Tathagat (a.k.a. “TV”) is a software professional by education, computer scientist by accident, HR student by interest, project management practitioner by training, curious by nature, learner by habit, teacher by passion, wanderer by choice, digital influencer (a more dignified term for blogger/tweeter/facebooker ) by night, servant leader by conviction, and an aspiring author in my dreams . In short, someone who never managed to become an expert because he was always busy learning new things…
Tathagat has been involved with hi-tech software product development since ’91 with Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and subsequently with Siemens Telecom, Philips Medical Systems and Philips Digital Networks divisions, Huawei Technologies, McAfee, NetScout Systems and Yahoo! prior to joining at 7 Innovation Labs in significant technical and leadership roles, including starting-up and heading India operations for NetScout Systems between 2004 and 2009. Most recently at Yahoo!, as Head of Business Operations, he was responsible for Strategic Programs, Outsourced Product Development and Business Operations, and additionally led center-wide adoption of Agile, Business Excellence and IP Programs.
At 7 Innovation Labs, Tathagat is responsible for Strategic Process Innovations. His core expertise is large-scale new product development, project management, strategic program management, software process improvement, agile software development, general management, leadership development, organizational change management, cultural transformation and outsourced product development.
Tathagat also holds the unique distinction of being the youngest member of 13th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, where he participated as scientist and stayed at the Indian permanent station Maitri for a period of 16 months during 1993-95, and studied data communication between India and Antarctica, and the effects of unique weather conditions on life-support systems in Antarctica.
Tathagat holds an MSc Computer Science from JK Institute of Applied Physics and Technology, Allahabad University, a Post Graduate Certificate in HR Management (PGCHRM) from Xavier Labor Research Institute School of Business and Human Resources (XLRI), Jamshedpur and Certificates in Business Leadership Skills, Executive Leadership and Financial Management from Cornell University, USA. In addition, he is also certified PMP, PRINCE2 Registered Practitioner, CSP, CSM, CSPO, Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant (SPC), and Sr. Member of IEEE and ACM.
Tathagat has volunteered with PMI Innovation and New Product Development Community of Practice and IEEE Technology Management Council and has been a visiting faculty on Project Management and Business Ethics courses. He has authored and presented multiple papers and talks at national and international conferences (InnovationGermany2013, ScrumGatheringIndia2013, AgileColombo2013, AgileIndia13, ASIS12, PDMA12, GHC12, BSPIN12, Zinnov12, TEDx2012, AgileIndia2012, AgileTours12, PMO11, SPICON11, AgileHyderabad11) and is a sought-after speaker in the industry on these topics. He also blogs on his views on strategy, leadership, execution and management of software development at http://www.managewell.net.
ManageWell by Tathagat Varma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
- Theme Chair for “Beyond Agile” theme at Agile India 2014, Bangalore, Feb 26-Mar 1.
- Presenting on “Agile, Management 3.0, Holacracy…what next?” at Agile India 2014
- Experience report on “Designing agile feedbacks for agile learning – an experience report” at Agile India 2014
- Invited to speak at PMI’s Pune-Deccan Chapter’s annual conference OnTarget2014 themed on “Leadership for Effective Project Management” in Pune, Feb 16.
- Delivered talk on based on Steve Blank’s Customer Development model – “Dude, Where is My Customer?” at Lean India Summit, Bangalore, Nov 15-16
- Invited to deliver a talk on “Innovation in a flat world: Lessons from India” at Global R&D conference “Managing Innovation in a Global and Open World” organised by Institute for Technology Management, University of St. Gallen and Management Circle in Munich, Germany, Nov 5-6
- Invited talk on “Leadership Competencies for a “VUCA” World” at Project Management+: Adapting Project Management Competencies in Bangalore, Oct 25
- Invited to deliver keynote on “Dude, Where are my Customers ???” at Philips Global event “Agile 4 Ever” in Bangalore, Oct 3
- Delivered a talk on “Delivering Awesome Product Experiences” for product management community at Mahindra Comviva in Bangalore, Sep 25
- Delivered a talk on “Making sense of the Customer Development Model” at Agile Goa 2013 in Goa, Sep 21-22
- Delivered leadership talk on “My Learnings…” based on my Antarctic Expedition, 1993-95, to managers and leaders at my company 7 Customer, Inc in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Campbell, CA.
- One-day workshop on “Bringing Agile Transition” at Agile In Business Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 30-31
- Presented a talk on “The Joys of Designing Agile Solutions for New-Age Problems” at Scrum Gathering India, Pune, July 26-27
- Talk on “Leadership Lessons from Antarctic Expeditions” at E&Y, Bangalore, June 27
- Talk on “Can Program Managers make it to Executive Suite?” for program managers at HP Bangalore, Apr 18
- My article on “What Emerging Markets Customers Want from Internet: An Indian Perspective” in PDMA Vision magazine, Q1 2013
- Keynote talk on “Portfolio Management in a Dynamic Environment” at the first Program and Portfolio Management Conference 2013 organized by QAI at Bangalore, Apr 5.
