Smile Charitable Trust Blog

  • Sharavana Bhavan!

    Sep 3, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    The Indian Cuisine is as diverse as our culture, languages, regions, different states and the climate conditions in different parts of our country. Every major region of India brings its own unique dishes and subtle variations to popular dishes. This is the unique formula, upon which the success story of Saravana Bhavan, chain of Indian vegetarian restaurants is based on, to build their businesses across the globe.

    Today, the group has its presence across 29 outlets in South India, 2 outlets in the North India. Outside of India, it has presence in 10 countries with 38 outlets. Soon it will be launching in two other countries with 8 outlets to begin with.  The restaurant chain is quite a house hold in name in India, especially in South India.

    Two years ago, they opened an outlet within 100 meters distance from my home in London.   The restaurant has a very gentle and peaceful ambience to its credit. The food here is lovely in decent sized portions. Options with vegetarian-Indian food; can be realised only when we look at the menu of Saravana Bhavan. Some of the dishes had me confounded but the waiting staffs here are always very pleasant and helpful in explaining. The calmly background music (mostly south Indian classics) makes the eating experience, a memorable one.

    My favourite items from Saravana Bhavan? A spicy utthapam, Strong Indian style boiled tea, Idly, Vada and the very special Potato Bonda. My son loves the Idly at Saravana Bhavan. He says it is the softest of them all.

    One other factor for which I’ll give them full credit is: cleanliness. I would not have been regular at this restaurant, if this was not the case. I shall go with 4, out of 5 as my rating; for this gentle, clean, decent and peaceful Indian eatery, next door. Highly recommended.

  • KICK!

    Sep 3, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    Other day; I was watching Komal Nahata’s show where Bhai-jaan came to promote his movie “Kick”. Generally Bhai-jaan is a confident man, but on that day in Komal Nahata’s show – he was ultra confident. When you know you are good, when you know you are liked, when you know you are second to none, you ride/enjoy a different kind of confidence, which I saw in Bhai-jaan’s on that day. Beautiful!!! Beautiful are those, who know they are so good, but they still are able to maintain their level-headedness….like those extremely beautiful gals, who are fully aware, how beautiful and appreciated they are – still they strike a perfect humbleness within and outside!

    I enjoy every second of a bhai-jaan movie - still my favourite scene from the movie was: bhai-jaan’s entry scene. How cool? Koi-tow rokow!

    Sajid Nadiadwala's directorial debut film, which has become box office collections highest grosser of 2014, has now beaten Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Chennai Express' (Rs 227.13 crore) record to become the third highest grosser of all time. Another achieved milestone for Bhai-jaan!

    The plot, yet again another Salman Khan show-piece, is completely and delightfully, full of ecstasy!!! There is no real story. I am glad it didn’t have a real story. But there is a dreamlike story!!! Woooooo!!! Devi Lal Singh (Bhai-jaan) is a guy who wanders about searching for KICKS (something which can inspire him to do things). His father (Mithun Chakraborty) helps him to achieve  his pursuits. Devi runs into the gorgeous psychiatrist “Shaina” (Jacqueline Fernandez), but before anything can happen, he’s off and away from her, due to circumstances. And in this time, Devil (Devi’s AVATAR), shows up, and be chased by a cop (Randeep Hooda), and a crook (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) here and there and everywhere. Devi/Bhai-jaan runs and they chase. They chase and Bhai-jaan runs. And the chase begins and finally it ends… How often have we seen a full house audience clapping and whistling for a chase? Well, imagine Bhai-jaan was being chased…what else? How cool? Koi-tow rokow!

    What makes Kick interesting, apart from some unencumbered Salman moments, is Nawazuddin Siddiqui. This guy is in full flow. His wickedness is very Bollywoodish, with a trademark evil laugh, but self-aware and dramatic at the same time: there are scenes he steals from everyone, including, profanity, from the Bhai-jaan. Randeep Hooda improves with every movie passing by. But this movie, belong to Nawazuddin Siddiqui, of course for a villainous role.

    What else? “ You talking to me?” The famous line from the movie …and? Everything else as well. Jacqueline Fernandez can be beautiful and she has acted well too… Dr Psycho! We know, she can be one! My favourite line from the movie? “Koi-tow rokow!”. Without a shadow of doubts; nobody can rokowing me, if I went 4.5 OUT OF 5 for the best movie of Bhai-jaan in recent few years.

