Tag Archives: Work Culture

Non Creative Meet 25 – Pot Painting

Author : Antony Jackson

The NC dream comes True!
 
It took two years for us to bring people outside Report Bee to be a part of our non/Naan Creative meet. This time, We worked along with Team Everest (NGO) to bring kids from Kottur High School. The Team NC helped the kids to do some crazy art in the pots.
 
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We decided to try Pot Painting and luckily the date stood on March 25th, The 25th NC meet/activity. The 3 hour session started at 10.00 in the morning and was over by lunch. Few kids were open and interactive while few took time to interact. Some preferred to remain calm and observant.
 

Praveen kumar, narrating a story of his Dragon pot and Samurai Lady. 

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We expected the event to be fun and engaging. Instead, the kids enthralled us with their creativity and perfection. We, as a team, tried our hands on some pot painting before experimenting it with the kids.  When compared to what we did, the kids were way ahead of us.

To us, this activity brought much of joy as we got to interact with kids in our premises. They were free to take the pots they like and we have a couple of pots left with us.  As a token of love, We will be gifting these pots of love hope and joy to our guests!

 

Beyond Expectations! – 5th Non Creative Meet

Team activity and discussions
Team activity and discussions

Finally, the Card flipped to me – Naan Creative Jack!

I am happy to represent the 5th NC meet. Firstly, I’ll give a quick overview of what is Non (Naan) – Creative.

A Bunch of like-minded People at work believed in the creativity hidden in each and every one of us. We thought we should do something to bring it out. So, we started a club in Report Bee for all the ‘Non creative’ bees out here. We usually have assumptions about ‘creative people’ and ‘non-creative people’. We tend to think that ‘creative people’ are a naturally gifted species while non-creative people are not.

To break all the myths and to learn from the common, we kick started with this idea.

Who are we?
DanielJackJeevanJivaKaranSathish, Shanmuga VelSuganthi (Organizer) and Yesvanth.

The idea was simple. We wanted to search for and bring back the creative child in every one of us whom we had lost somewhere along the way. We wanted to establish a platform to unleash our childhood craziness.

How?

It was planned that we would organize an activity every month for all the interested ‘kids’ in here. Each month a person from the team would organize/co-ordinate the session while the rest of the participants learn from him/her.

As part of this, we had organized 4 NC activities, 1. Quilling, 2. Stone Art, 3. Oil painting – crafts & 4. Art from Waste paper . Every activity was unique and significant. So, we thought the 5th should also be something different from the previous 4.

 

NC – 5

This is how Jack turned into a ‘Creative Jack’! Yes. I was the co-ordinator for NC-5.

Usually we let know the participants about the activity beforehand so that they come prepared. But this time I kept it a secret. I did not even give a hint about the activity. All I said was, to keep themselves available on the following Friday ( July 31, 2015).

Our usual meeting place for the activity is a conference room in the Ameex premise. It’s a well structured office space with comfortable chairs and tables. But this time I wanted to go to a different place, wanted my team to explore a new environment. I did not want the same kind of activity. So I took them to a new venue. And we went there carrying nothing with us. Every one of them was eager to know what the activity was.

I took them to the new building of our office. This is where Report Bee was going to move in a few days. The new office was a very old Duplex Villa that needed to be shaped into a working office space.  I took the team around the entire half-finished office filled with dust. I let them take a good view of it. Then I divided the participants into 5 different teams and gave them the blue print of the new office space with these as specifications.

Team names and the list:

  1. Collaboration Room (Karan Jiva)
  2. Main entrance (Yesvanth & Suganya G)
  3. Kitchen (Hari Sathish)
  4. Terrace (Shanmuga Vel Harish)
  5. Outdoor Recreation area (Danny Suganthi)

I told them to imagine that they were the interior designers for the designated rooms. (Ex: Karan & Jiva for Collaboration Room) I asked each team to think, be creative and visualize the office space and make it employee friendly. I gave them 30 minutes of time to finish this activity.
The only other rule for the activity was that it should be beyond our expectations.

Each and every team came up with their own imagination and concept. By the end of this activity, each team had to explain their visualization to other team members. We were forced to think beyond our limitations. Since none of us are interior designers by profession, everyone had to kindle their creativity and imagination to finish the task.Real user needed design flow out!

