Hello, Pedro! We are so happy that you’ve agreed on doing this little interview and to share your professional experience with all of us!
We are curious about what it’s like managing projects in such a fast-changing industry like tech. So, let’s find out more about you!
I am starting now in my sixth year at Load.
I studied Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, but I started programming on computers when I was 12 years old. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81, and later a Spectrum. If you’re 40 years old (or over), you’ll probably get what I’m saying: when I was not only playing with Load””, I was playing with BASIC programming language. For those of you who are not familiar with Load”” — it was a command used in Spectrum to load the game from the cassette player.
I think I was destined to LOAD since then!
I would say that the biggest challenge in managing software development projects is really the fast-moving aspect of this industry. Everything is wanted for yesterday, and if it takes longer, the innovation opportunity gets lost to a competitor. There are other challenges, of course, like creating a relationship based on trust with the client, understanding his/her vision of what it is intended, and explaining what should be the best approach. Sometimes the best approach goes against all the client’s previous concept, and at times it might be hard to balance it all.
As a team, the best way to overcome these challenges is to do what they do best: to give them the best technological approach, and produce something robust, reliable, and very user-friendly.
To turn good ideas into real ones.
In my personal tasks I use a lot of issue tracking and task management tools (like JIRA) and, of course, Outlook, Word, spreadsheets, and presentation editors. On cooperative tasks, remote communication tools, such as Slack or Google Meet are essential (even long before the COVID pandemic).
At Load, we have developed our own processes, by adapting widespread methodologies to the needs of our company and our market. Those are mainly Digital Product Research (DPR) following a user-centric approach, where we advise the client on how to implement what is on his mind), Digital Product Development (DPD), to design, develop and deliver the solution (following agile methodologies), and, finally, Digital Product Introduction (DPI) to support the client in the implementation of the solution on the market and its maintenance.
Each project has its own “milestones”, those are marks along with the planned task and activities that measure how things are at each point, in terms of effort spent and time consumed till a certain point. We know we are off-track when in the middle of a project we reach those marks and realize that we are failing at some of the goals. That’s when we need to decide on how to react to those mistakes, and how to avoid repeating them in the future.
Trying to drag things while hoping for the best. We always need to have an action plan when we detect something that is off-track. It can be something we keep only in our minds, but we need to know exactly what to do and what are the next steps.
Total Patient Care, not particularly interesting in terms of technology, but it allowed us to create a Quality Management System absolutely from scratch, allowing us to get certified in ISO13485, becoming a reference in developing Software as a Medical Device (SaMD). This also allowed us to embrace the MedTech industry at an international level.
Dream projects are the ones that allow us to create genuinely good things, that we can see everyone use, take advantage of, and make the business flourish. On top of that, the ones that give us the chance to interact with a lot of different people from very different origins and nationalities, which is always a personal enrichment.
I don’t see Project Management as a career. My career is in Software Engineering. What I do today is the result of my professional path so far. Personally, I think that a good PM should have a technological background in the sector where he/she is acting, and, above all, participate in activities that feel rewarding and fulfilling.
In the next few years, I see my career progressing upwards, along with LOAD! 🙂