  • The Breakfast Club!

    Sep 3, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    Soho is gorgeous as it is! All the shops, characteristics of each shop, their heritage, offered experience, the evolved customer service – may be that is what LONDON is all about. Experience of its kind. I didn’t realized what I am getting into, when I got an offer to work for one of the global electronic major at their Soho office in London near Oxford Circus, a year ago or so. Two things I liked about this short assignment, apart of the exciting/my favourite work (Finance, Budgeting & Planning). One was my colleagues “JAMES”, and the other was “my EXPERIENCE of SOHO, Oxford Street”. James and I worked in Australia in the same project, where we had common friends but we never interacted ever in Australia unfortunately. He mentioned he did work in the same projects. What a lovely guy he is! He is just my type. Excuse me? Sorry James – I am just your type. Happy? You are this amazing friend, awesome human being and someone who is always HAPPY! FULL OF LIFE. He always SMILES.

    Anyways – James is the one, who mentioned about “The Breakfast Club” to me! He looked at me and said WHAT? You have not been to “The Breakfast Club”; in spite of living in London for seven years! May be he was right – every day I saw a long queue in front of the restaurant, when I went out during the lunch hours. I am not big fan of English breakfast but my son “Rishi” is. He just
    love’em!

    I think it must have been the day; he completed and promoted from his nursery class (July 2014); I promised him for a nice dinner. I asked him what is that special something he would like to have for dinner. He said “I want some sausages Papa!”.  It got me thinking, how about I arrange the best sausages in London, right now in the evening, for my little angle? I thought of James and his wisdom with the food – I remember James telling me: if you want BREAKFAST anytime from 8:00am - 00:00am – one place can offer and that is the “The Breakfast Club”. Rishi and I rushed off to Oxford Street and in no time we were curling in the comfortable chairs of the “The Breakfast Club” Soho.

    Want to know what we had for our breakfast in the dinner time? Here we go. Check out these pictures. There is a way I certify that Rishi has enjoyed his food; - IS WHEN, he falls off to sleep quickly after his food. Within five minutes he was snoring resting his head on my lap; while I was eating my lovely pan cakes slowly. What a lovely evening, it was!!!

    I know you’d like to know my rating and the address of this place. My rating is 4 out of 5. And the address of all branches you can find in the link below.  Bon appétit!!!

    http://www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com/contact/

     

  • Evolution of our Joy!

    Aug 7, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    There is a traditional practice we use when we want to ascertain whether we are awake or dreaming. We pinch ourselves.  If we feel the pain, we think we are awake. What a way to assess legitimacy! Pain = actual; pleasure signify fantasy. If we all use this as our benchmark, we have to believe misery is unavoidable. But it isn't true. Happiness can be every bit as real - and as true - as sadness, and WE see the proof of that only by going through the pain. It may get a little more intense before it starts to get easier. Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.  If we quit, however, it lasts forever.

    • Although sad feelings are tough to accept and bad feelings are painful to tolerate, these are a small price to pay for the ability to feel joy, to feel ecstatic, uplifted and inspired.
    • The capacity to be close to someone, to have compassion, to share kindness, to experience affection is such a blessing; only comes when we understand what the opposite is like…no?​

    Often, when we are in the midst of an extreme occurrence, we remain surprisingly calm. No matter how peculiar things get, we refuse to feel daunted or dismayed. We just know, somehow, that we have to keep on going. Then, after a while, things calm down. Life gets back to normal and at that point, suddenly, we get upset. We look back at what we have just been through and feel appalled. We have a delayed reaction to our difficulty. If we feel weird now, it's because of what lies behind, not ahead.  Future is only better, than past, few minutes ago, few hours ago, few days ago, few week ago or shall we say few months ago…no?

  • Pope’s 10 Commandments for Happiness!

    Aug 2, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The importance of the Roman bishop is largely derived from his role as the traditional successor to Saint Peter, to whom Jesus gave the keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing," naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.  The office of the Pope is the papacy. The pope is also head of state of Vatican City, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the Italian capital city of Rome.

