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Archive for July, 2011

Improving Efficiency in Managing E-mail

July 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I would like to share a nifty trick that I learnt last year. As all of you must already be aware that there is a great pain in processing tons of e-mails when you are back on vacation. Well, I found this blog which make this task a bit easier.

Basically, this trick helps in organizing mails by moving e-mails in your folder by a keyboard shortcut (like Alt+N). You need to do following steps

First, create a macro in outlook and copy/paste the code from this site.

Then you need to replace
Set objFolder = objInbox.Folders("_Reviewed")
with
Set objFolder = objNS.Folders.Item("Personal Folders"). Folders.Item("NIIT").

This is assuming that Personal Folders is your offline pst name and NIIT is the folder where you want to move. You might also want to update the double quotes.

outlook1

Once you have modified the code, you can test it by running the macro and ensuring it is moving the message in a particular folder. You would need to repeat this routine for each folder you wish to automate.

Once you have the macro ready, you can create a Menu/Toolbar command for each folder. You need to underline one of the alphabet by prefixing &. This is the alphabet you would use along with the Alt key. For e.g. Alt+N to move it to NIIT folder.

outlook2

If the alphabet is already mapped to a different function then you might want to update it.

That’s it. You are ready. I hope this helps.

Quality and Skills Mapping

July 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Our organization had renewed focus on CMMi initiative last year which involved rolling out Business Objective (BO) Mapping for all the projects. Our project teams were very much involved in this and one of the major challenges that we are facing is that the nature of work we do is quite different from the normal projects that are executed across the organization.

One of the action item on us was to come up with a BO mapping on one of the goal (Quality) over the weekend. One of my peers commented that if I figured out an idea then I can publish it in my blog! 🙂 So here is it….

But before I begin with my rant, I would like to give a brief background of our project.

  • Our project consists of various work packs or deliverables.
  • Work packs span across various application areas which have a many to many relationship between each other
  • Each of this work packs needs to be released in the production environment.
  • The success of the work pack is determined by whether it was successfully released or not.
  • Since our project teams release high number of work packs (typically 50 to 200 depending on project/team size), it can be measured in percentages.
  • Customer expectation is that we deliver at a success rate of 95% or more.

So this success rate becomes our project goal for quality by default and we are working on identifying the measurable processes that will help in achieving this goal.

To achieve this, let’s note down some facts.

  1. Work packs are assigned to individuals.
  2. Work packs can be categorized into application areas.
  3. As resources continue to deliver work packs in a particular area their skill in that application area increases.
  4. The skill of an individual can be measured in a particular application area as High/Medium/Low/None.
  5. Looking at the past data it has been observed that work packs assigned to high/medium skill individuals have a higher success rate.

Considering all of the above, we can summarize that the Performance Metrics for this goal can be measured in terms of “Number of Work Packs Executed by High/Medium Skill Individuals” with respect to “Total Number of Work Packs executed”. The Controllable Metrics can be the actual skill matrix that identifies individual skills across various application areas.

So, what do you think of all this? Do you agree or do you have a different view on this?

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