Good project managers are a breed apart. And good project management is crucial to our business success, obviously for our own software development, but even more importantly for supporting our new clients implementing Advantage. We've found through our many years of experience, despite the level of intelligence and experience of our engineers and business analysts, some got the gene, and others, well, just didn't. Rather than keep trying to train the ones who ain't got it, we find it's much better to become good at spotting the natural PMs; the ones just born that way. Give them some free rein to ply the skills that come naturally, step back, and enjoy the show. Like the test pilots in the movie The Right Stuff, these folks have what it takes and are a pleasure to watch in action.
When it comes to top business analysts and software engineers, we have many of each at AdvantageCS, and they constitute the core of our professional staff. Again, a breed apart, just in higher numbers than PMs. These brilliant engineers and analysts seem so focused on what they're really good at---analyzing and engineering---that all else fades from their view. Reminds me of Diego, my son Eric's German shorthair pointer, who's an exceptional bird dog. Get him out in the field and get out of his way. It's all he can do to remember that he and I are hunting TOGETHER, because the only thing on his mind is finding the birds. Truly beautiful to watch him work, and the results are phenomenal...this is what he was bred for. I get the same pleasure watching our business analysts and software engineers in their element.
Finally, our team leaders. Clever engineering and design, and insightful analysis are no longer their obsession. Because the others in their peripheral consciousness now start to play crucial roles in their purpose. After many years in team leadership myself, I often reflect on how my own high aspirations and natural laziness have been foundational elements of my drift always toward team leadership. That is, I have such big things I'd like to accomplish that there's no way I can do it myself, which keeps me on the lookout for others to make it happen. Funny thing, over the years, being able to identify the right team members for the job and enabling their personal success and teamwork has become my passion. Once this gets underway, watching the team do their thing gives great pleasure.
Project manager, brilliant analyst, exceptional engineer and/or team leader---all float my boat. What floats yours?