    The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. The popes in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes. In the middle Ages they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialog, charitable work, and the defence of human rights.

    The Pope’s 10 Commandments for Happiness:

    1. Live and let live.
    2. Be giving of ourselves to others…If we withdraw into ourselves, we run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.
    3. A healthy sense of leisure … Consumerism has brought us anxiety, [causing us to lose a] healthy culture of leisure.
    4. Proceed calmly in life.
    5. Sunday is for family.
    6. We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities, they will get into drugs.
    7. Environmental degradation is one of the biggest challenges we have. A question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’
    8. Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘We feel so low that instead of picking ourselves up; we have to cut others down.’ Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.
    9. We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘One should not talk to other in order to persuade him/her.’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing.
    10. We are living in a time of many wars, [and] the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive.

  • “Hard Work” is Different than “Hard-to-Do-Work”!

    Jul 30, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    Whether we’re a student or well-to-do in our career, if our goal is to build a remarkable life, then busyness and exhaustion should be our enemy. If we’re chronically stressed and up late working, we’re doing something horribly wrong. We’ve built a life around hard-to-do work, not hard work. 

    The solution suggested is as simple as it is startling: is to do less. But do what we do with completeness and hard focus. Then when we’re done, be done, and we go enjoy the rest of the day with rest of our time.  We’ve seen this phenomenon time and again. A comparison/observation of life-style of high achievers, with that of average achievers. How they are different or what do they do differently! It is often found that:

    • An average person; works just as many hours as the efficient person (around 40 hours a week).
    • But the average person do not dedicate these hours to the right type of work (spending almost 3 times less hours than the efficient person on crucial deliberate practice.
    • And furthermore, an average person spread this work haphazardly throughout the day. So even though they’re not doing more work than the efficient person; the average person ends up sleeping less and feeling more stressed. Not to mention that they remain worse at the work.
    • Perhaps; one of the real observations is about taking more naps. Efficient people are better performers. Perhaps they engage in behaviours that are greater learning challenges (hence deliberate challenging practice) and enhance these efforts through neural consolidation via more sleep -naps and dreaming.

    There’s a difference between hard work and hard-to-do-work:

    • Hard work is deliberate practice. It’s not fun while we’re doing it, but we don’t have to do too much of it in any one day (efficient people spent, on average, 3.5 hours per day engaged in deliberate practice, broken into few sessions). It also provides them measurable progress in a skill, which generates a strong sense of contentment and motivation. Therefore, although hard work is hard, it’s not draining and it can fit nicely into a relaxed and enjoyable day.
    • Hard-to-do-work, by contrast, is draining. It has the people practicing the same, running around all day in a state of false busyness that leaves them, being average/achieving average, feeling tired and stressed. It also, has very little to do with real accomplishment.

    The basic activity here is to wiring our brain through training, expansion, integration, and development. Anybody would be horrible if they were regularly sleep deprived. Rest and relaxation is incredibly important to cognitive and creative development, and not just sleeping at night. Naps and relaxation periods are when we engage in free association and imagination. where we make NEW connections.

    Everyone knows this; that children, who are learning the most must sleep the most. If we want to learn more, really extend what we know, we will be sleeping more for the same reason that children sleep more. We have to recharge and build our brain network.

    Neural pathway formation is very sensitive and dependent on neuro-chemistry. But once pathways are formed, they are much more robust and less sensitive to neuro-chemistry. e.g. learning to ride a bike depends on mood and feeling. But once we learn how to ride a bike our moods and feelings are irrelevant to our ability to do it.

    Mood and feelings are primarily driven by neuro-chemistry. This is why we do training for intense situations in non-intense situations to build pathways unaffected by the impacts of intenseness.  The efficient performers likely have a much more integrated approach to their life-style that involves rest and down time as well as focused time.

  • 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL - A Fiscal perspective!

    Jul 17, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    The football world cup is over. Argentina lost the FIFA World Cup 2014 final 1-0 in extra time to Germany    and four-time World Player of the Year Messi missed a great chance to score in the second half. Argentine football icon Diego Maradona felt Lionel Messi should not have been given the Golden Ball award at this year's World Cup in Brazil because he did not deserve it. Right; but Argentine football icon did not say who he thought deserved the Golden Ball award.    "it is not right" carries further significance, when comes together with "what is right"!!!   Never mind – that’s not the point I wanted to make.

