December 23, 2015

Search Engine Optimization –Myths or Facts

Category: Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization — David @ 6:43 pm

We all have heard conversations and read articles regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as scam, misleading efforts, or too much cost for too little! Then again, we notice that many companies engage fulltime online marketing experts to work on their online presence and to increase ranking of their web pages on search results! So what to believe or where to start?

Search Engine Optimization has its roots on various algorithms that search engines utilize to rank a given web page with respect to a given keyword/key-phrase. Google is winning almost 10 patents per day on various ways to index and rank contents over the Internet! Google (and almost all other search engines) state that they are improving their technologies to provide relevant content to searchers, with their own strategic guidelines!  Optimizing content for search results mean using properly formatted, correctly programmed, and legitimately valuable content for end users to be indexed by search engines! There is no trick or smart way to optimize content except providing it in acceptable format. The level of acceptance is defined by numerous patented algorithms.

Content strategists tactically suggest aligning the overall content of a web page around a given topic. SEO experts look for relevant keywords/key phrases amongst the content of the web page to suggest relevant tagging (i.e. title/description of the page, headers, alternative tags, etc.) Various bots and spiders of search engines periodically explore the Internet for relevant web pages to discover, include in their database, and apply a weighing system (based on their algorithms) to the detected content. Likewise, search engines weighing system explores other possibilities to rank a web page (such as legitimacy of the web page, popularity of search criteria, in/out bound links, web page update history, etc.)

Other criteria that expert SEO marketers explore and employ would include implementing various traffic analysis codes (analytics), continuously ranking/ apprising on-page keywords/key phrases, engaging online users to interact - if applicable (such as commenting on blogs or contents, etc.) To increase popularity of a web page, an online marketer may interact with other social media users around the topic of interest and drive traffic to the site. Another definite traffic generation is online advertising campaign (such as ads on search engines, high-traffic sites, online directories, etc.) This effort has direct impact on the popularity of a web page, resulting in higher-ranking of the page and inclusion on higher real estate of search results.

Search Engine Optimization and online marketing is a blend of science and art. An experienced online marketer would apply a proven method (deducted from search algorithms) precisely where they need to be used efficiently. Of course other criteria affect SEO implementation such as continuous updates, content organization (easier for browsing experience), legitimacy of domain and business entity, pitched content (for end user), ease of access, structured content (eliminate ambiguity), error-free and technically compliant/standards-based, (relatively) acceptable performance, number of in-bound and out-bound links, etc.

August 4, 2015

How to Narrow Project Management (PM) Value-Add?

Category: Life, Management — David @ 7:07 pm

One of the challenges in today’s market is to show your value-add. Yet, how to bring all relevant work experience to the table? How to focus on specifics from past job-function and experience? How large the team was directed, and what other experience in team building would help a new program management role, and so forth!

When looking at the job posting, we all try matching our past experience to the requirements. Per involvement in many positions, experienced PMs need to narrow down and perhaps eliminate some of hands-on capabilities in order to draft a concise resume!  Also we all have had this feeling that trying to present ourselves as a renascence man is like shooting ourselves in foot! Companies would seem not to looking for people with broad experience, rather want people who can solve their problem now!

There are a few things that one can do such as selectively choosing what not to say (i.e. notes that are not relevant), which is not down-playing. There is so much to prove on what can be written in resume or said in a short time. This is not hiding qualification, rather just focusing on relevant ones. Another way would be choosing how to say and what to say. This is choosing the words (of your experience) along the lines that would focus on what (you) want to bring up. This can be viewed like focusing on project management aspect or team building and people management that is expressed by choosing the words choices in a limited space (of resume)! This would perhaps eliminate non-relevant experience of a jack-of-all-trades person with varied involvement.

