Sergey Arkhipenkov: “Intellectual people cannot be controlled”

    Today, information technology cannot be imagined without proper management. Programming is no longer the "inheritance of the elect", attracting more and more people to work in this area. Therefore, the profession of an IT project manager, able to assemble a team of first-class specialists and solve the task in a timely manner, is becoming increasingly important.

    What is project management in IT, what is the personality of a modern project manager and what needs to be done to become a professional in this field? Sergey Arkhipenkov craft_brother , director of the department of complex architectural solutions of CJSC “Style”, author of 5 books, more than 100 articles, reports and courses, chairman of the program committee of the conference on IT project management will tell about thisSPM Conf - 4 .

    1. Is an IT project manager a profession, a vocation, or a lifestyle?

    Of course, the project manager is, first of all, a profession. However, before a person first studied to work well, and then worked diligently to live happily. Now the difference between study, work and life is being erased. This is one inextricable process. Modern society is designed in such a way that the highest results are achieved by people for whom the main thing is not work, career or study separately, but a vocation. To be, not to possess. Here, in my opinion, the main life goal of a modern successful person. Therefore, if someone does not have the call to be a leader, then such a person will not achieve much in this profession.

    2. How did you become a project manager yourself? Would you wish others such a fate?

    I think I'm a little lucky. In the research institute, where I then worked as a young specialist, a new scientific program was opened - simulation of large and complex systems, which is very closely connected with programming. Apparently, I was able to positively recommend myself to this, and therefore I was entrusted with leading one of the directions of this program.
    One of the authorities in our industry, Tom Demarco, once said: “Management is noble in nature. Management has nothing to do with the activities of the bureaucrat sitting above. The manager does the most necessary work in the company. Thanks to him, it becomes possible to carry out the most ambitious projects. There is no more honorable work than that which a real manager does. ” I share this opinion, which I want to wish for others.

    3. What key qualities are needed to become an IT project manager?
    Here is a small set of basic skills that, in my opinion, a modern successful IT project manager should possess:
    • Vision of goals and strategies for achieving them.
    • In-depth analysis of problems and the search for new opportunities.
    • Focus on success, the desire to get the best results.
    • The ability to empathy, understanding the status of team members.
    • Sincerity and openness in communication.
    • Skills in conflict resolution.
    • Ability to create a creative atmosphere and a positive microclimate.
    • Tolerance, the ability to accept people as they are, the acceptance of their right to their own opinion and to make mistakes.
    • Ability to motivate the correct professional behavior of team members.
    • The desire to identify and realize individual opportunities for professional growth of everyone.
    • The ability to actively "provide", "get", "knock out", etc.

    4. What problems do modern IT project managers face?
    My colleague, Slava Pankratov, it seems to me, very accurately noted that the main problem in managing IT is that smart people work here.
    About other difficulties, I’m not ready to answer for all the leaders. I think that each of them has its own set of "rakes". For me, the main problem that I painfully encountered at the very beginning of my managerial path was the failure of my slender model of personality types. According to my theory, there should have been only two types of personality: the right ones are those who think and act like I do, and the wrong ones are all the others that urgently need to be redone into the right ones. But life corrected it. I had to understand that all people are different and each person is unique. True, before that I had a chance to run around the same "rake" in plenty.

    5. What should be the ideal IT project manager?
    Modern managers should be both managers and leaders. Leadership and management are equally important; they cannot exist in isolation from each other. You can not be a leader in stocks, cash flows and costs. They need to be managed. Because things do not have the right and freedom of choice, which are inherent only to man. With people you need to be effective, with things productive. You can not focus on productivity in relationships with people. Intelligent people cannot be controlled. Creative teams can only be directed and led.

    6. How to achieve this state?
    Well, firstly, you really want to. And if there is motivation, then the rule of 10,000 hours works further.

    7. Does the project manager need an assistant? If so, who can become one?
    The “aerobatics” of management is the delegation of authority and monitoring the work of the team. Therefore, ideally, every fighter of the project team should become an assistant to the head. True, for this the leader will have to work hard. Delegation is not possible without mutual trust. The one to whom the leadership has been delegated becomes his own boss, guided by his own conscience in the direction of achieving the agreed desired results. Trust requires time and patience, the need to educate and develop people so that their abilities can match this trust. But having made these one-time investments in human capital, we will then be able to receive dividends for a long time.

    8. What is the role of PM conferences in becoming a professional?
    Today, our knowledge is becoming obsolete faster than we have time to celebrate graduation. Learning is a process that now lasts a lifetime. A good conference is the latest knowledge and experience of colleagues. And, of course, new professional contacts. If you run into a problem, a “call to a friend” will always help you.

    9. In the CIS there are not many events dedicated to project management in IT. What is the peculiarity of such Russian-language conferences in comparison with Western ones?

    I think that our SPM Conf conference , which is devoted exclusively to the problems of managing software development projects, is unique. And this is its feature. Google "software project management conference". Google knows nothing about other similar conferences either in the CIS or in foreign countries.

    10. What is the main advice you will give to the participants of the upcoming SPM Conf - 4?
    My advice is be happy!
    The formula for this is very simple. Man consists of four components: body, heart, mind and soul. The body needs money and security. Heart - love and recognition. Reason - development and self-improvement. Soul - self-realization. And all this can be found in our industry.

    Not found yet? So, poorly searched.

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