- Newsletter from SPIN Chennai April‘10
From the President’s desk
Establish a leadership
Dear SPIN Members
forum for open
SPIN Chennai has begun the year 2010 on a very positive note. It feels great that exchange of software
our biggest event, SPICON 2010 was received very well by one and all. process improvement
I would like to wholeheartedly thank the delegates for their participation, experiences and ideas
sponsors for their support, speakers for their spirit in sharing the knowledge and Promote achieving
the organizing team for the meticulous planning. higher levels of process
SPICON 2010 saw delegates participating from different IT organizations and the maturity and software
full-house sessions demonstrated their quest for learning new concepts and quality .
sharing their experiences with the community.
Delegates were delighted because their expectations were met. Speakers were
happy because they had a responsive audience who made the sessions
interesting with their volley of questions. SPICON took up a lot of time and Inside this issue
energy on the part of the steering committee. We are all very happy to know that
> SPICON 2010 –Snapshot
it was worth it. This has given us encouragement to organize more such events in
future. SPICON 2010 also proved to be a good networking forum for profession- > From the Editorial board
als to meet up with the who’s who of the industry. > Perspective :
As we move ahead in the resurgent times , there is a lot more to do. Software Keynote from SPICON
processes are no more just about standards and maturity models. Organizations > Learning unlimited...
are now proactively looking for opportunities to optimize and continuously
improve their processes .Organizations are adopting Lean , Innovation programs
and leveraging on Application Lifecycle Management tools (ALM) to build an > Voice of the community :
effective stream of a process ecosystem to meet the increasing demands of Sevalaya
customers and the challenges of competition.
On the other side, information security and service management are now
becoming hygiene factors . The increasing awareness of processes speaks a lot
about the commitment of senior management in organizations to build a
quality-conscious, process-driven culture.
In coming months SPIN Chennai would continue organizing SPIN talks , Panel 8 Interesting Links
discussion and other events to bring the community together to think and act on
the next wave of transformation in process improvements. eWIT Excellence award
I look forward to your active participation . winners
With Best regards Visit : http://ewit.co.in/
- Chandrakumar Raman
SPIN activities at a glance
SCAMP v 1.3 Changes
Academia Interface SPIN talks and Seminars Other associations
Visit : SEI Website
• SPIN member handled the • Conducted a half -day • SPIN steering
Anna university MBA Faculty session on committee members were
development Program ‘ Process Performance the judges ( jury ) for
SPICON 2010 Presentations
• SPIN President was the Chief Modeling and Excellence award for
Guest of Madha Engineering Simulation ‘ quality @ eWit Visit :
College Alumni meet http://www.spinchennai.org/
• Supported Cloud
• SPIN member nominated to Computing Seminar organ-
teach Software Quality PMI Chennai Chapter events
ized by ISACA, Chennai
Engineering for ME (Quality )
at Anna university Visit : PMI Chennai
SPINNacle Page 2
Events at a glance
SPICON— 2010 : Snapshot
SPIN Chennai , organized its annual conference titled SPICON 2010. The theme of the conference was
‘Operational Excellence ‘. The conference was a great success and the feedback by the attendees was
overwhelming. Attendees opined that that the range of topics , caliber of speakers and depth of the subject cov-
ered was highly informative.
SPICON 2010 organizing committee sincerely thanks all its sponsors , speakers, attendees and volunteers for their
support to make this event a grand success. In the coming year , we look forward to organizing SPICON on a
much larger scale.
SPINNacle Page 3
From the Editorial Board
Welcome to the second issue of SPINnacle! The response to the first issue has been
excellent and the comments received so far from the readers have been very encouraging.
Thank you dear readers!
The launch of SPINnacle was a part of the SPICON 2010. Just like the earlier SPICONs,
SPICON 2010 was also a great hit, attracting top notch speakers and about 250 delegates
both from the academia and the industry.
SPIN members who could not make it as part of SPICON 2010 , can use the following links
to access the key-note speeches and few of the conference presentation materials.
Key-note speeches : SPICON 2010 key-note talks
Presentation materials : SPICON 2010 presentation deck
We want to convey our congratulations and thanks to G.S.Vijayakumar for coming up with
the title of SPINnacle. We also want to congratulate the winners of crossword in our last
issue. Thanks for your enthusiastic participation!