One can clearly tailor the resume to make it very focused and relevant to the position. This approach can be applied in discussions as well. The question rises with respect to an experienced professional’s LinkedIn profile where it highlights all skills that are applied in many different fields of technical project management! This is to emphasize that the LinkedIn record (as professional profile) shall contain most experiences and accomplishments. However, a focused resume (as a concise list of achievements) shall highlight success. LinkedIn profile may be viewed as a good resume surrogate and an overall profile of achievements, while resume is fine tuned to a specific job addressing the requirements. Resume shall outline what impact the job seeker would have on the business with relevant accomplishment on their past positions.

One concern in current business environment is that technical professionals do not know how to present business values! They may be able to say how cool the technology is. The more you can emphasize business value and achieved productivity, the better you may position yourself for the position. A program manager is a change agent, not just controlling aligned projects to reach stated milestones. Also training may play a better role for a program manager as how programs are aligned to train junior team members to attain more business values during their career.

One thing to note that training is one of the first things to be cut in a downward economy and it is usually one of the last things to be added to the list of available positions. It is encouraging to see a number of training management positions available on job market that not all require a subject-matter expert in their stated requirements, yet understanding managing the training as best practices. In a PMI-Silicon Valley meeting John Choate (the National SIG Chair of America SAP User Group) said that “at SAP user group in national level we are required as chair to do one national webinar in a quarter. They have to be very content focused on user experience with 50 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of Q & A”.

The above few paragraphs are based on conversation taken place at a few breakfast meeting of PMISV members and prospect. I have taken notes from our conversation and felt sharing thoughts of a few experienced leaders in program and portfolio management of Silicon Valley, California with our readers. Please feel free to comment, or otherwise suggest your idea to complement the topic and discussion.

September 14, 2014

What is a SCRUM – once again!

Category: CSM, Kanban, Management, PMO, Program Management, Project Management, SCPO, Scrum — David @ 5:57 pm

This is a question that some project and program managers ask often-times! Not just probing its verbatim meaning, but for its real-life significance and value. Is Agile framework specific for software or it can also be used in other types of projects like hardware and construction?

Let’s first recall Agile Manifesto posted on the “Agilemanifesto” website that I have also included at the end of this entry. Even though we all have heard about Agile framework’s rapid / sustainable development, customer-driven, lightweight, competitive advantage, iterative, yet simplicity approaches towards development, I would like to add a few more points! Scrum however, is a special implementation of Agile as short sprints (of actions) to iteratively define-implement-test work cycles or time-boxed team efforts. One thing most people agree is that sprints have deliverables that might not be the end-product! I know many experienced managers who have used Agile in completely nontechnical environments such as hydroelectric smart meter implementations, change management, medical device hardware sub-systems, and other related projects. They all claim they promptly create their teams, make lists (of requirements, etc.), prioritize the action items, flow their planned efforts collaboratively, produce planned deliverables, and iteratively handle next sprint in their list.

However and beyond regular philosophies and proven practical norms, Agile method of managing is more like a mindset to me than the process itself. Many scholars have dug up how human aspects impressed Agile framework, how behavioral-based project management applies to successful delivery, how to improve organizational success Agile-way, and how VUCA is used in emerging ideas of strategic leadership development, even at times of change . We can easily quote the adoption information curve when referring to the adoption of technology and ideas by a population. But when it comes to Agile change adoption, we mostly address the indirect changes (process) rather than understanding the human nature, resistance to change, improved substitutes, and continuous improvements!

I think besides the technique, Agile addresses the mind-set of how to collaboratively achieve a task (or a project) in a flat level among team members where everyone (from customers, to product owners, managers, developers, and implementers) work towards common goals in an iterative progression. Agile is more like conviction to the concept of the crowd (or scrum team) working towards continuous achievements! In this practice all players shall commit to the crowd strength, in a coordinated and collaborative manner.

As per the nature of its applicability, I have seen managers who successfully applied Agile process to technical and nontechnical projects, as well as pure hardware and even construction based projects. We all have heard about “Water-Scrum-Fall” where experienced leaders merge two distinct frameworks to plan, execute, and produce their needed result in a hybrid way.


