Igor Ashmanov's book “Life inside a bubble. How a manager can survive in an invested project ”is recommended to those who want to learn about working in IT projects. In fact, its topic is broader. How can a manager survive when investors do not have a clear idea of what they want and have no development plans. When the strategy changes every few months. When the left hand does not know what the right hand wants (and if it does, it does exactly the opposite). When there is more intrigue than work. The situation is typical not only for IT companies.
A mine of future conflicts was laid already at the hiring stage.
“The crazy uncontrolled hiring process led to the fact that in the company, like in a quickly filled and poorly stirred semolina, lumps immediately appeared - clans. Who fought for influence on the president and investors, for positions in the company. "
"The president promised leadership to so many when hiring."
“Investors did not initially set themselves the goal of business development. They were preparing it for sale. From such a statement of the problem, everything that happened automatically followed - ridiculous acquisitions, squandering of money, the absence of serious business models for the portal, the loss of partners, the panic of investors when it became clear that it would not be possible to resell. "
The existence of the company showed a serious difference between the expected and the done, the promised and the fulfilled.
“At a cavalry pace, an Internet newspaper, a health resource, an Internet incubator, a service with maps of Moscow and five other projects were bought in bulk. The projects were bought because they seemed to some of the investors a good deal, that is, a cheap purchase. They had nothing to do with the portal, in fact they were an unprofitable investment, but they created a lot of PR reasons and the appearance of the unrestrained growth of a powerful Internet holding. "
In fact, the whole book of Ashmanov on how to understand the difference between the visible and the real when you are not looking from the side (in this case, usually everything is simple), but you are in the thick of things.
It is not very difficult to determine the type of project: the main feature of a bloated and visible project is the presence of noisy PR before the start of real work and the absence of clear plans even among the top management. But even when you come to a good project, you should understand why you are doing it.
That is, the second point is to determine in advance your goals in the company. When these goals can be considered fulfilled, and when - not achieved.
It is worth negotiating "on the shore" and on paper. This is the third point. And to have criteria for measuring their achievements - so that there is no situation when investors say: "We expected a completely different result, so it is wrong to reward you." This can be, for example, sales volume or the release of specific projects.
To implement the project, it is necessary to find a healthy core - people who speak briefly, reasonably and to the point at meetings, and then carry out the decisions made at the meetings.
It is very important to screen subordinates from the investor - he has a lot of ideas, he does not understand why everything is done so slowly, he needs lightning-fast results. Therefore, for stable work, a top manager must be a filter, preventing unrest in the team due to frequent and unexpected changes in the investor's course.
And finally, the last thing is to leave in time. If it's obvious to you that the project will fail, then the best strategy is to stretch the spring of the project to the nearest milestone and pack your things. It is also necessary to leave successful projects if your goals are achieved in it. By the way, the book ends optimistically: “The overall result of the work in the portal is clearly a plus. And we were able to get out of this crazy story without much loss. With a new baggage of knowledge, skills and connections. Once again I was convinced: there is no extra work ”.
Mann, Ivanov and Ferber Publishing House
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