SPIN Chennai continued its tradition of monthly talks. SPIN Chennai conducted a session on G.S.Vijayakumar
Process Performance Modeling and Simulation which was very well received and supported
a talk on cloud computing .
Winner of SPIN
We request your valuable feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to reinforce newsletter
the stated objectives of this newsletter – of reiterating the important role that quality plays naming contest
in an organization and emphasizing the integration of quality into mainstream business and
acting as a vehicle of dissemination of best practices from industry and academia.
Some of the thoughts we have had in this regard are:
• Introducing a “Book Shelf” column wherein we will review some of the recent books
that are of interest to the software quality community
• Publication of the research trends in the areas related to software quality.
• Examples of applicability and universality of quality principles from other disciplines
We welcome your suggestions for enhancing the above list as well as contributing articles in
the above categories.
We are continuing the intent we introduced in the last issue to highlight the social contribu-
tions made by people. We are pleased to have coverage on the institution Sevalaya – an
organization doing yeomen service to the society for over two decades -- in this issue, espe-
cially because it is being championed by Muralidharan, who also incidentally was a top
notch software quality professional in TCS for close to 25 years!
We look forward to your continued encouragement and feedback to take SPINnacle to even
greater heights! Thanks in advance for the same
-- The Editorial Team
Editorial Board Members :
Ramesh Gopalaswamy , Latha Ramesh , Ananth KN , Sulochana Ganesan, R.Chandrakumar ,Balaji O.S
SPINNacle Page 4
SPICON 2010 saw two eminent personalities delivering the key note addresses. Both the speakers are achievers
in their own domain and have been an inspiration for thousands of people. Each of their addresses was well
received and greeted with a standing ovation from the attendees. Here is the glimpse of the perspectives
shared by the two speakers.
Mr.K.Dinesh co-founder of Infosys was one of the key note speakers. He
shared his experiences at Infosys . He talked about their vision of building a
world class company, respected across the globe, their value systems and
the journey that has brought them to where they are now. The key points
were pursuit of Business Excellence, customer centricity, good leadership
system and the long term perspective. He emphasized the need and the Did you miss attending
willingness to change or scale up to the dynamic requirements in business SPICON 2010 conference ?
being an important factor for success. The establishment of the Leadership You can listen to Mr.Dinesh’s talk
in You Tube . Go to
institute, the value system , building of processes around the core values, www.youtube.com And type
employee empowerment , reward and recognition, role of leadership, 'SPICON 2010 ‘ in the search bar .
leading by example, data based management, creating a scientific mind-
set, a holistic approach are some of the other points he touched upon.
Regarding the use of models, he spoke at length on the Malcolm Baldrige
model and the adaptation of the model at Infosys - the ISOP (Infosys Scal-
ing of Performance) to improve process and performance of individual
units. However , he cautioned that the models alone cannot make the dif-
ference, it is the people who finally make a difference. His final message
was - ‘ be Adventurous, Believe in your journey, build good Character,
Dream big, Execute relentlessly and Work Hard for Success.
Dr. Bala Balachandran—Professor—Kellogg School of Management and
Dean, Great Lakes School of Management ,enthralled the audience with
his quotes, acronyms, anecdotes, examples, timely jokes and very practi-
cal management advice.
Did you miss attending His topic "Understanding Customer Profitability to create value" set us
SPICON 2010 conference ?
all thinking in a new direction. He discussed the impact of cost reduction
You can listen to Dr.Bala’s talk
in You Tube . Go to on the bottom line, the relationship between variable cost and
www.youtube.com And type profitability and the levers to maximize profit and gain customer advan-
'SPICON 2010 ‘ in the search
tage. The key message was to concentrate on Innovation, Excellence and
Customer centricity for building a successful organization. He also
touched upon the different perspectives and levels of performance from
a customer standpoint—Customer Satisfaction, Exceeding customer ex-
pectations, Customer Delight ,Customer Astonishment and Co-creating
value with customer. He explained his concepts with interesting case
studies . ‘Uncle Bala ‘ as he is fondly called , held the audience spell
bound during his entire talk .
SPINNacle Page 5
Learning unlimited ...
Quality and Customer orientation : Day in life...
“Welcome to Timbuktu Customer Care centre ! Dial 1 for our products, dial 2 for other
products, dial 3 for billing, dial 4 for technical queries on our products, dial 5 for
learning how to use our products and dial 6 for going over these menu options again”
rattled a female voice. ‘Dial M for murder !’ I mumbled to myself, feeling irritated.