1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’ competitive advantage.
3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

April 17, 2014

Career Development continues!

Category: Online Marketing — David @ 1:25 pm

Career development is a continuous process in our today’s era. For its sensitive nature, one of our senior managers had a successful “Career Management Seminar” workshop at PMI - Silicon Valley chapter. At our last breakfast meeting, our participating members exchanged thought provoking ideas based on a workshop presented by Dan Levin regarding the topic and related Behavioral Styles. Below are a few facts that I have extracted from our dialogue.

Most participants of Dan’s workshop were experienced project and program managers. However, at times there are some managers who employ just a few tactics of “structured management” rather than emphasizing on clear project development and management plans! It is not a surprise that majority of managers do not have adequate management training.

A careful career management plan would follow the same skills and techniques that projects and programs management would employ! Managing our career is much like developing a business plan with clear definition of where we want to head, and how we want to grow in our career. This is much like writing our resume based on what we want to do and not what we have done! Our experience is useful because of lessons we have learned to improve our next job.

Let’s not forget that our boss needs to know what we’re doing; what white space, grey space, good work, and other tasks we conduct, and how many different hats we’re wearing. Getting feedback from immediate supervisors as what would be a better approach for more positive impact on the task(s) may help the supervisor to support our next promotion! However, we shall also look for, and go after opportunities in the organization as most promotions are based on more responsibilities rather than routine performance!

One useful tactic is finding a mentor who is a couple of levels higher in the organization. Learning how the mentor operates and handles different projects, tasks, stakeholders, and communication with other executives will help us to ascend in our careers. Have you ever tried providing any presentation to a crowd? How is your presentation style? Providing different pitches to senior managers and executives is like an art that can be perfected through experience (or repetition as well!?)

Project and program management is like “Politics” as senior managers shall satisfy all their stakeholders. It is a good practice to search for, and learn about strategic behavioral management skills. Tactical approaches of senior managers and executives regarding sensitive issues would help to polish stakeholder management skills. Delicate control of complex environment and issues require knowing how the “behavioral management” is set or followed, and what the best practices of strategic leadership shall be!

Disclaimer: This is an extracts from PMI-Silicon Valley Chapter’s group meetings held regularly in Mountain View, California. Many thanks to our active members:

Dan Levin, Kevin Thompson, Anup Deshpande, Mathew Thankachan, T. Mallie BrathwaiteCarl Angotti, Matthew Hebb, Cynthia Lau, and David Bakhtnia

November 11, 2013


Category: Management — David @ 7:47 pm

The first time I heard the “water-scrum-fall” term was at PMI-SV Annual Symposium of 2013 at a presentation provided by Roger Kent with the heading of “Waterfagile or Agilefall? Rethinking Knowledge-Work Process Model.” Quite frankly I have mixed the two methodologies – whenever a mixture suited my project. But what does it really mean? This topic came up at our PMISV meetings members putting light on its definition. Below are extracts from our conversation at Mountain View breakfast meeting. I have also added a few points expressed by our members attending PMISV-job search meeting on February 4th, 2013.

A hybrid of “Waterfall” and “Agile / Scrum” methodologies means that you are in-between waterfall or agile. Hybrid solutions work well during the transition period. An example is when tests were all paper based. Then we had a mixture of multiple choice tests that were partially computer based, with paper backup. That is a hybrid model of testing in both digital as well paper-based methods. Now there are organizations that provide computer-based tests only; such as Prometric. Another example is hybrid automobiles; our infrastructure (or even our transportation dependencies / habit) is not ready to fully adapt our transportation into electric power. Yet we are using both gasoline based as well as electric powered automobiles. This is because our transportation industry is in a transition process. However, when electric powered automobiles are well accepted and when we create supporting infrastructure for this model, we will move out of the hybrid mode and fully adopt to electric cars. Going back to water-scrum-fall, some are comfortable with waterfall method, and experience some better results using agile practice. Yet they implement portions of each during their process. Most of our top 500 enterprises have used waterfall for years and decades. Yet their experienced leaders observe better results using Agile and Scrum; hence they use a hybrid model to successfully oversee their projects and portfolios.

