“New Horizons space probe”, “Pluto flyby” are the current buzzword. Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, was that historic moment; where we have proved once again the capability of you and me, us the humans. New Horizons blasted off in January 19 2006, and was the fastest launch recorded, reaching speeds of over 36,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft passed the Moon after just nine hours, around eight times quicker than the Apollo program, and reached Jupiter the following year. After 9.5 years, and traveling more 5 billion kilometers it had reached the orbit of Pluto and even sent back mind boggling images of the youngest planet in our solar system, Pluto.
The New Horizons project is a success. But, that success didn’t come over night. Just like any business projects we carry out in our professional lives, it was a project for NASA. In our business world, we do many projects every year. Some fails, some succeeds and some succeeds beyond expectation. After reading several articles, watching documentaries about New Horizons space probe projects, I personally thing, there’s 5 crucial factors which has lead this project to a successful project. We can surely learn from it and implement in our business projects to make them successful.
Factor # 1 : Team
Without the right team in place, any strategy and plan has the potential of completely falling apart. The New Horizons team comprised of 4 majors teams -Team Leaders, Science Team, Co-Investigators, and Team Leads with defined responsibilities and goal. It is important to assign the right people to each aspect of the project and make sure that they are working well together.
Factor # 2 : Planning
Proper and Detailed planning sets up a project for success from the start. It’s crucial that all the team members are involved in the planning process and always know in which direction the project is going to go. Planning can help the team to meet deadlines and stay organized. For example, New Horizons team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the probe was able to reach Pluto when it’s nearest to us. It’s crucial to remember that Pluto follows a highly elliptical orbit around the Sun. At the closest point of its orbit, called perihelion, Pluto gets to within 4.44 billion km from the Sun. The team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the New Horizons probe reached when Pluto is at the closest point of its orbit. Hence, the probe was able to reach Pluto in quickest time possible at a reliable and realistic time-scale.
Factor # 3 : Foreseeing Risk
During the planning phase, it’s crucial to produce probable list of risks with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. For example, the new Horizons probe is traveling at speed of 84,000 kilometers per hour. Even a small rice grain size space rock can damage the equipment’s on board. The new horizons team were able to take care of this ensuring that the radio antenna was always faced towards the path direction so that if any small objects will hit the large antenna and won’t damage the equipment’s behind it. This gave the team confidence and resulted in success in the project.
Factor # 4 : Improvising
Projects rarely go off exactly as planned. Even after identifying and going through probable risks, teams faces unforeseen risks. It doesn’t mean that that project should be stopped and restarted again. Stopping or restarting a project can be highly costly in terms of money and time. It important to improvise. It’s crucial to openly communicate within the team about it and trying to find a smart solution with least cost and time. Same happened with the New Horizons team. They launched the probe on January 19, 2006. They later realized that they had miscalculated the orbit of Pluto as they didn’t have a lot of information about the planet’s orbit. Later with improvement of technology and in combination with images captured by researchers, the team was able to find the accurate info about the orbit. Hence, they were able to send information to the probe in advance to save the project from total failure.
Factor # 5 : Project Continuation & Closure
If a project does not have strong closure or succession planning, then it has the potential to continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree that all critical success factors have been met. Some cases, projects turn into actions or evolves into daily routines of the team members. It has to be clearly defined in the project scope, whether the project will end once it has achieved a certain goal or will it continue and evolve to be part of daily work. For example, the New Horizons space probe has received his goal of taking images of Pluto and sending them back. But, it will now continue to go further and explore the universe beyond Pluto till 2030. It’s a classic example of project continuation even after it has completed its main goal.
Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data
Yesterday, 21st January, 2015, Microsoft took this definition to another level when they introduced Microsoft Hololens. So, what is Microsoft Hololens?
Imagine you are having Google Glass with additional features which enables you to interact with three-dimensional holograms blended with your real world. As Microsoft quoted, “it’s more than a simple heads-up display, and its transparency means you never lose sight of the world around you. High-definition holograms integrated with your real world will unlock all-new ways to create, communicate, work, and play”
Check out this official video released by Microsoft Yesterday…
Future of Automotive Industry
I am working in the Automotive Industry as Specialist New Media at Koninklijke Nedschroef Holding B.V. and after watching the premier of Microsoft Hololens, I am quite optimistic that the years to come in this industry are going to be revolutionary. Here’s why…
Designed and Development Process
Well, you are right, the term “Augmented Reality” is nothing new in automotive industry. OEMs are already testing and using it via using laser projected augmented reality. Especially the designers using it during development process in order to visualize actual proportions and sizes, geometry etc. But, this required the OEM to build an initial model to project on and it requires expensive projection system.
But now the time has come to forget laser projected augmented reality system. With Microsoft Hololens, OEM’s can just play around with the holograms and even interact with them for just € 1,300- €1500
Go Inside the Problem & Find the Solution
Let’s take a simple example of Door Locking Assembly System. In a door locking system, there’s a small space inside the door necessitates precise preparation and movement of locking system. It has a little lever to be engaged in the lock which makes it impossible to see the lock and the lever adequate enough from that position. Also, the poor space between inside the door which makes it difficult for the workers to work. In order to solve this problem, the workers require a good three dimensional understanding of the space. With the help of Microsoft Hololens, the worker will be able to see through the door (via holographic projection) will be able to fix assemble with ease.
