What´s the workload of the Delivery Manager? What does he appreciate about it and how does he maintain a clear mind? Our colleague Vladko, who has been working in Millennium for more than 10 years, responded to these and also other questions.
This year, we have already brought you the interviews with our test analyst Katka, a head of our support team Peťo and a consultant Madlen. Today, you can read an interview with our Delivery Manager Vladko. He has talked about his various experiences and provided some valuable advice.
I step in already at the time when “the project” is just “an opportunity” in the form of business consultation during the sales phase. It´s the phase when together with my sales colleagues, we present our portfolio to potential customers, try to understand their needs and expectations, present our vision, and try to find meeting points for our future cooperation. We prepare quotations focused on business and sometimes even technical designs of solutions. We take part in quotation advocacy meetings, and I am at our customers´ disposal in case of any additional questions or a need to explain something. During the project implementation itself, I lead a team of experts on our side, and I am as well a partner for our customers and their team. It requires a close contact of both teams and our great flexibility to lead the project according to the agile methodology. And that´s one of things that I like about my work – to be there when ideas about solutions come up, when I can share interim outcomes with customers and discuss next steps. It has its dynamics thanks to which I never get bored. 😊
Besides, I am responsible for project budgets, time schedules, distribution of work within our team, so we are able to deliver a final solution on time. And, of course, I deal with administrative work as well.
I have found out that it helps me not to hold my ideas only in my head but write it down right away. With clear mind I can focus much easier on creative work, important as well as common tasks. I like the personal productivity system “Getting Things Done”. I´ve picked things I consider useful from the system. For instance, it helps to manage my time and priorities and improve self-organization. I make digital notes on everything important, regular notes into the OneNote app and tasks into the To Do list. I have these applications synchronized with my mobile phone, desktop, and tablet. I can be sure that I will not forget about anything, and I have access to my notes and tasks anytime what makes me feel comfortable.
Besides, I have found out during which parts of the day I am the most productive. For example, from 9 AM to 12 PM I can focus the most on creative work. I plan the rest of the day accordingly. I usually reserve myself time slots for each of my projects separately, so I focus solely on one project and do not jump from one project to another. That way I can faster get deep into a given task, solve it and then continue with another with a clear mind. Of course, it is not feasible to do it this way all the time, however, I have found a system which me personally helps a lot.
When I go back in time, cooperation with customers was different. At first, I managed only our internal team. We were not in a daily contact with customers back then. However, with boom of the agile methodology and agile project management everything changed. The difference is that today the management of the internal team is accompanied with very intensive cooperation with the team on the customer’s side and possibly also with external collaborators.
Often, it is not only about project management but also about management of customer needs. Customers are more and more challenging, demanding fast development and requiring a constant overview of each phase of the project. It is very demanding, but also full of challenges and possibilities, to keep up the pace required by the agile development and customers inspired by how projects are managed abroad. That´s the reason why the projects are very interesting and high-level cooperation with customers is in place.
In the past, we frequently encountered with failed approach to project management. However, dynamic times have brought dynamics innovations.
Relationships with customers often transform into partnerships. Trust, respect, and professionalism are the keys to mutual satisfaction. If it works, we can be sure that every issue has its solution. We are always looking for a way which is best for both sides, what requires mutual openness. It would not be feasible without intensive communication. For instance, if a customer is interested in our opinions on topics which primarily are not our domain, it´s a good sign and it moves us to another level.
It´s important that you do not expect that information will come to you without any effort. Education, mainly self-study, plays the major role. I read a lot and follow experts on social media. I have several certifications, professional, e.g., in the field of Power Platform, but also presentation, negotiation, leadership, and many others. The world of technology is my hobby. I grew up on portals and CRM solutions, and I expand my knowledge of the Microsoft 365 services containing tools built on the Power Platform technology. So, if a person wants to stay hip, there needs to be a natural desire to know more and grow in IT in them.
First of all, they should be after things. They should be organizational and communicative types, able to plan, not getting lost in projects and promptly responding to changes. At the same time, they shall also exude natural leadership, since they often manage, as I have already mentioned, an internal team as well as people from external partners. Their open, direct, and human approach will be acknowledged by everyone who works with them. We have a pleasant atmosphere at Millennium, so friendliness is also a quality that we value very much. 😊
Thank you very much for the inspiring interview!
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