- Moderated a panel discussion on “Does Agile Kill Innovation” at Agile India at Bangalore, Feb 27 – Mar 2.
- Delivered talk on “Managing Large-scale Agile Transformations – Experiences at Yahoo!” at International Conference on Agile and Lean Software Methods 2013, organized by Agile India at Bangalore, Feb 27 – Mar 2. Video teaser available now.
- Delivered a talk on “How Fast Can You Deliver An Idea?” at Philips Healthcare, Feb 22.
- My talk on “Implementing UnBalanced Scorecard – A Case Study” at Strategy Execution 2013 conference at Bangalore, Feb 16.
- I delivered a talk on “Agility @ the Speed of Thought” at the Agile in Business Conference at Delhi, Jan 29.
- Keynote on “why agile?” at NASSCOM Tech Series ‘Agile Software Development Methodology’ at NOIDA, Delhi, Jan 17.
- My presentation on “Advances in Lean and Agile Methods” at Faculty Development Program organized by Computer Society of India, Bangalore chapter for Visvesvaraya Technological University at VTU Campus, Belgaum, Jan 10-11
- Panel discussion on “Cultural Intelligence in Project Management” at Grace Hopper Conference 2012 in Bangalore, Dec 12-14.
- My talk on “Applying ‘Kanban’ in Enterprise-class products sustaining engineering – An Experience Report” based on a work that I and my team did in 2004-05 at Agile Scrum International Summit 2012 in Bangalore, Dec 7-9.
- My paper on “What Emerging Market Customers Really Want from Internet – An Indian Perspective” at PDMA Product Innovation Management Conference in Orlando, Florida, Oct 20-24.
- Presented on “People over Processes” for a panel discussion on the people track at 6th Annual BSPIN Conference ”CraftDucing” in Bangalore, Oct 9.
- Talk on “Software Agility – Necessary But Not Sufficient!” at Agile Tours Bangalore 2012, in Bangalore, Sep 29.
- Invited talk on “Project Management vs. Innovation: Friends or Foes” at IBM’s ShareNet in Bangalore, Sep 27.
- Presentation on “Managing a Large-Scale Agile Transformation” at APMG’s Best Practice Showcase in Bangalore, Sep 14.
- My talk on “Agile Software Development – What’s the Real Deal” at Systems Continuum 2012 organized at Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, Sep 1.
- Presentation on “Leadership Lessons from Antarctic Expeditions” based on Shackleton’s Way and my own Antarctic expedition for women professionals forum at ThomsunReuters in Bangalore, Aug 31.
- My views on “Can Program Managers Make it to the Executive Suite?” for PMI Career Central, Aug 7
- My presentation on “Business Case for Agile – Time for ROI Check” at Agile Leadership Network, Bangalore Chapter launch on July 19.
- Panelist on “Building Innovation Competency & Culture – Is it HR or Business Leadership Responsibility” at Zinnov Globalization Summit 2012 in Bangalore, July 11-12. (My talk at 18:43-21:45 and 33:50-36:35).
- My interview with Samir on “Seek new assignments for things you have not done before & develop deep expertise in one area“, May 16
- Talk on “Program Management Skills“ at GE Healthcare on Mar 7
- Talk at Scrum-India Bangalore Meetup on “The ASAP Journey“ on Mar 3
- Talk at Honeywell’s PM Day on “Program Management issues in Product Development” on Mar 1
- My invited talk on “Anticipating and Managing Change” at Agile India 2012, Feb 17-19, Bangalore.
- I am producing the stage on “New Product Development and Product Management in agile world” at Agile India 2012.
- I talked about 16 months of my stay at Indian permanent station Maitri, Antarctica as member of the 13th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica at the inaugural TEDx Golf Links Park on Jan 21. Here is the presentation and the video.
- Talk on ‘Creating Chaos‘ (part1 and part2) at 5th Indira International Innovation Summit on Jan 13-14 at Indira Group of Institutions, Pune.
