Monday, July 28, 2008

I wonder where they are...

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I don’t know whether to write this post or not. Whether to publish this in the blog or not. But Its quite sad situation about the Project Management resource problem in SL IT industry...

Lately I started hunting a very good Project manager from the industry. We thought the best way is to recruit somebody through recommendations. So with lots of enthusiasm we sent the message across. Within few days I got about 5 CVs. 2 CVs looked promising and called them for an interview immediately.

First candidate: A guy who has been working as a project manager for company “X” for years. He has been working for the same project over a period and most of his experience was related to handling maintenance work. Never practiced or heard of any PM methodologies but seems he is handling the current scope of work with no much issue. Never got exposed to Development projects and all the projects have been customization projects of 3rd party product. When I threw few tricky questions about estimates…… I lost all my moral as he didn’t have a clue of project estimates. Always the estimates were done by somebody else and passed to him. Or estimates were never done. He didn’t even know how to defend himself from an unrealistic estimate. Overseas Projects – Never done..OK fine.. “over 7 years of Experience as a Project Manager” The expected salary hit the sealing…

Results –“OUT” -Who cares… Many more to interview and see..

Another– A Guy who has handled projects over 3 years.. Seems very enthusiastic.. Communication - Lot more to improve in order to do a project management role..He has been handling some outdated projects and he has got fed up of his work.. I asked a question..

Me : “How do you time estimate a project when you don’t know the technical side of the development work.. “

Interviewee : (was in deep thinking process… after few min…).” I ask the developers”

Me : Ok fine.. But they will think.. this guy don’t know anything about our work.. we will give him some false estimates and see.. Then what do you do? Do you just pass me the same estimate that you get from them?

Interviewee: NO I always take 80% of an estimate what developers give me.

Me : :-D (thinking….Hern protects the developers)

Results : Out !!!

Ok.. Cant wait anymore.. Called a reputed recruitment Agency.. Got 5 CVs.. All of them with MBAs, many years experience ….Works!! Very promising.. I called all..

1st one.. Nerd.. No PM experience.. He has handled a team of 5 developers over 6 years.. He is not PM material Period!! He was talking about why SL IT is not moving towards Open source.. I was counting each min I spent.. still I couldn’t end the discussion. Then I told him.. Look., Your profile doesn’t match with the current opportunity I have ., when I have another I will call you.. Then he was telling me that he has a project in hand which he can give to the company if we recruit him.. It was hard for me to send him out…..Finally I said.. I have another meeting…

Next . Currently working as an IT manager.. No experience as a PM.. I don’t know how it was there in the CV. He has got exposed to the AS400 Development and gone overseas as an IT manager.. Not updated with technology or managing projects. He himself accepted the situation.

Next was a guy who is a developer.. Working as a team leader.. Like to move in to Project Management career .. It didn’t take much time for me to realize why he needs to move in to PM from development.. Oh boy he thought the PMs are paid well.. J When I first asked he said his passion is Project Management ., next time when I said we have 2 opportunities 1 is for PM and another is a Senior SE and we pay the same salary for both positions.. He asked me “In that case can I apply as a SSE in this company ..? “ Shew ….

Ok another.. Worked in a Gov Dept. Who handle some projects.. But not fit in to the Private sector Project management.. He told me that he thought the vacancy was for a BA. THANK YOU..

The Next .. Good guy.. Looks good .. Good PR.. good communication ..here we go

Me: Have you experienced any project failures

Interviewee: No I never fail I don’t like to fail

Me: Very good. So let me ask you this question.. Have you had any tight budgets for any projects?

Interviewee: Yes Once I had only 1 Million Budget and my detailed estimate gave me a project cost of 1.5 Million

Me: Interesting.. So what did you do?

Interviewee: Its not a problem to me.. I don’t plan any 8 hour schedules. I always plan 10 – 12 hour schedules. Then we can finish additional work with no cost. I think a developer can work till 11 PM with no issue.. Its an acceptable time for a software developer to work. Always my teams do that with no questions. Therefore I managed to finish the projects within the budgets allocated to me.

Grow up baby !!!

I dont know where those good PMs are gone.. Have they migrated..? Ofcourse few good PMs I knew have already migrated.. I think we are talking about very few PMs who are already working in few companies..

Whats next?.. Calling another recruitment agency…

PS: I thought of adding this line after receiving some comments about this post. This post doesnt mean to say there are no good Project Managers in Sri Lanka. When you look at Software industry, Some of the world's largest project such as huge stock exchange projects, Telco projects are outsourced to Sri Lanka and there are really good PMs managing those projects. What I see is currently there is a big vacuum in the market and this is only the interview experience

Monday, July 21, 2008

Frameworks

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Have you ever got involved with documenting your development framework? or architectural framework of a system? I did.. Recently I got involved with a project and the project was all about documenting the development and architectural framework of a specific system.. Thanks to the consultant I worked with for that project, I learned ABC of Microsoft word :-)

Iterations and Iterations of reviews ..finally nice set of documentation came out!..

However I read this article today (sent to me by one of my colleagues ) it discuss why you should write a framework and why not.. Its quite interesting.. You can read the article here..

Why you should write frameworks

http://www.jaisenmathai.com/blog/2008/04/17/why-everyone-should-write-a-framework-and-never-use-it/

Why you shouldn’t write frameworks

http://jeffreypalermo.com/blog/i-ll-get-to-your-application-in-a-minute-first-we-need-to-build-the-framework/

My personal opinion is that spending time and writing a framework is important,

If you are a multinational company (or a company with many IT departments who produce their own applications) and if you need every entity to develop applications on certain terms and standards So that the whole organization can have one standard by standardizing the framework to be used. It assures easy maintenance of each system as anybody who learn the framework can attend to the system and find issues fix etc. with lesser time.

Or if you are producing a product to the market and if you plan many sales of this product and if it needs many people to do the enhancements and maintenance work, its very important that you have a framework written for the project.


Further if you are a Software Development company who develop many applications concurrently also can be benefited out of a framework.

But as far as this second article is concerned I totally agree that you need not to write a framework for a specific application to be delivered to a customer unless its really a deliverable of the project. I think the problem is with the project manager of this project. ( Fire the PM !! :-))) )

 

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