Team A: Karan & Jiva | Collaboration Room

Concept by Karan & Jiva
Concept by Karan & Jiva

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Team B: Yesvanth & Suganya | Main Entrance

Concept by Yesvanth & Suganya
Concept by Yesvanth & Suganya

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Team C: Harish & Sathish | Kitchen

Concept by Sathish Jain & Harish
Concept by Sathish Jain & Harish

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Team D: Shanmuga Vel & Hari | Terrace

Concept by Shanmuga vel & Hari
Concept by Shanmuga vel & Hari

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Team E: Danil & Suganthi | Outdoor Recreation area

Team E
Concept by Daniel & suganthi

Often, the participants are the key takers. But here I’m the real key taker. The ideas shared by the participants helped me in brainstorming with our official interior designers. The plan is partially implemented and we’ve now moved into the new office. I can see happy people at work. I’ve got a new perspective on what people expect their workspaces to be, other than being just an office building.

Thanks for reading my blog. Please feel free to comment and encourage us.

Team  selfie at the endTeam selfie at the end

Creation Cricket League

We do love cricket. Just like Obama worries why US productivity goes down by 5% when Sachin bats, our productivity too goes down when some tournament is going on. We may be so-called nerds, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t having any coffee-break talks on cricket. But, if you are expecting this article to be some “pure cricket” article about Sachin’s paddle-sweep or Dhoni’s helicopter-shot or some cricket matches that are played by the RB Creation Team, then you will be disappointed.

This article is purely on how we leverage the sport to keep ourselves (Creation Team) creative, motivated and inspired. Above all, it keeps us in love with what we do.

As a Creation Team member, nothing is more exciting than:

  • Solving challenging problems with software programming (or)
  • Observing our customers consume our freshly brewed coffee … er,  code (or)
  • Getting into new challenges (projects).

Usually, by the general psychology of a developer, their motivation, interest or productivity reduces when a project duration increases. The project may become big or tasks may become monotonous.

All Project Managers, remember the formula: Productivity is inversely proportional to project duration or monolithicity of project.

Project vs Productivity

To avoid this we came up with three ideologies for approaching new projects.

“Test Match” Projects

These generally take 10-14 days for completion.

Any big project which we do – we logically separate it to smaller projects in such a way that the longest small project won’t exceed a duration which will make the developers lose interest. Instead of bombarding developers with the entire mission impossible target, we set smaller targets for the metaphorical morning session, post-lunch session and post-tea session. This keeps the developer’s mindset focused and clear. Generally, one to three Creation Team members are involved in these projects.

“The ODI” Projects

These generally take one to three days for completion.

These are usually small enhancements or feature requests from the customers or internal requirements. We sometimes take up these projects between Test Match projects so that the developers get an opportunity to refresh their minds for the next one. Generally, one to two Creation Team members are involved in these projects.

“The T20” Projects

We call these 111 Projects: One Day, One Team, One Challenge.

We sometimes stop all regular projects for a day. On that day, we take up one fresh project that would normally take around 14 days to one month for completion by a small team. The entire Creation Team sits together at the start of the day (we start really early on that day 🙂 ) and does everything.

  • Ideation.
  • Features brainstorming and freezing.
  • Wireframe.
  • Design.
  • Dev plan; smart task separation / delegation.
  • Front end architecture and development.
  • Back end architecture and development.

That is pretty much everything related to a project execution. It’s kind of a pure fun slogging where we might face unexpected turns and bounces in the wickets. We keep this project a secret from the other teams (Happiness and Growth). At the end of the day (a really looong day), we have something to surprise them and our customers with.

The “Practice Sessions”

Do we only play matches? No! Along with these projects, support tickets and small bugs are bound to come along. Usually, these won’t take more than one to two hours for completion. All developers are bound to work on such tickets along with their regular matches. They do these ticket/bug fixes either at the start or end of the day so that they can stay focused on their important match.

Till now, we are happy with this approach and the team is winning matches. All this can be brought down to one quote by God:

Any active sportsman has to be very focused; you’ve got to be in the right frame of mind. If your energy is diverted in various directions, you do not achieve the results. I need to know when to switch on and switch off: and the rest of the things happen around that.” – Sachin Tendulkar

Do you follow something different at your workplace? Do you have suggestions for us? Let us know below.