Hello Pedro! We are very happy that you agreed to do this little interview and share your professional experience with all of us!
We are curious to know what it’s like to manage IT projects in such a fast-changing industry as technology. So, let us find out more about you!
I am now entering my sixth year at LOAD.
What did you study and how did you become a project manager?
I studied electronics and telecommunications engineering, but I started programming on computers when I was 12. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81, and later a Spectrum. If you are 40 years old (or older), you will probably understand what I mean: When I was not just playing with Load””, I was playing with the programming language BASIC. For those of you not familiar with Load”” – it was a command used in Spectrum to load the game from the cassette player.
I think since then I was destined for LOAD!
What would you say is the biggest challenge in managing projects in such a fast-moving industry as technological innovation?
I would say that the biggest challenge in managing software development projects is really the fast-paced aspect of this industry. Everything is required for yesterday, and if it takes longer, the innovation opportunity is lost to a competitor. Of course, there are other challenges, such as building a trusting relationship with the client, understanding their vision of what they intend, and explaining what the best approach should be. Sometimes the best approach conflicts with all the customer’s previous concepts, and sometimes it’s difficult to reconcile everything.
How can you properly manage these challenges as a team?
As a team, the best way to overcome these challenges is to do what we do best: We give them the best technological approach and produce something robust, reliable and very user-friendly.
Putting good ideas into practice.
What are the best tools you use in your daily activities?
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. For collaborative tasks, remote communication tools like Slack or Google Meet are essential (long before the pandemic COVID ).
What work methods do you use most often when working with your team? Share your secrets with us!
At LOAD, we have developed our own processes by adapting widely used methods to the needs of our company and our market. These are mainly Digital Product Research (DPR), which follows a user-centric approach where we advise the customer on how to implement what they have in mind, Digital Product Development (DPD), to design, develop and deliver the solution (using agile methods), and finally, Digital Product Introduction (DPI), to help the customer launch the solution on the market and maintain it.
How can you tell that the project is getting out of hand? What are the alarming signs to look out for?
Every project has its own “milestones,” which are marks along with the planned task and activities that measure where things stand in terms of workload and time spent to a certain point. We know we are not on track when, in the middle of a project, we reach these marks and realize we are not meeting some of the goals. Then we have to decide how to react to these mistakes and how to avoid them in the future.
What is the biggest mistake you have made?
Trying to drag things out and hope for the best. We always need to have a plan of action when we find that something is getting out of hand. It may be something we just keep in our minds, but we need to know exactly what to do and what the next steps are.
Tell us about a project you found particularly interesting.
Total Patient Care is not particularly interesting from a technological point of view, but it allowed us to develop a quality management system from scratch that allowed us to become ISO13485 certified and a reference for the development of software as a medical device (SaMD). This also allowed us to conquer the MedTech industry on an international level.
What is your dream project?
Dream projects are those that allow us to create genuinely good things that we see everyone using, that bring benefits and make the company flourish. They also give us the opportunity to work with many different people from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, which is always personally enriching.
What would you say to someone starting their career as a PM?
I don’t see project management as a career. My career is in software development. What I do today is the result of my professional path so far. Personally, I think a good PM should have a technology background in the sector he/she’s working in and, above all, participate in activities that feel rewarding and fulfilling.
How do you see your professional development in a few years in view of all the innovations?
In the next few years, I see an upward trend in my career, along with LOAD! 🙂