshwais – Peshwais are the second most important activity at the mela. It is the royal procession of the sadhus and marks the arrival of the members of an akhara at the mela venue. Peshwais mark the actual beginning of the Kumbh.

• Dharmdhwaja – When the akharas establish their camps, they erect dharmdhwajas which remain there until the end of the Kumbh.

• Bathing on auspicious days and watching the shahi snans by all pilgrims.

• Religious discourses by saints and religious leaders.

Strategies Adopted to Overcome Challenges
Led by Mr. Bardhan, the team adopted the following project management strategies:
• A PERT chart of all activities (big or small) related to the Kumbh was prepared and progress monitored accordingly.

• Initially, monthly staff meetings were held in which all departments were represented to monitor the progress of ongoing schemes and plans and resolved inter-departmental issues. As the time passed, such meetings became fortnightly, weekly, and then daily just before and during the mela.

• Meetings and interactions with various stakeholders were a regular feature during the entire period. Among these stakeholders were 13 akharas, traders, Ganga Sabha or the people’s committee established in 1916 as the guardian of the river, and formal and informal committees.

• On an average, the mela committee members made at least three visits a week to Dehradun, the state capital. For each visit, a department-wise list of issues pending at the government level was prepared. For any issue that did not get resolved, committee members had access to the secretary of the department concerned, the highest-level executive for that department, during the visit.

• Regular communication through mobile phones and wireless sets was maintained among the control room, officers-in-charge of religious processions and senior officers.

• In each sector, there were three key officials: the sector magistrate, the sector police officer, and the sector health officer. Joint meetings of all these sectoral officials and nodal officers were held once a fortnight to resolve any issues.

• The mela control room had a duty officer 24×7 from each important department.

Above and beyond all these strategies, the team had to make sure that all the plans were dynamic, enough to incorporate last minute changes that kept cropping up due to immediate requirements on the ground. The team had to be on top of their plan, keep thinking, and innovating on their feet along with coordinating between all the parties.

Execution
Following all the above strategies, the mela committee was triumphant in organizing a highly successful and safe event which saw several new initiatives: two national highways were connected for better traffic management and to reduce traffic jams; temporary bridges were made motorable; ghats were modified to make them accessible to the physically challenged; websites were developed in English, Hindi, and Sanskrit; sectoral plans and layouts were digitized and developed on AutoCAD and GIS; and temporary toilets were constructed.

Stakeholder Feedback
Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission of India appreciated the state’s efforts and said, “I would like to congratulate you on the successful completion of the Maha Kumbha Mela. This historical event, which required major infrastructure development and organizational skills, has been conducted in a manner that has been widely appreciated.”

In the end, all the elaborate planning eventually paid off. All major activities passed off peacefully and the 2010 mela saw a list of exceptional achievements that were never witnessed before such as better sanitation and hygiene for the pilgrims and visitors; smooth traffic; no shortage of power supply; no stampedes due to effective crowd management; and 70 percent expenditure on permanent works. The bathing areas were doubled from 7.5 to 15 km.

Beyond this, the new infrastructure has taken care of the long-term requirements of Haridwar. There will be sufficient water in the city till 2040 and the upgraded sewer pipeline will be able to handle sewage till 2050.

Lessons Learnt
managing a huge event like the Kumbh involves enormous effort. However, the 2010 mela proved that executing an epic project could be done by following some basic project management principles. Mr. Bardhan says that the lesson he and his team learnt was that: “With teamwork, effective administration, managerial control on all the activities, adequate human resource support, monitoring and scheduling of all arrangement and coordination with all the stakeholders a gargantuan event can be executed smoothly.”
Source: PMI newsletter.