I had a problem that didn’t fit into any of the options listed and I thought it was best to
listen to the menu again. Here was my problem : I was trying to login to my account,
and I had forgotten my password as usual. I had written it down but last time when
I logged into my account to transact, I was informed that my password had aged (as
though my ageing was not enough) and I had to change it. I picked my favorite, which
was my dog’s name: ‘tintin’. The system rejected it outright saying six letters were not
enough and it had to be a minimum of eight. So I remember adding my date of birth,
‘08’. That too didn’t go through ; at least one letter had to be a capital letter. I thought
it was the first letter. But I found that it wasn’t. I felt humiliated being denied entry to
my own account. It was like being locked out of the house when all the other
housemates were having fun
After several failed attempts, I decided to check the secret question. I remem-
ber choosing, ‘the last book I read’. Alas, every name I typed, was rejected by
the system. I felt worse than one attempting the board exams. Finally as a last
resort, I clicked on the ‘forgot my password’ button. But only a mail would be
sent to my e-mail account, which I held no longer. Now you can guess my pre-
dicament. None of the options reeled out fitted my problem. I needed to talk
to some one. I decided quickly to press 1 and ask for the company’s products.
My guess was right. Straightaway, I was greeted by an unknown Anu who was
ready to help me choose their products. She listened to my woes and politely
transferred my call to the appropriate person.
Customer-orientation is all about putting oneself in his shoes. It is no rocket
science. A customer is not concerned with the internal processes of an organi-
zation. Nor does he have the time and patience to learn to use any complex
process or system. How many of us read through the manuals or go through
the FAQs before starting to use a system ? Very few. Ease of use should be
borne in mind while designing processes.
Automation and core banking software could have simplified consolidations and reconciliations from the banks’
point of view, but the number of times these systems have left the customers frustrated is no one’s guess.
Automation, no doubt has simplified life. However, one needs to question systems such as the one that would
insist on complaining about the internet failure by sending an e-mail. How often do we come across automation
cited as a reason for a faulty system or a process? While adopting new technology, organizations need to
reengineer their processes to become more customer-oriented.
In organizations, if employees are not customer-oriented, that also reflects in the processes they implement.
Most often, reward systems are tied to internally perceived successes and not through customer perception.
The disconnect between what organizations profess to be and what they actually are needs to be bridged.
However, the current trend of adopting best global practices with respect to customer-orientation is
encouraging. Thanks to the IT and ITES companies working with global customers, the fast spreading culture of
treating ‘Customer as the king’ (King punishes if not attended to!) is a welcome change. If this trend continues,
we would see a paradigm shift in the culture of corporate India.
- Latha Ramesh is a Quality and Process Improvement Consultant and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
SPINNacle Page 6
Voice of the community
SEVALAYA : Serving to transform lives with
process oriented approach
Ever thought that Software Quality profession and
principles are not integrated into main stream business?
Well, think again. One of the main messages that we want
to highlight is that the principles of quality that we
espouse in our profession make sound business sense and
are indeed widely applicable. In this issue’s Voice of
Community, we are privileged to present one of the
success stories in social and community service,
championed by someone from our fraternity
V Muralidharan worked in the process quality group of TCS
for over 25 years. Like other professionals from our
industry, he has traveled often, far and wide, consulting on
process, quality and ensuring compliance to quality
standards like ISO-9001, CMMI, etc. But what is different
and amazing is that despite this heavy and demanding
schedule, Murali (or “Sevalaya Murali” as he is popularly
called) has managed to found and grow a highly successful
social service institution Sevalaya.
Inspired by the teachings of what Murali calls “BGV” –
Bharathiyar, Gandhi and Vivekananda trinity –
Murali started Sevalaya in 1988. This institution started off “In Sevalaya, we consciously apply
by taking care of 5 orphan children from very poor the various quality and management
economic conditions and funded their upbringing and practices we talk about in the
education. From this, over two decades, Sevalaya has IT industry”.
grown to be the home for more than 160 orphan children,
60 destitute senior citizens (with no one else to care for
them) in an old age home and a go-sala to take care of dry
cows. What is more, Sevalaya also runs a school in
Thirunindravur near Chennai that provides completely free
education to over 1050 students in the neighboring villages,
most of whom are first generation learners. The villages
where 22 years ago, children worked as daily wage labour-
ers in brick kilns can now boast of 20 of them pursuing
their higher education in Engineering Colleges. 100 of them
have gone on to various other colleges for higher studies.