Fastening With Ease
I am working at Nedschroef, where we are constantly innovating and introducing new fasteners and solutions to the OEMs. Let’s take an example, of one of the product called Nedsonic® also known as Ultrasonic Tightening Bolt. When it comes to bolt, one thing is most important: clamp load. To ensure bolts hold components together, they are tighten to generate clamp load. This tightening causes the bolts to elongate. By sending an ultrasonic wave into the bolt and recording the duration of the wave’s travel, the length of the bolt can be determined. By using Microsoft Hololens, the line feeding workers will be able to view in real-time, measure, evaluate and indicate the achieved clamp load, which will result in reliable and profound clamp load.
Well, that’s just a few of limitless possibilities that Microsoft Hololens can bring to automotive industry and to the other industries. It’s just the beginning and I am sure, there’s limitless opportunities which will unfold in time to come.
What do you think about this product? What else can it do revolutionize this industry? Feel free to share this article and comment.
For a long time, I was thinking about writing an article on LinkedIn, specially focused on professionals who are in mid-level of their career or just finished their Masters and looking for a new career opportunity. There’s many blogs, articles written on how to make an ideal profile on LinkedIn. Most of the blogs touches the basic ground for sure, but I wanted to focus a bit more on how to increase your ranking in LinkedIn pragmatically.
So here’s my 7 simple ways to increase your ranking in LinkedIn…
Step # 1: Choose a professional picture
Let me get one thing straight in the beginning; “This is NOT Facebook”.
You can put your drinking, partying pictures, family pictures, selfies on Facebook, but not in LinkedIn. Recruiters appreciate a social employees, no doubt about that, but it will not help you land the dream job you are looking for. I have seen many users using their Passport photo as LinkedIn profile picture. Ask yourself this simple question…
“Are you applying for a visa via LinkedIn?”
So, please get a professional photo taken by a photographer. If you are a fresh graduate, can’t afford a photographer’s service charge. Just ask one of your friends, to take a picture of in outside in a park when it’s a sunny day or even you can take a picture in the university premises. Make sure your face is clearly visible and don’t forget to smile.
Step # 2: Start networking
Start connecting and networking with your colleagues, ex-colleagues, classmates. Spend a few minutes in sending a personalized invitation. LinkedIn provides standard templates, but it’s always appreciated / liked by recipients when you a little personal touch to it.
Also, don’t hesitate to add professional in your business fields or recruiters, but please add a line or two in the invitation, why you would like to connect to them. Don’t just send out add request, just for a sake of it, be professional.
Networking professionals will land you jobs and career opportunities before you know it.
Step # 3: Get your profile proofread by a professional
You may have a brilliant CV and excellent achievements, but you have grammatical mistakes in your profile, the likely hood of your getting called for an interview is lower. I work closely with HR colleagues in my current professions and I have seen CV’s getting rejected due to poor grammar skills. According Harvard Business Review, people who care about their writing demonstrate credibility, professionalism, and accuracy in their work.
Firstly, get your profile’s contents checked via free grammar checking software’s (for example: www.gingersoftware.com). Then ask your friend who is good in English
Step # 4: Don’t apply for just any jobs, because you are desperately looking for one.
A lot of fresh graduates and experienced professionals start applying for jobs out of desperation. Remember one thing, every time, every single hasty job application you send out, you are closing door to that company.
Read the job profile thoroughly, see the language requirements and skills. For example, usually in the Netherlands, if the employer is looking forward expats, they post the job in English. Don’t apply for a job where language requirement is Dutch or German or a language which you don’t know.
Most importantly, think through and adapt your CV accordingly based on the job you want to apply for.
Step # 5: Add achievements & extracurricular activities
While counselling many of professional networks and friend about how to make an ideal profile on LinkedIn, I encounter many saying “I don’t have any achievements in my professions”.
“You have worked 3-4 years and at a mid-level or managerial position, but don’t have any achievements??”
Think again? Achievements, not necessarily means that you have received a certificate for something. If you have an award or certificate, that’s great, put in on the LinkedIn profile under respective jobs or academic degrees.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any awards in paper, think once again. Maybe you have optimized or reduced cost to the company or achieved your KPI 100% or beyond. Or maybe you introduced or came up with an idea to make a project more efficient, which resulted in an increased sales.
It’s just a food for thought. End of the day, even the laziest man has achievement, you must be wondering how. As rightly quoted by Bill Gates, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
Last but not the least, don’t forget to add your extra curriculum activities. It represents your personality. For example, you were the class president, it shows your leadership skills or you were part of football team, which showcases that you are tend to be a team player.
Step # 6: Ask for recommendation and endorsement
You can always ask your colleagues and classmates to write a few lines about you, your work as a recommendation in the LinkedIn. You don’t necessarily have to ask via email. You can always casually ask them to do it in their free times. Remember one thing, Recruiters doesn’t know you as a person or doesn’t know your excellent interpersonal skills. The best way to showcase that, via your network or people who knows in professionally and personally via LinkedIn recommendation feature
Step # 7: Add the projects
Add the name of the completed projects that you have worked. By including the name of the projects, you will not only showcase that you have experience in handling / managing / contributing projects, but also it will work as keywords; and will increase your ranking in LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn: it’s the world’s largest professional network with 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. If you are looking for a job or want to take your business to the next, this is the right place to be.