A myth of agile is that the final result of our project is fuzzy! That is not true. We just manage the process; including customer engagement from the beginning, so that we have more successful projects -a process in which the customer’s expectations are fully integrated into the product. However, agile methodology works where it is proven to work. We still use waterfall with all its maturity in our large and small projects as we have decades of documented processes using waterfall, like most construction projects. On the other hand, an IT infrastructure project like a data center upgrade / consolidation project could have a waterfall planning with scrum method of roll-out – hybrid model!

I would like to open a question to my readers: what about hardware, or a mix of hardware-software projects? Would be better to stick to waterfall, use agile, or come up with some sort of water-scrum-fall?

Disclaimer: This is an extracts from PMI-Silicon Valley Chapter’s group meetings held regularly in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, California. Many thanks to active participants of our meetings:

Carol Blanchar, Soheil Bouzari, Roberto Bruce, Katie Creegan, Karen Ferguson, Ron Green, Michael Jones, Nathan King, Chris Munson, Scott Petersen, Scott Spetter, Brian Wanner, Ray Williams, Terry Archuleta, David Bakhtnia, Sumadhi Lourduswamy, Melissa Pflum, T. Mallie Brathwaite, Paul Diamond, Raj Kamdar, Valentine Miller, J. Lynn Stuart, Kevin Thompson, Anup Deshpande, Wendy Tsoi, Carl Angotti, and Steve Deffley.

August 12, 2013

Cover Letters and their usefulness

Category: Management — David @ 2:38 pm

As I promised in our today’s breakfast meeting, below is the blog about “Cover Letters” that we talked in our last week’s meeting. I know that I am a week behind posting about our last meeting; quite frankly I have been working and networking about 15 hours a week lately - so I finished this short note last night.

This is another session of our “job search breakfast” group meeting of PMI Silicon Valley chapter. We explored the reason behind including cover letters when applying for a technical / management position.

In my opinion, I am wondering how good we could model “human nature” and behavior! Even when applying number-crunching and numerical analysis on human behavior, one cannot get an ample picture on how better approach to any particular action! Everyone is different. However, when applying for a professional position, the size of the company and how they have been posting jobs (online or otherwise), the rationale behind their processes (if we know about), positions’ requirements, HR policies, and many other factors will play roles with regards to sending a cover letter along with a resume, or not to send any! I think the best is responding to a given job opening based on our personal experience, and hoping to land an interview. After all, sending a resume and associated cover letter is to have an interview. One manager may not read a cover letter, yet be swift in responding to follow up emails!

Noting that cover letter is one of deliverables, it’s a good idea to introduce ourselves up front to the prospect employee and make the cover letter like a sales tool. It is helpful to including our sales pitch on top, and treat cover letters like a business communication letter; something like a short dashboard of our knowledge aligned with the requirements. Resumes include the most detailed aspects of our professional expertise, and it usually takes months to polish and fine-tune. On the other hand, cover letters are composed fast; probably a few hours before sending them to an available position. Another idea that was circulated among our attendees was to address 5-top requirements of the position in the cover letters. However, hand-carried cover letters and resumes to the hiring managers have the best results. Identifying an insider and making sure that hiring manager could have a copy of the resume makes the biggest impact.

Other considerations such as styling, font face-size, stationary choice, and such are less important, yet keeping them consistent with the style used in resume is a good approach. However, referencing the salary requirements or any political / faith related concerns, and non-relevant points are strongly discouraged. Make sure that cover letters do not have any spelling error, and keeping them below 3000 characters make them more appealing. Keeping track of the resumes and cover letters that are sent out are another important factor. After all, it is a good idea to have a reference point to requirements of a specific position for which an application is sent!