But for the free education provided by Sevalaya, these
children would have been school drop outs.
This school has produced 100% results consistently in the
state board exams for 10th and 12th and has been rated as
one of the best schools in the district. In addition to aca-
demics, Sevalaya offers vocational skills, soft skills, com-
puter skills and so on to make the students fully rounded
moral citizens, grounded on firm ethical and human values.
SPINNacle Page 7
Voice of the community
SEVALAYA : Serving to transform lives
Sevalaya shares a deep sense of environment conscious-
ness – Students are trained in organic farming, part of
vegetables and fruits are grown on the campus; a bio-gas
plant is in place which supplies cooking gas to the old age
home; a vermicompost plant supplies natural manure to
the farm; kitchen waste and other bio-degradable waste
are converted into natural manure.
There is a large number of accolades got by Sevalaya over
the years: TCS – Education World Awards Committee 2006
has declared Sevalaya’s Head Master Mr.Chittibapu as the
best innovative teacher among 25000 schools from all over
India. Most recently, Sevalaya won the Karuna Ratna
award for propagating vegetarianism, protecting of dry
cows and maintaining a green campus.
Murali, his wife, Bhuvana, and rest of the selfless team at
Sevalaya have set a high standard for working towards so-
cial causes. And, next time if any of us say “we don’t have
time”, we need to look at how a software quality person
globe trotting half the time (like we all do) has made a
difference to hundreds of lives.
About the Founder and Managing Trustee
Muralidharan, the founder of Sevalaya, has 25 years of experience in
software industry and out of that around 15 years in the process and
quality area. He is an authorized CMM lead, an ISO auditor, CMMI ap-
praisal team member, a PMP . He brought into Sevalaya the various
techniques of Management, suitably adapting them to suit the conditions
in a service organization.
Muralidharan’s thinking is shaped by modern management concepts and
is deeply rooted in Gandhian philosophy. He has a degree in Engineering,
and has also done post Graduation in Gandhian Thought. Sevalaya is
richly benefited by this unique combination. He is the author of a book
titled “Vaiya Thalaimai Kol” (Lead the world). The book discusses the
modern management concepts and the live examples of Bharathi,
Gandhi & Vivekananda. He was recently conferred with Karuna Rathna
award . For further details visit www.sevalaya.org or contact Sevalaya at
SPINNacle Page 8
Relax and Rattle your brains
Mail your responses to
with subject line as
Gift vouchers would be given to
Name and organization of the winners
would be featured in the next edition of
So , hurry up !
Last date to send your response :
DOWN 3. Is it not better to get comments
1. In Japanese, this is one type of waste from .... ,than from Customer ?
2. QC tool to find represent performance trend 4. Usain Bolt loves this !
over time(2 words) 5. One of the basic measures used to
6. In SCAMPI, tool used to map the practices calculate Scope creep
against evidences 6. Foul in Football and Contract breach
7. For teams to perform , everyone needs this.. results in
9. In Six Sigma, when p value is LOW , null must .. 8. One of the stages in 5 stages of
team formation where team members
CONGRATULATIONS ! Winners of SPINNACLE Crossword –01 have some difference of opinion
One lucky winner would be selected and presented a award 10. Dare not change this without a
during the next SPIN talk change request
11. Statistical Tool to optimize
Winners of Crossword –01 regression test cases( 2 words)
# Name Company Mail ID
1 Kalpana Sudharsan CSS Corp Kalpana.Sudharsan@csscorp.com
2 Lakshmanan Philips email@example.com
3 Lakshmi.R 3i Infotech —
4 Sudha Ramkumar Birlasoft sudha.ramkumar@BIRLASOFT.COM
5 Divakar V Sify Technologies Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Karthik Ramamurthy Keyresultz email@example.com
7 Ravi.P SRM Technologies Pvt. Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org
8 N.Ravi Thesys Technologies Private Ltd., email@example.com
SPINNacle Page 10
Know your SPIN Chennai team
SPIN Chennai Steering Committee Members
R.Chandrakumar Other Steering Committee Members
• Dr. L.N.Rajaram
Major Chandrasekharan .V.V (Rtd.) • Ananth K N
Treasurer • Emani BSP Sarathy
• Kannan Veeraraghavan
• Rama Sivaraman