People Management or Technical skills?

There is a very small belief among IT people.

“As we become more experienced we should concentrate towards people management more than technology”.

Let’s try to understand whether it is true or false.

Look at the following conversation between MD, Project Manager and a developer of a company called ABC.

MD: Peter (a Project manager), we have a very crucial requirement. We have an existing ASP.NET MVC application created for one of our requirement and now we have an urgent requirement. We have to log each and every kind of request raised to the application. We have to store it somewhere, like what request is raised by whom, when and in which sequence. For an instance, made a request to view all the customer, update sales information etc.

PM: How many forms (options) involved in the system.

GM: Unfortunately more than 1800.

PM: When we have to deliver:

GM: 🙁 Day after tomorrow.

PM: I don’t believe it’s going to be an easy task. Let me check with developers.

………………. (PM explains situation to developers and convince them for completing
it)…………….

Developer: Sir, for that we have to change all our action methods and add logging logic at the end of it.

PM: Action methods!! Sounds good. You guys are the stars of the company. (It’s called Get Work done strategy ;-))

PM used his skills and finally made all developers sit late and made them change each and every function. Finally everything got completed on time.

Unfortunately things won’t work out as per expectation. You know why? Because no proper testing. Each and every request handling logic was changed in order to achieve the new requirement.

Testing each and every logic(written prior to incorporating these new changes) was equally important after that.

Reality:

In reality this task would have been easily accomplished with the help of custom action filters in MVC.
Project Manager’s /Team leader’s lack of technical knowledge lead him follow the half skilled solution of developers. At least he would have knew about action filters.

Conclusion:

Team binding, convincing and management is very important and that’s where People management comes to picture but it won’t replace Technical skills. A technically weak person cannot make proper people management decision if he is not good in his field.  I believe he should,

  1. Understand whether solution given by other people (team leaders, developers etc) is proper or not?
  2. When developers get stuck he should be able to support them.

My one simple sentence is “Only a technical person can be a best people management guy”

I would like to hear your thoughts about same….

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Comments

comments

9 comments on “People Management or Technical skills?”

  1. Deepika Sohani

    I Absolutely aggree with you. I would like to add that not only a person should be technically sound but he should act rationally with his juniors as well as seniors. One cannot make everyone happy at all time but he can definitely balance both by making juniors work for them without them(juniors) complaining and fulfilling their seniors requirements… Nice article btw… 🙂

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  2. Pradeep Shet

    I think its true to some extent..bcoz there are people who do MBA studies just to skip the stage of developer & learn only about how managing the people under them…
    But true, he must have some skill or at least have some expertise opinion before taking any of the decisions..

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    • sukeshmarla

      but don’t you think after that technical people fool him/her (the manager)……

      Do you think after MBA people really learn how to manage people…I know many people who are MBA but don’t know much about people management.

      Last point..Here I am trying to ask people , Is it true that people management should be considered more than technical skills..

      I found that most of the people run behind technical guys because they will get a chance to learn something new . They follows them, listen to them ultimately people management.

      On the other side a person good in people management will not be able to handle many technical guys if they are not technically good….They will be in a impression that ,Project is going in in correct direction but in reality its not…Many bugs and bad deadlines because manager dont know technical…

      My belief is both Technical and People management is important…Both should be followed throughout Software career.

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