Reflection of experiences in the Applied Management Project

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In this report you will find a glimpse of the process that took place in past few months during the process of writing the applied management report. I would be discussing about the feelings I went through, motivation I got from different sources, how I dealt with certain situations, my perspective, personality improvement, and drawbacks that I had to face. Over all this report will act like a mirror of my personality as a whole and the changes & improvements that happened during the process of the course. As a whole, this report can be termed as an overlook of making of Applied Management Project.

I have made an attempt to keep this report in the context of the AMP.

Recollection of experiences

Group Formation

As I remember it was during the end of second semester I had spoken to Syed on being in his team as a foresight. There was no much conversation, only some small chat on Facebook here and there after that.

In the mean time before the first day of our Induction, Syed had already created a group having a foresight. I just had to re-confirm about me being in the group at the end of the first day of the AMP induction class, that's all I had a team to work with. Syed had coordinated with other people and had formed a perfect group. As he was the one who created the group, so Syed was the group coordinator then.

First Day

At the end of first day there was no much discussion, as most of us already knew each other and were from the same cohort. We only had a small discussion on making diaries.

Second Day

As the end of Second day followed, we got the project, which was on Outsourcing trends. Including me everyone in the group was happy that we have got a good topic to research upon.

Three day Briefing

Next day, on reading the materials in our hand book we were briefed by the instructors about our topic. On our discussion we understood that the topic is more about Offshore Outsourcing rather than near shore or in house contracting.

However, next two days went on with group member's discussing basic questions like

What is our core topic to write?

Is it really just about offshore outsourcing?

What do we write under literature review?

Question over, how we can manage writing such a big report in the given time.

Who will research on what topic?

Group members even started looking at what outsourcing is all about and started talking about every small aspect of outsourcing. How the companies hiring can be related to outsourcing, like having a maid servant at home etc. We even had some lighter moments.

Facebook Group [1] 

In the mean while I created a group on Facebook where all the group members where added. And so it was easier for group members to share information they find from different sources.

Group members started sharing videos from Facebook, books, white papers on Facebook groups etc. We started conversing on project work every now and then; we started to having virtual meetings, as all the conversation could be seen by all members who were present online. However, it wasn't as affective as the personal meetings. As there were huge chances of misunderstanding and misinterpreting the words other may have spoken.

This also allowed us to experience the situations as to what people in the corporate world face, when IT and/or related projects are outsourced. I personally was able to relate the way these situations to being in the corporate world where communication between people go haphazard and people tend to misinterpret things having preconceived notion about what others are likely to mean.

Meetings

Meetings were carried out often and we used to discuss about the topic. Having a virtual group meant people had started to reply to questions posted in the group. Some used to chat in the group chat, some used to send personal message about the topic discussed in group.

During discussions, things were spoken about what are all the things that can be outsourced. There were some light moments that were shared and there were some serious arguments which went on for hours.

An Argument

One such incident was with me and Syed where we got into an argument which lasted on one and half hour on 1st March. Most of the team members were present. And in between the conversation Syed and I did not agree to one particular aspect i.e. Outsourcing and Technology.

Having some previous such experiences, and I regretting that I couldn't record them I ensured that I record the event on my phone. However, I didn't share the same with other group members, as that could create misunderstandings and can lead to disputes among the group members.

EVERNOTE [2] 

Having the thought of diary making in mind, I was browsing the android market place and happened to find an application called EverNote which allowed me to create notes on the go and the same could be synced on the Website and later onto the laptop and vice versa. It also allowed me to record and sync audio files rather than just creating and typing notes.

Using this sort of modern day technology in-order to keep track of daily events meant I was grooming myself to be a business executive.

Offshoring and Offshore Outsourcing

During the process of writing the report, I was searching on Google for offshore outsourcing, I had a sudden unexpected discovery and I realized Offshoring and Offshore outsourcing are not the same. Though in the start I had thought them to be similar words, but got to know that their usage is considerably different. Offshoring is more related to manufacturing industry like Car manufacturing where quality concerns are the topic of discussion. However, when we speak about Offshore Outsourcing, it would be more relevant in the context of IT and technology.

This particular event made me rethink about the things I think I know. I started to question myself about the knowledge I posses and to the relevance of the topic. Rather to say, it was time for the self analysis.

Freelance and websites

As I was researching about the project, I happened to read about freelancing websites where people put up project on websites to bid and people with right skills bid for it. Being from the technical background I had heard about these back when I was in India during my bachelor's degree. But now things were obvious and I started searching for those particular websites in-order to understand the concepts behind them.

As such I found some of the popular website like: Elance.com, vworker.com etc. I created the user-id on them, when I looked at them, it seemed like whole new realm was waiting for me.

There were lot of people even from my own country present who would had similar basic degree as I do, and when seen from the their perspective they were being paid considerable amount of money for the work they are carrying out. However, when seen the money differentiation in terms of value here in UK, it was considerable. The conversion of Pound and Dollar value when incorporated with technology was creating miracles in these websites.

This also made me think about various business plans where I intended to use these findings as tools during the longer walk of life.

Personal Group

I also created a secret Facebook group where only I had access. In the group I created video dairies for my reference and space wasn't the problem as it was hosted on Facebook server. However, I didn't use it very often during the time. But this group is sure to help me in the longer run, when I look back into the life.

SecondLife [3] 

During the process of the project, I happened to read that people are using Second Life Game as the means for Outsourcing where people do networking as a means. Reading the same I recalled that I had created a Second Life ID during my bachelors but never played the game due to technical difficulties. Now I had a good machine in hand and installing the game wasn't a problem. So I went ahead and installed the Second Life game on my laptop. And played for a while as well to get to know the way outsourcing is done. During the process once I helped a researcher called Mijta [4] from Indiana University in his research program on human behavior. I was awarded with Linden Dollars (Second Life currency) for the support in the project. And he was happy with the research program proceedings. To add on to all this I had a firsthand experience on how outsourcing is carried using the Second Life.