- Presentation on Change Management for leadership team of a leading MNC “Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di?“, Dec 9, 2011
- Presentation on “Orchestrating “Excellence” – the Yahoo! India Way“, presented at PMO Symposium 2011, Nov 6-9, 2011 at Florida, USA
- Paper titled “Strategic Alignment of Horizontal and Vertical PMO Goals“, selected at Project Management National Conference, 8-10 Sep 2011, organised by PMI India at Bangalore, India (paper selected for the conference and included in conference proceedings, but not the presentation at the conference)
- My blog post “Project Management vs. Program Management” published in PMI North India’s magazine Synergy, Issue 2, 2011
- Talk titled “Achieving high-end agility in a big R&D enterprise” at Agile Hyderabad 2011 on 20-Aug-2011
- Some lightweight/informal views on “60 Seconds Chief” in The Hindu Business Line, on 20-Jun-2011
- Talk at PMI Bangalore Chapter’s bi-weekly talk series, PM Footprints, on “Mental Models in Human-centric Leadership“, on 16-Jun-2011
- Interview in The Hindu on “Creating an innovation ecosystem in IT industry“, on 12-Jun-2011
- Presentation “Innovative IT Project Management Practices – Faster, Better, Cheaper 2.0“ at SPICON 2011, annual conference of SPIN Chennai, Apr 2011
- My interview in “Got Talent“, PM Network, Dec 2010
- My presentation on “The Yahoo! Story – Pursuit of Excellence” at National Quality Summit, organized by CII Institute of Quality, 18-20 Nov 2010
- My courseware on “Project Management” for students of Executive MBA at St. Joseph’s College of Business Administration, 2010
- My courseware on “Business Ethics” for students of Executive MBA at St. Joseph’s College of Business Administration, 2009
- My views / interview in “Tough Sell“, PM Network, Sep 2009. Here is the PMI Link to the article.
- Article / blog “Which of the ‘Real World’ does your software team live in?” in The Smart Techie, Feb 2009
- Article “How Agile Practices address the Five Dysfunctions of a Team” inAgile Journal, Jan 2009. The article got translated to Chinese and was published in Programmer magazine, July 2009.
- Article “Toyota’s Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Managers” in Business Review magazine of St. Joseph’s College of Business Administration, Dec 2008
- Article “Understanding the concept of Inventory in a Software Project” in PMI Bangalore chapter’s monthly publication PM Essence, Dec 2008
- Featured Paper “Applying Little’s Law to Agile Project Management” (part 2) in PM World Today, Dec 2008
- Article “Applying Little’s Law to Agile Project Management” (part 1) in PM World Today, Nov 2008
- Guest lecture on “What does it take to be a Manager?” for MBA students of St. Joseph’s College of Business Administration, [part 1], [part 2]
- Internal presentation on “Managing Large Software Projects“
- Internal presentation on “Better Product Requirements Specifications“
- Keynote presentation on “Expectations from a freshman Software Engineer” at National Conference on Modern Trends in Software Engineering (MoTSE2003) organized by Dr. Hari Singh Gaur University, Sagar
- Paper presentation on “Using Earned Value for better management of Software Projects” at National Conference on Modern Trends in Software Engineering (MoTSE2003) organized by Dr. Hari Singh Gaur University, Sagar
- Review of “The Peopleware Papers” by Larry Constantine for IEEE Software November/December 2002 titled “Strategies for Building Better People“
- Technical Reviewer for “Implementing the IEEE Software Engineering Standards” by Michael Schmidt. This book was being written, and I was one of the two technical reviewers who would get new chapter, review it and send it back to the publisher for corrections. A great experience.
- Review of “Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management and Performance” by Dustin, Rashka and Paul for ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes
- “Experiences in Implementing Defect Prevention Activities in Software Product Development Lifecycle” presented at Philips Software Conference, [paper], [presentation]
- Radio talk on “Job Definitions through the Internet” on All India Radio on 4-Jun-98
- Based on my work and stay at Indian Antarctica Station, Maitri, between Nov 1993 and Mar 1995 as part of the 13th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, “Report on the Indian Antarctic Scientific Station “Maitri” – A Study of the Station and Its Life Support Systems“, Thirteenth Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, Scientific Report, 1997, Department of Ocean Development, Technical Publication No 11, pp 349-360.
- Guided Mr. Virendra Malpe, an ME Electronics and Telecom (Microwaves) student of Government College of Engineering, Pune, for his dissertation “Data Communication via Radio Modem using XMODEM File Transfer Protocol”
- Guided Ms. Shree Kenghe, Ms. Neeta Pathak and Ms. Manisha Thakkar, BE (Computers) students of Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), Pune for project on “Interconnecting of HF Radio-based Data Communication link with Link at R&DE(Engrs)”. This was continuation of my work involving HF Radio-based data communcation between Indian Antarctic Station “Maitri” and our research lab R&DE(Engrs) at Pune. In this project, we extended the work by interconnecting the HR Radio-based Data link and the LAN at office in Pune thus allowing anyone sitting in Pune to access the LAN at Antarctica
- “Grey: An Algorithmic Model of Brain“, paper presented at Seventh National Convention on ‘Knowledge Computing’, Pune
- My project in my MS Computer Science was “Design of a Fuzzy Language : FLOUIPI – A Fuzzy Language for Optimization of Uncertain, Incomplete and Probabilistic Information”
- “Algorithming and Programming“, paper presented at FOCUS-89 organized by IEEE-REC Student Branch, Trichy