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Sustaining IT, India
Monika Sane
Friday, June 1, 2007
We all know that IT came to India primarily because of the cost advantage and the huge manpower that India offered. IT will stay until the cost advantage prevails, for which we all need to strive to improve the quality of our manpower and project execution. Revenue for IT companies comes only from successful execution of ideas, and hence it needs to be valued the maximum. Following are ten ways to improve ourselves and project execution:

1 Making our customers happy, even if it means carrying out boring chores sometimes. Not everyday can we get to do exciting and cutting edge work
2 Doing our job in as systematic and reproducible a manner as possible – without having the fear of being dispensable. Paradoxically, more consistently we make things reproducible, the more indispensable we become.
3 Being disciplined in our work. And not pretending to be innovative to cover up indiscipline. There is no need to mix up discipline with innovation. It does take some personal effort to inculcate discipline but it’s worth the effort.
4 Communicating clearly and effectively at the workplace: Being accommodative by nature, we often communicate what our boss wants to hear rather than what he/she needs to hear. Also, not taking our technical results personally help us put things in correct perspective and speed up resolution.
5 Pointing out issues proactively and constructively: As we all know, early diagnosis and/or prevention is always better than cure. However, we need to think proactively of ways to resolve issues as well, rather than just ‘cribbing’.
6 Being a good team member: A team in perfect harmony can be a real problem buster. But first, let’s admit and confront the problem as a team before masking it through our own workarounds/solutions.
7 Valuing efforts of our colleagues: Another person’s job always seems less complicated – but if we can leave our ego aside and value and bolster our colleagues’ efforts, the work place can be much better. Ultimately, we need to be modest enough to understand that we alone cannot make it happen.
8 Being as professional as possible: By making sure that we are available and working in the time that we have committed to the company and by not taking undue advantage of the system and facilities provided.
9 Understanding that while it’s important for us to sharpen our own skills, our primary focus is to make the product in the most professional and timely manner, and not to be ‘Resume Builders’. If we only build our own resume and not our products, we may not find many takers in future.
10 Keeping our technical competence level high: Some persons ascend management ladders and subsequently lose touch with execution and technical details, thereby lowering technical competence while becoming used to a heftier pay check. So it’s worthwhile to think twice before taking the first step in this direction, as after that, it becomes difficult to come back.
These ten ways might sound very idealistic, but there doesn’t seem to be a choice if we want IT to stay in India. So my fellow ‘executioners’, let’s go for it and make sure we sustain IT, and in turn India for a long time to come.

The author is a Senior Design Engineer at Texas Instruments India. She can be reached at m-sane@ti.com

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