Vital Upgrade

| September 3, 2016


About the book:

The book is written in two parts – Part 1 is a fictional narrative that demonstrates the five practices that are described in Part 2.

The future of the T-Rexx Corporation is at stake. Recognized for its innovative and high quality products in the refrigeration business, its margins have been eroded by global competition. Activist investors have appointed and charged the new CEO, Mira Gupta, to turn this company into the profit making machine it once was.

The Marketing team has come up with a bold plan to redefine T-Rexx’s relationship with their clients. It centers around the embedding of IoT sensors in the equipment, and leveraging the data collected to improve the overall product experience. T-Rexx’s high powered engineering team has designed a robust, industrial strength platform to support this new strategy. The IT team is on standby to support the rollout.

Like any modern corporation, T-Rexx operates with a core team at CHQ and a network of business partners and vendors providing specialist services around the globe. Face to face meetings are out of the question, and meetings have to be organized at odd hours to ensure everyone can participate.

The team has built an aggressive project timeline that will have these high tech projects rolling out in an unprecedented eighteen months. This is a significant improvement over the previous one that had it coming out in thirty months.

Vital Upgrade is the story of how a tired and battle weary team find new ways to surprise themselves.

Discussion with the Author

How did Vital Upgrade come about?

Over the course of my 25-year career at IBM, I have mentored and been mentored by several people. After I took early retirement last year, several people suggested I write something that captures these learnings. I have always dreamed of being a published author, and now I have the opportunity to realize that dream. .

But Vital Upgrade is about the future, not the past?

Yes, it evolved. When I thought about it, I realized that it would be far more valuable to demonstrate how these learnings would work with the challenges that lie ahead. If you look at the practices, several are things people are likely to be familiar with, there may be a few “new” things e.g. how to deal with office politics or why and how to receive feedback. However, what I really wanted to highlight is the specific practices that will be critical going forward and how to develop them.

Your treatment of the topic is unusual. Part 1 is fiction; Part 2 is non-fiction.

Yes, this was actually a suggestion from my beta readers, and I totally loved it. I think the story really helps people see this is about them and the real issues that they encounter in the IT industry.

You say this is for the IT Industry, but I see some of your reviewers say it could apply else where?

That is true. Based on my personal experience, I know this definitely applies to people in IT. As I talk to Founders of Startups, I hear that they face the same kinds of issues. And several of them have told me, they would like their teams to adopt these practices. Friends in the insurance industry tell me that the scenarios at T-Rexx are playing out in their Conference Rooms as well. They think these practices would be applicable there as well. Certainly, these have a wider scope.

Now that your dream of writing a best selling book is complete, what next?

Have more best-selling books of course. I have included the 1st Chapter of my book, Double or Quits – Improve the Odds at the end of Vital Upgrade. It is about setting yourself up to attract good career options, and then navigating your way through the difficult decisions. I am planning to launch that in a few weeks.


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