Online references regarding composition of effective cover letters are in Abundance. Yet our group suggested frequent visits to other networking activities for effective job hunting. Some of the most successful network building groups (at least in the San Francisco Bay Area) are:
PMI-Silicon Valley chapter, our chapter’s Workshops, and some meet up gatherings in your area (such as Agile meet up, Big Data Analytics, etc.) NOTE that by attending these meeting you would get familiar with different vocabularies of the marketplace, as well as expanding your network of professionals you know!

Rise and Shine,

This is an extract from PMI-Silicon Valley Chapter’s Job Seeking group meeting in Sunnyvale, California. Some of the participants below are technical managers and members of PMISV:

Azeez ChollampatChris MunsonDavid BakhtniaDavid GazaveGary A JohnsonMichael MellengerRay WilliamsScott E PetersenScott Spetter, and Terry Archuleta.

August 2, 2013

How to form a nimble PMO office which can provide value to the company

Category: Management — David @ 9:22 pm

How to create an active and agile Program Management Office (to add prudence value aligned with organizational vision and mission)? How a consolidated approach to portfolios and programs may have any added values? This is a million-dollar question that established organizations revise in their dictionary once a while! Below is a breakfast-extracts from the dialogue between a group of technical leaders; members of PMI - Silicon Valley Chapter. I thought providing a few practical suggestions provided by our members may help transferring knowledge to our younger generation and like-minded technical professionals!

Some organizations have portfolio-level documentations with ranking models applied to projects, categorizing and sorting them to take appropriate action. Then the projects are traced for their priorities, business values, etc. There are some documented models for stakeholders’ actions as a road map to facilitate projects initiations (accept, defer, or reject) based on the impacts on business and revenue.

A nimble PMO depends on how mature is the organization. However, product oriented organizations may consider the road maps, customers, features, etc. While in IT (information Technology) there are a many projects and programs without road map. However, if one can take over 100 projects to show the forward-looking themes, it would facilitate efforts of stakeholders in reducing (or delaying) the number of low-priority projects.

A senior program manager would be careless about the number of pending projects as the team would handle projects with higher ranks on the scoring list. Scoring is based on security, compliance, usability, user experience, ROI (Return On Investment), etc. ROI based projects however, may not at the top of the list for instance (because of the nature of business, perhaps). Another example is risks, as part of IRR (Internal Rate of Return) such as taking risks, or transferring them into opportunities. All such factors would have an associated ranking number. Assigning numbers to a given project helps more informed evaluations. This type of decision making channelizes the energy of executives to decide which projects have higher priority to focus and act upon.

One important requirement is to know the audience. For instance, for PMO members of executive level (i.e. EVPs, CIOs, CTOs, CEOs), a clearly defined approach can greatly alleviate decision making. Rather than going through every project in detail, they would rather have the ability to change things faster, line up tasks, and put the important jobs in action; noting that the end results would have expedient impact on the organization’s health and wealth. A nimble PMO model therefore, would have less review processes and more of action oriented processed - with just enough information, to help audience to approve,  defer, or cancel the projects efficiently and effortlessly.

As PMPs, we can then apply fast tracking or crashing processes to programs with higher number of projects when we have lower capacity of performance; reduce the scopes, or increase the resources. This technique would be a good negotiating tool.

Please note that when executives show interest in the new projects, they imply knowing how many resources may be freed up! Hence sketched-out priorities and choices would help making another negotiating chance. By showing priorities up to existing projects, PMO may indicate that given resources can be assigned to higher-priority projects, negotiate for more resource, or fund, etc.

The usual problem in IT and data centers is the co-relation between sustaining (the business) and new development! The challenge is trying not to squeeze sustainability, yet to be able to initiate new projects. Hence, categorizing and providing road maps to streamline or automate processes would help PMO office as well. This will become another tool to make informed decisions. PMOs are not just about projects, programs, or tools, but about keeping a sustainable business while progressing towards prosperity.