    Some 250 million people play soccer regularly in more than 200 countries   , according to Goldman Sachs.    Since the first FIFA World Cup was hosted in Uruguay in 1930, more than 70 countries have participated in various qualifying round   s.  

    World Cup in Brazil has generated more than $4 billion in total revenue for FIFA   , or 66% more than the previous tournament in South Africa in 2010. The vast majority of the money came from the sale of television and marketing rights. The World Cup generates more revenue for its association than any other sports tournament, save the Olympics (based on revenue per-event-day, the NFL’s Super Bowl reigns supreme).    FIFA’s profit for the Brazil World Cup:    $2 billion.

    Most of the revenue FIFA generates comes from television rights ($1.7 billion) and marketing rights ($1.35 billion) from corporate partners    like Adidas, Emirates, Sony, Visa, Hyundai and Coca-Cola. Blue chip companies love to throw money at the World Cup because it is followed passionately throughout most of the world.

    For Brazil, FIFA made total payments of $576 million to the participating member associations, the clubs of participating players and for the club protection program, 37% more than the World Cup in South Africa for years ago.    The biggest lion’s share of the payments went towards a record $70 million of prize money, 75% more than the 2010 competition. The 2014 World Cup winners received $35 million, while the 16 teams that are eliminated in the group stage each collected $8 million.    Taking into account the total number of teams, players and the duration of the World Cup, the per-player, per-day amount  was $2,800 in Brazil.    

    The growth in the business of the World Cup has been robust since the late 1990s due to the big jump in broadcasting rights.    Television rights outside of the U.S. for the 2002 and 2006 World Cup were sold for $2 billion, a six-fold increase versus the $310 million paid by the European Broadcasting Union, a consortium representing the interests and financial power of Europe’s public broadcasters, for the three tournaments held in the 1990s.    Since 1998, overall World Cup revenue for FIFA has increased 11-fold.    

    England football team’s performance in the world-cup, has cost UK supermarkets up to £55m in lost sales over the two weeks since they were unceremoniously booted out of the 2014 World Cup.    In some depth, here are more highlights from the IRI analysis:

    • The value growth for soft drinks reduced significantly, from 18% in week one to 9% in week two, and just under 6% in week three.    Sales were £5.2m lower in week three of the World Cup than they were in week one.
    • Altogether, value sales of bagged snacks, pizza, chilled party snacks, bread rolls, baguettes, coleslaw, chilled salads and dips were £3.3m lower through the UK’s major supermarket chains in week three than they were in week one. 
    • Ale and stout had sales volumes increase by 13.9%, the highest in sales volumes.
    • Champagne and sparkling wine continued to grow strongly, with volumes up by 13.3% and value up by 15.7%.
    • Cider maintained its momentum with volume and value sales in the last week, still up on the four weeks immediately prior to the World Cup (volume +2.7%, value +6.9%).
    • Net sales for beer, wines and spirits in week three were up by £5.7m compared to the same week in 2013.    However, this was a £37.1m reduction in sales value compared to week one of the World Cup.

    If the claims are to be believed;    a lot of road-accidents, bad-moods, fights-arguments, hiring-firing, drinking-quitting, smoking-cooling, mood swings, peace-violence and “much more than that…” during last four weeks;    were direct results of the frustration/excitement caused by football world cup 2014.    

    My drycleaner was closing his shop;    when I checked-in to collect my cloths. He kindly offered to drop me home with the cloths. We just narrowly escaped an accident at a road turning. Someone was driving very fast and did not see us approaching. My drycleaner got off from his car and went up to the other car to give an earful to the speeding driver. I saw him being angry for the first time…he is generally a peaceful man! It was funny for me…he was going back and forth and shouting   ….”I know what it is…where it is coming from…it is the stupid football doing this, to our people…to our country…now on the road”,    trying to make it audible to every one passing by.

    But to this accountant customer sitting inside the car;    my dry-cleaner had already pervaded an inquisitiveness to take a dip in the numbers & understand the impact of this world-cup statistically. It is incredible indeed;   BIGGEST SPORTING SHOW/EVENT ON THE EARTH, IN THE UNIVERSE!!!