Personal feelings and learning from the experience

As such there was a huge shift of feelings during the entire process of writing the report. At one point I had to say no to the job and I did quit the job in-order to concentrate on the project. However, the trouble was yet not over as after I left the job we were visited by guests who required support whole through. As such, I personally had to make some arrangements like having my headphones up even when there is no music running from behind so that the noises around do not trouble me.

There were many situations where I didn't know what to write and it seemed like it was the dead end of the project work. During those times, I turned to Google and other sites and downloaded relevant documents and started to read them in order to find some new concepts which I could incorporate in the report. This methodology was done time and again.

Sometimes I had to turn to my parents for mental support; I had to speak to them in order to get some ways to deal with the present situation and pressure that I was facing. I came to realize about the quote, in-order to derive energy get in touch with your source and from the Indian tradition parents are the literal gods on earth.

However, there was still negativity and I was depressed as things weren't moving according to the plan I had scheduled. When I spoke to Lalit, some of his encouraging words even he helped me to understand pointing to my past that I have succeeded and the future that I was sure to succeed. There are lots of people who have done this before and even we would do the same without much hassle. This is just another stage of life.

During the process of AMP seeing the way group members started to coordinate with each other and sharing information personally during the meetings as well as virtually on Facebook group, it was evident that this was a shift for the better. I personally started to get a feeling that I'm being groomed to be an executive.

Group dynamics and learning from the experience

One of the best things which I experienced during the project was we people of the group were from different parts of the world. Though most of the group members were from India but we were from different parts of the country and were brought in different culture. However, when in the group we were all one. No one was acting indifferently. Everyone was up for the cause and was sharing their experiences.

During every meeting with group members there were one or the other concerns taken up and some or the other team member would get into arguments. However, these arguments unlike others were bound by the context. And unlike other usual arguments which would lead into disputes didn't lead to any between members, rather these arguments were seen much of a learning experience, where everyone being the part of the argument took some knowledge out of it, at the end of the argument.

During the meetings we ensured we bring in our own previous experiences about dealing with things, share them with others. As we hailed from countries like India and Pakistan, which are known to be driving the outsourcing industry, it was considerably easier for us to understand what the other person wanted to point out to. Though there were arguments, people involved ensured it was healthy.

Right after the third day of the project it was decided every one of us would search on certain topics and share the information among others. Most of the information what we found was shared on Facebook group.

However, at one point it looked as though some of the group member didn't want to share and they wanted to draw a line. However, some others seemed wanted to share them as they were still sharing the information. And they were overly pushing others who didn't wish to share to share it. So being an analytical person I was wondering either they don't wish to share or they have nothing left to share. But all is well; there were no quarrels between people over any matter.

There were lot of gossips among the members, some hated others for their behavior, and some others agreed to them just in-order keep up the trust with them. At the end of the day, people felt this is the phase of life; we are on the same boat and let's sail in harmony. Some people also spoke that this was the part and parcel of life, which was bound to happen in any sort of group, so they wouldn't bother about it much as it is not for life long they had to stick with these kinds of conversations.

With time and again we have had the same set conversations over and over again about outsourcing. It was evident among group members that they have realized a new realm in doing their work smartly i.e. Outsource the work.

Lessons for future projects

Structure

During AMP project due to the action I was taking like writing a diary regularly, noting down important points also following the obvious rules laid out in the program. I personally found that I was bringing some sort of structure into place in my life. Following this kind of structure would enable me to manage things in a better format.

Facing the situation

As a person I always intended to keep myself away from gossips. However, harder I try not to indulge is gossips, more I found people who gossip. As such, during the process of the project I have come to realize that avoiding and running away from situations wouldn't help me any better. It's is with how I deal with the situation that would matter.

Take a Small Step

The best thing I have done while writing this project is to keep up with the hope and never to lose it. I'm not trying to make it up. However, things were obvious at certain times that it was dead end of the project. Though we could find millions of pages during the searches on Google when searched on Outsourcing, no document said anything apart from obvious .And every document was small and limited when compared with the project we intended to do. And adding to this there was no much recent research data that was available there. And what was available were not of much relevance. So it took a nerve out in-order to find and collect the right amount of data and create the report.

Outsourcing

Researching on outsourcing, got insights into the Outsourcing industry and how the outsourcing has been carried out in real life. This is sure to be one of the tools which I can surely use in my future projects if not anything. Observing websites like Elance, I have come to realize that if I work on those websites with commitment I can get enough number of business opportunities. And when required I may seek help from people who are knowledgeable and would also work for me. Today, it is just a thought; however this though seemingly has the power to get converted into reality in the longer run.

Group Dynamics

Last but not the least, the experience involved in report writing and group involvement provided enabled a different way of thinking. Group dynamics played an important role as ideas of different people were involved, people sharing information but there was a edge in individuality where I had the decision making capacity of what am I supposed to write in the report.

Conclusions

The course of this research enabled me to learn how to work in the group as well as increase my knowledge on the topic under study. The topic was to know analyze outsourcing trend for past ten years. During the research, my understanding about the outsourcing industry increased considerably. Given that I was previously employed in outsourcing industry back in India, and had an understanding of outsourcing. Even then there were various aspects I had to relook upon.

Just the report writing in itself gave me the new perspective. Searching for relevant materials, analyzing the right information, reading and understanding them and writing them in the given time were huge task at hand. This activity required a great amount of mental stimulation.

Writing the report made a significant improvement in my style of writing.

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