Engage in one-on-ones & motivate your team with this Trello board

After a lot of reading & thinking, I came up with the idea of a simple Trello board to help me conduct effective one-on-one meetings with my team, and to plan each team member’s growth. This is the boilerplate that I could quickly replicate for each team member using  Trello’s “Copy Board…” feature. My team has been using it since last October and they’ve found it really helpful to communicate their achievements, issues and most importantly, to plan their growth.

Thanks to them, its now mature enough to help other managers better engage with their teams.  The boilerplate board is now public so you can easily copy & build on top of it. Here is a sample board showing real-world use. Get started by copying the boilerplate, and let me know how it works or how we can improve it.

Boilerplate (Get started by copying) | Real-world example

Motivation/Idea

My one-on-one pattern has greatly evolved over the last 4 years that I’ve managed teams. Starting naively by tracking work,  it now leaves the daily stuff out and instead focuses on the individual itself. When my travel increased, I felt the need for something online to retain the connect. I believe in transparency and I hate secret dossiers; I wanted a platform where we both have the same view of the relationship, which becomes the single version of truth for all discussion. Also, since it was their plan, I wanted my team to have access even when they decide to move on.

I’ve got inspiration from a lot of sources: blogs, surveys & talks I’ve participated in, etc. Thanks to all!

Board Structure

There’s enough on the board for either of you to take interest. It helps drive strategy, but still track tactical stuff; stuff that’s important for the individual’s growth, and the manager’s. Continue reading Engage in one-on-ones & motivate your team with this Trello board

Most Valuable Performer @ Zycat 2014

Super excited to announce that I was awarded MVP at Zycus’ annual awards function – Zycat 2014 – and here’s is what they had to say:

Prasad has been rated highly as an Excellent Mentor, Great Communicator and a person with amazing convincing skills by peers.

“With him in place, half the battle is won” – that’s what the Sales team thinks about him. (He) has been instrumental in creating positive influence for Zycus Products in non-US markets, especially for P2P. He was a key contributor in our first S2P deal.

Apart from helping Sales team in winning deals, also plays key role in defining the product roadmap & mentoring the downstream PMG team.

Most Valuable Performer - 2014
Most Valuable Performer – 2014

The plight of business travel

I would usually write personal travelogues titled ‘A day in Thimpu‘. But I’d rather use something like ‘Singapore in a day’ when writing about business travel. The pun, only to demystify business travel along with the craziness & hazards that surrounds it. As soon as one steps in IT, the first thing they want is to get onsite and I felt the same way. But the excitement only lasts the first few trips. This one is about one such trip to Singapore last month, where I took a late night flight after a day’s work, and headed straight to a meeting on landing. I’ve done such meetings multiple times, in every direction, in every continent, and have kind of mastered it.

Stretching out
Stretching out

Since I don’t fly business (and luck never favors an upgrade), I try opting for an emergency row seat. I have a trolley bag that levels Continue reading The plight of business travel

Recipe: Meethe aalo ka chaat

Nothing beats cooking in a steamer
Nothing beats cooking in a steamer

All my life, I’ve stayed away from sweet potatoes, which  the rest of the family savors as a fasting delicacy. Mitha Aloo Ki Chat is one appetizer that makes me pick the vegetarian selection on-board Singapore Airlines to Mumbai. Although I haven’t figured the exact recipe yet, this one works well in the interim, while my experiments continue. In the next iteration, I’m going to add some tamarind chutney. If someone has a recipe already, please do share it. Point to note is that  I’ve seen exceptional results when using the steamer (my wife got for preparing momos) as against boiling in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients:

The end-result - sweet & sour
The end-result – sweet & sour
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tsp chat masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Finely chopped Coriander
  • Rock salt, to taste

Procedure:

  •  Steam the sweet potatoes, peel the cover & dice them
  • Mix all the other ingredients together

Recipe: Baked chicken sandwich

Continuing with recipes using shredded chicken as the key ingredient, here is another one that I was keen on trying.

Ingredients:

Baked Sandwiches
Baked Sandwiches
  • 8 slices of Multi-grain/Whole-wheat bread
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Egg, whipped
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 4 Cheese slices
  • Olive Oil (or butter)
  • Shredded chicken
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mustard sauce
  • Pepper
  • Chili flakes
  • Lemon juice
  • Thyme (optional)
  • Red wine (optional)

Procedure:

Setting up the layers
Setting up the layers
  • Add Barbecue sauce, Mustard sauce, Pepper, Chili flakes, Lemon juice, and if available Red wine & Thyme to the shredded chicken. Leave it to marinate for an hour
  • Heat some butter in a saucepan to saute the onions with garlic. Once cooked, add the chicken and mix well.
  • Grease the baking tray and lay bread slices.
  • Layer the chicken, tomato slices, cheese and sprinkle salt/pepper to taste. Cover the top with a slice.
  • Add some milk, and beat the egg. Pour this over the top slice.
  • Place the tray in an oven, and bake at 375′ for 30 mins.

Serve hot!

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