  • The great law of ACTION and REACTION!

    Jul 17, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Sir Isaac Newton said famously.  

    Hindu religion says Karma is the great law of "cause and effect", of "action and reaction", which controls the destiny of all living entities. This great law functions on the principle, that any action performed produces an equal and opposite reaction, which directly influences our very existence. Thus an endless chain of actions and reactions is produced which binds the living entity to his OWN good and bad deeds. This is the way how karma works. It creates an action and another reaction simultaneously and this increases the chain of material activities, keeping the performer in material bondage.

    The universal law of karma is also explained in the holy Bible which we know by the statement: "as ye sow, so also shall ye reap".  It says, that whatever you sow, so also shall you reap (the fruits of action). It also says that you only reap as a result of having sown in previous periods. That what you are reaping today in your life, is a result of what you have sown in the past. And what you reap in the future is a result of what you sow now. This is generally known as the law of sowing and reaping or the law of "return", which returns to us in a similar way that what we do unto others.

    Therefore Lord Jesus Christ says: "Do unto others as you would them have done unto you." 

    The principle of Karma is that for the good actions one performs one receives good reactions, and if one inflicts pain or violence on others, one will suffer equal violence either in this life or the next.

    There is, in fact, no such thing as an accident. Everything that happens to us; happens by the cause and effect and not by chance. For every effect in our lives there is a specific cause and if we do not like the effects that we are enjoying or suffering, then we have to analyse the causes and change our activities accordingly.

    If WE know as much as you think WE know, how come there is still so much that WE don't know? We want to believe that every story has a hero and a villain. Villain is killed/destroyed at the end and the hero wins. But we introspect; we will notice – we are not allowing ourselves to believe that THE villain can be within us, caused by one of our actions OR thought process. We are not even allowing us to believe that there is something yet exist which we do not know. We pretend to believe that we know everything and we have control over everything. WE all start from scratch. At this LEVEL everything is balanced/perfect - like a childhood.

    • As we grow/get bigger, our evilness outgrows our inner goodness. And one day comes when we become THE villain for us. But we still don’t understand; we try to find someone to blame, to make him/her villain.
    • The fact remains in science, and in every religion – that both the VILLAIN AND THE HERO – reside within us. 

    Let’s look deep within us and try to find the answer…shall we?

  • Trusting other = Trusting life!

    Jun 14, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty
    We spend much of our life analyzing what is right and what is wrong. From whatever life we have lived so far; it can be observed that not all our friendships lasted forever and nor are all animosity has continued till date.
  • Agile Management; is still a mystery!

    Jun 14, 2014 by Bikash Mohanty

    My Saturday morning is not complete, without me having my usual kadak chai (strong tea) at Sharvana Bhawan South Indian restaurant, right next to my home. They say; I was the first customer to enter their shop, when then opened the restaurant here, two years ago. I know most of the staffs and managers. Some of them run with me in the park during the weekend. There are two managers, who manage this restaurant.

    One is very social, a very good friend of mine, runs with me, plays tennis with me etc. I know him for two years now. The other manager is very quite, reserved but not so social. He just does his job, that’s all. The manager who is my friend is travelling now in India and I was served this morning by the other reserved manager.

    While eating away my spicy uttapam; I was thinking – how well this reserved manager knows me!!! He delivers what I need, to the exact specification and requirement, time and again. But my friend; the very social manager is full of errors, full of mistakes and therefore full of excuses. He gets away easily, in spite of doing all these errors/mistakes because of his social skills. He keeps blaming the staff, process, his busy lifestyle, faulty machine, electricity, food he had last night for delivering: tea without sugar, uttapam not well cooked, or even coffee in stead of a tea sometime. But I like him. I am a good friend of him and I shall continue to go to Sharvana Bhawan or any other restaurant he works for in the future, because of our friendship. I know nothing he does is intentional but he that’s how he is. But look at the reserved manager – hardly has he done any mistake. He is fully conscious. He may not have social skills and may not know many customers as my friend but whoever he knows, he knows them well and his customers can trust him to deliver right things to them, every time. To get a better/appropriate service, we don't need to know the service provider.

