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Old November 13th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

Infosys Technologies has decided that its staffers must have at least six years of having worked on technology responsibilities before being asked to head a project.
This is the latest move in a process that began 18 months earlier, after clients had complained that its project heads didn't seem to have enough of technological skills. That, in turn, was because of the industry's high growth and also the pace of attrition (employees quitting) in the sector.

So, many employees were being given managerial responsibilities within three to four years of joining. However, from last month, all freshers joining the company will have to compulsorily stay focused on technology for the first six years of their career.
After this, they will have to choose to either grow vertically as a techie or take up managerial responsibilities.

Infosys says this new strategy, termed 'iRace', aims to re-map the technology skills of its software professionals and offer them roles based on their current level of experience and technological know-how.
It appears to have already had some adverse effect, for a section of employees in the junior and middle levels are understood to have resigned.
"Because of the high growth in the industry, people were being given managerial responsibilities within three to four years, making clients return to us and complain about the lack of their technology skills.

We have now re-mapped the efficiency of our employees, as a result of which some high performers have been mapped upwards, while others have stayed in their previous positions," says Nandita Gurjar, Group Head for Human Resources.

By doing so, we will be able to meet the clients' requirements in a much better manner, she adds.
To make the task smoother, Infosys has created 25 career streams. An employee who does not wish to take up managerial roles but stay focused on technology has to identify positions like technical architect and technical lead till he goes up the ladder to become the unit technology manager, a position the company has created now. Henceforth, all 13 business units of the company will have UTOs, who will directly report to the chief technology officer of the company.

Infosys started the exercise almost 18 months earlier, following an internal assessment by consulting agency, Mercer. Based on the results, the company decided to implement what Gurjar terms a 'role structuring'.
Industry insiders concur that when the IT sector was booming and demand was high, people with very little experience were being given roles of project managers or technical leads, as it was difficult for the company to get experienced people.

However, with the greater supply of trained resources, especially in the wake of the economic recession, most Indian IT companies are busy redefining the roles.
"We have seen people becoming project managers with less than six years of experience, whereas in most global companies, especially product companies, project manager is a big role. A person who manages projects in those companies should have at least 14-15 years of experience, which helps him handle multiple projects and customers at a time.
Besides, when a person becomes a project manager in six years, this ends his chance to learn on technology platforms," says a person who works as a project manager in an Indian IT services company.
At the end of the second quarter in the present financial year, Infosys' headcount was 105,453, including 97,594 software professionals.

Source

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Some interesting news from India. I am sure other companies will follow suit. I have seen many managers who are totally disconnected from technology. It may not matter much if the manager has rich experience in varied filed, but its a road to disaster for an unexperienced and non-tech savvy PM.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

min experince needed here at my org is is 8+ years theoretically and practically they appoint them if they have 10+ years exp...
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Old November 13th, 2009, 08:08 AM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

This way all MBAs can bid their IT careers goodbye.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 10:17 PM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

see 6 years or 8 years...doesn't matter or even a fresher does not matter...
Trust me few of the great product managers at Microsoft were fresh computer graduates with max 1 year( yes....)

it is about basic intelligence/quality foundation/quality work/good mentor....years mean fucking nothing...How much dumb it should be for people to get it

Another aspect is that most people are not fit to be manager and most manager title in these IT firms means nothing..most managers don;t even are responsible for like 20 people or so ....
Instead of time....Infosys or any other IT firm should have criteria ( I am available for free consultancy) on the following lines

1. Certain number of mission critical problems resolved
2. Basic background / foundation / personality -- matters a lot
3. 360 reviews should show that guy is respected
4. has worked on one project onsite end to end...
5. has worked on 2/3 projects offsite end to end
6. Put him for a partime MBA course...basically create a shortlist of candidates...sign a bond and put them in 3 year part MBA course at IIM B ( or create ur own custom course with any other business schoool) after 6th year...after 3 years..based on feedback from faculty , performance on semi manager jobs during those years..u will get a great manager...

No idea these things will see light of the day....but my two cents
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Old November 14th, 2009, 04:37 AM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

Quote:
Originally Posted by desichacha View Post
3. 360 reviews should show that guy is respected
6. Put him for a partime MBA course...basically create a shortlist of candidates...sign a bond and put them in 3 year part MBA course at IIM B ( or create ur own custom course with any other business schoool) after 6th year...after 3 years..based on feedback from faculty , performance on semi manager jobs during those years..u will get a great manager...
baaki sab theek ..but i didn't get these 2.

#3. what does this mean ?
Are you suggesting that , you inquire 100 people about this guy...and 100 guys should say only +ve things about this guy ?
#6. ive never seen a software project manager with an MBA to be good. he generally goes and lives out of "reality".

and...years mean nothing ?...hmm...this is more serious than above 2
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Last edited by Indian; November 14th, 2009 at 04:40 AM.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

I guess the thing about 360 reviews is something similar to rep points we have here.

And in-house training too is a good idea. I remember the time when the persons who were selected as Management Trainees at Oberoi and completed the course were considered prime candidates for management jobs everywhere. This was >25 years ago when MBAs weren't very fashionable. Almost every corporate had a management training program.

I guess they will be counting the gray hairs next.. minimum 1 lakh gray hairs for each level of promotion
Then maybe chashme ka number.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

360 - I think raniraja got it right...it is a very formal/informal process that runs in every organization where you get review of each person from peers/seniors/juniors about person in that project. If not a current practise then it should be in all firms...

As for MBA/training aspect --- we are getting out of socialism and moving towards captalism and therefore we don;t have inhouse programs anymore...Business schools specialize in management education...we can take generic one or ask them to customize ( i know many do as I have organized them for a previous firm) to your needs...

As for techie with MBA is out of "reality" etc I can tell you from experience that truth cannot be far from that. I have been a techie all my life and have recently finished my executive MBA. it has helped me gain lot of different perspectives.

From as simple as things back as project planning/team management /leadership styles..

see MBA is not equal to finance is not equal to Investment banking

Infact i don;t think pure MBA is a good background for finance... moreover in UK we don;t have huge culture of MBAs being the investment bankers....
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 09:37 AM
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Re: Be a Techie first, then become a Manager - Infosys

Ive been a PM for over a decade now, I've worked with at least ten firms in that time. Honestly, the more knowledge you have about basic operations, the better you can manage. If you try to promote employees based on a time frame, then you are going to end up with people who are not the strongest leaders. I agree with hiring from inside the company, it promotes loyalty and makes people have investment in weather or not the company does well. The truth regarding a good project manager job is that not everyone is a good manager. There are some who simply function better in a non leader role. Promoting these people based on amount of time working just doesn't make sense from a business standpoint. I believer that a good manager should be able to perform any task that his team members can perform. But that doesn't mean that any team member can perform the duties of a good manager. It takes a specific personality to balance out organization and managing your team, and simply not everyone is cut out for that. I really like the philosophy behind the company promoting based on time spent coding, but as I see it, that is setting themselves up for failure as not everyone can be a good manager, and the results i think will show that fact. This is just my opinion, and I would be curious to see how this turns out after a couple of years.
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Last edited by AmthaLal; December 3rd, 2010 at 10:38 AM.
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