Another attention is employing 10 Agile Principles, and using their simplicity to maximize productivity. Using in-take processes, we would be able to filter out low priority projects from the list. This model would cultivate the culture of asking the right question in order to regulate projects approvals. Yet another approach is progressive elaboration; once the projects are grouped to form programs, progressively look into the projects and their priorities (sometime up to story level) and rank them for informed decision makings.

Another approach is to assign a program or portfolio owner who would take responsibility of managing resources and actions within that portfolio. This would eliminate micro management by PMOs, and empower accountability policies by PMOs that would be well in-tuned for Strong-Matrix or Functional organizations.

An agile PMO would take actions to streamline processes, not just to review projects.

Up-ward and On-ward,

This is an extract of a group meeting of PMISV members. Some of attending members are:

Anup Deshpande, Dan Levin, Steve Enabnit, Steve Deffley, Mathew Thankachan, T. Mallie Brathwaite, Ray Williams, and David Bakhtnia

12 Agile principles are:

  1. Satisfy the Customer
  2. Embrace Change
  3. Frequent Delivery
  4. Cross-Functional Collaboration
  5. Support and Trust
  6. Face-to-Face Conversation
  7. Working Software
  8. Sustainable Pace
  9. Technical Excellence
  10. Keep it Simple
  11. Self-Organization
  12. Inspect and Adapt

If you care to learn more about Agile trends and Agile methodology of leadership, contact following sources, connect with leaders, and attend related courses below:

July 17, 2013

How to bring Agile to other departments; Marketing, Sales, Support, etc.

Category: Management — David @ 6:53 pm

It is a daunting task to convince other departmental executives to coordinate their departments’ projects with the rest of organization using Agile methodology! This was actually a question brought up by a colleague at one of our PMI-SV chapter meetings. Below are some of responses from the leading managers attending our meeting;

  • We shall think in Agile methodology before we buy-in to it! In other words, managers shall think in incremental changes by the team leading to the final product.
  • Expectations of executives must be tuned with Agile mindset.
  • Customers must also be communicated to accept Agile methodology; incremental updates, accepting increments, and proceed this iteration till the end of project / product.
  • Managers need to know that there is no UAT (User Acceptance Test) using Agile methodology.
  • All departments’ team members shall be familiar with Agile methodology.
  • Other departments’ managers and executives must accept that there would be no date commitment for intermediate processes. However, a tentative end-date can be set forth.
  • Drive priorities as set in requirements and proceed with “Stories”.
  • Only commit to what is visible to you (that can be delivered incrementally).
  • Agile is a value-driven process that depends on the value of what is set to be done. The value is known or set by the customers and stakeholders; usually using 20-80 rule (i.e. 20% of requirements will drive 80% of the bulk of the product). These are end user values that are set and delivered incrementally.
  • Agile will use “progressive elaboration” of products and end user results. However, how customers would have end results depends on progressive elaboration and incremental delivery of needs. This is the (Agile) process that shall be clearly communicated to all parties involved.
  • Other time-dependent actions and revenue-recognition event (such as Press Releases) can be addressed depend on the cut-off date set forth at the beginning of the process. However, delivery of requirements shall proceed incrementally till the set-date.
  • Important requirement (within the 20% set) shall be scheduled within the stories and delivered by the set date. All other requirements (within 80% set) are set to be delivered incrementally as the project advances.

More information regarding upcoming classes and trainings in San Jose area:
PMI-ACP Exam Prep Course (3 Days) at PMI – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter:
– Instructor: Anup Deshpande, August 3, 2013 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Anup also offers training for individuals as well as corporate teams.

Please visit PMI- Silicon Valley chapter website for more information about different activities of PMI - Silicon Valley chapter.

Up-ward and On-ward,

July 14, 2013

Installing Sugar Community Edition on Ubuntu server

Category: Technologies — David @ 6:51 pm

This is shortened steps to install Sugar Community Edition on Ubuntu server. This installation assumes a prepare server (Apache, MySQL, PHP, and all other modules) are already installed and configured.