    Their working style reminds me to a management style; which we see very often in the IT industry. A management style which is planned, thought through or a management style while is unplanned, which is popularly known as “Agile management”. The main difference between agile and traditional/planned management is that agile management completes small portions of the deliverables in each delivery cycle (iteration) while traditional methods evolve the entire set of deliverables over time, completing them near the end of the project.

    Agile management is definitely not my favourite approach. I always thought it is being easily exploited and it rarely works to the hype it has created in the recent past. Places/Management with some deficiencies/intention; often are attracted to agile management. I always have experienced cheating, exploitation, sense of uncertainty during course of every agile based example. A good friend of mine; tried to explain the difference when I went to him to understand the subject better. This is what he said:

    “Custom / bespoke software development can be compared with going to a special restaurant and asking to prepare dinner specifically for you (not picking from predefined menu). Make cocktails which are in the list and at the end of the evening you are getting the bill. It might be bigger than you expected, but all the food is consumed.  

    As learning, there is 2 major scheme of work in custom development world: 

    • Fixed price & scope of work. You need to make sure your spec is crystal-clear before development starts. You have no flexibility over changes. Bug-fixing already included into development, and based on my practice it is around 30% already included into fixed price. 
    • Dedicated development on agile principles, where all the time spent for the customer is billed. But you have much more control over the changes and flexibility 

    And based on my experience 95% of the projects end up having the same budget spend regardless the agreed scheme. Fixed price projects end-up to have to have round of paid change requests, while dedicated development is speedier, because you can introduce changes earlier. “

    What are you thoughts? I am still not convinced. All it matters to me when I am acting as a customer or a service provider is effectiveness-effectiveness-effectiveness. That is the only thing drives financial and non-financial success in long term. Everything is short term and I don’t need to explain what the destination of short-termism is. Yes; initially it is very appealing.   

    When we deliver the best, what we supposed to deliver; then there is no scope for argument, no scope for excuses, no scope for demand, and no scope for cheating. Let’s ask these questions to find our decisive answer:

    • At the end of the day, the product/service is being effective or not?
    • Shall we use the product/services once again or not?
    • Was it an e asy walk-though or a walking-on-the-edge all the time, during the process?
    • How many errors are made during the service/ in a product?
    • Did the service provider show you their testing evidences ? If not, what is the gurantee that testing / quality check was not over looked?
    • How long it took to get the attention of the service provider when we met with a problem? How quickly the service provider responded to the issue raised? If service provider is taking longer to attend to an issue, the same time should not be charged/billed to the customer or claimed to be spent on working on the issue. This is unethical. Irrespective of anything; a issue raised should be attended with an acknowledgement at least, not with a response after few weeks because we are working as per agile management technique.
    • H ow long it took for the service provider to resolve the issue for us? Is it their own sweet time or as per our requirement?
    • How the service provider did approached the issue raised? With frustration or by providing you confidence that your issue will be resolve in no time?
    • Did the service provider share how they spent their time in resolving the issue? Or they charged you arbitrarily? Did they charge you based on a use of a resource (junior or senior) or they charged you a rate which they thought was appropriate in their mind?
    • Is the price quoted for product / service matching with the similar service provider in the market place for similar type of work and similar quality of work?   We need to ensure we are not over-charged for nothing or for sub-standard work.
    • Did the service provider, provided you with an estimation of how long the product/services are going to take? Did they tell you what is their standard charge rate are?
    • Did the service provider tell you, how much it will cost you to resolve the issue or they tried to understand the issue and categorize it as a “faulty product/ bug in the solution or customer change request”.
    • If a premium price is charged for a service – it has to show in the service quality, for example: robust design, better quality product/services, no/minimal errors, durability, usability, and functionality and being futurist. If these qualities are not there; the service is basic and a premium price should not be entertained, even though service provider has 100+ references, or is a good brand in a market place or is run by a friend. The workmanship and work, both should drive the price, not recommendation, references or promises.

    All these shortfalls can not go (ALWAYS) as attributes of Agile Management.  If they do; then were we not better off with traditional management (which is planned and thought through)?   OLD IS GOLD they say. And like my friend said; based on his experience 95% of the projects end up having the same budget spend regardless the agreed scheme . If that is the case; is “Agile Management” worth the pressure/uncertainty/trouble? Agile management has to rise beyond these points to make it a truly appealing and enduring management technique.