  1. Open a shell access to your server (putty!?) and login with root access.
  2. Got to the domain / directory where you want to install Sugar, create a tmp directory and download it from Sugarforge;
    sudo wget
  3. Unzip the file, move the entire content to the CRM folder of your domain structure, and remove left-over files/folders;
    mv * /var/www/vhosts/
    rmdir SugarCE-Full-6.5.14/
    rm and
    rmdir tmp
  4. Open a web browser and go to your SugarCRM folder where you have all files. This will open the web wizard of SugerCE installation process to continue. Accept license agreement and click on next buttons to direct the installation to use installed Apache, MySQL, PHP, and needed modules.
  5. Provide database information and continue
    NOTE: I got an error (The provided database host, username, and/or password is invalid…) then I changed host name to, and continued!
  6. Follow the rest of the installation. For English you do not need to upload any language package. Register the product and finalize installation with date type and SMPT credential, etc.

Congratulation on your new Customer Relationship Management System.

July 8, 2013

Share the collective knowledge

Category: Management — David @ 4:33 pm

Disclaimer: This is a multi-contributor blog and I would like to acknowledge credentials of the contributors . Following my last post, today (July 8th 2013) I attended another meeting of Job Search Breakfast Meeting of PMISV in Sunnyvale (CA). Below is highlights of our today’s discussion.

When it comes to “elevator pitch” at a job interview, it is recommended that we keep three things in mind and talk about them. Regarding technology for instance, touching on development, process, and delivery would be a good opening to attract attention.

A good conversation-provoking is when asked about one’s background, talk about strength, passion, hobbies, and what would be a good matching point for job seeker to fit to the culture of the organization. A recruiter for instance, may seek technical competency in interview. However, trying to find a common point of interest, one may talk about a common interest or hobby. “Eric Johnson” said in an interview with Cisco, he noticed a real guitar on the wall of the hiring manager and he used his musical talent and background and that was the connecting topic. Hence, observing the person across the table and finding a shared interest would take the communication to its natural next step. Showing your interest and knowledge about a common interest would show that because you are well rounded, you would be a better match, probably compare to the rest of candidates. It also gives the interviewer a chance to talk about something that interests him / her.

Another good point is to find a chance to ask the interviewer a question at the beginning of the interview as well as at the end. For instance, what keeps you concerned about this position? Is the position a new one, or replacing an available rank? If replacing, why previous person left? If a new position, what gap you are filling - or what would be the most pressing tasks expected? What are the challenges, difficulties, or opportunities associated with the position? What would you expect to be done systematically? How better can I perform to meet and exceed expectations? When people leave, what opportunities are unsealed? “Terry Archuleta” added that a good practice is to ask for the follow up of the interview; I am very much interested in the position and I wonder when I could hear about your decision! In other words, without showing desperation, interviewer shall have a strong sense of your interest in the position.

Remember that in any interview, you want as much information about that organization as the interviewer is seeking from you! In other words, you want to make sure that you would fairly fit into your new position. You want to know about the culture of your company, dress code (if any), financial and marketing challenges the organization is facing. And you want to make sure that you can get the job done with the highest satisfaction possible.

We had an hour of very interesting conversation. I tried to capture a glance of what we talked about. I also would like to provide this space to our team members to add their points by inserting their comments. Please note that if comments made by our attendees will carry a link to their LinkedIn profile.

Rise and Shine,

Following are attendants of Job Search Breakfast Meeting (July 8, 2013) of PMISV in Sunnyvale (CA).

Skip La Fetra, Scott E Petersen, Scott Spetter, Terry Archuleta, David Bakhtnia

My goal is to convey bulk of our discussion to public. I think the combined knowledge and experience of attendees carry so much value that our job seekers can benefit from every point made in our meetings. I also would like to provide a space to our attendees to elaborate on their points so that their point of view are transparently expressed.