As an employee of a software services company working in their software architecture group I’m constantly looking at how I can progress from a customer focused individual into an internal management focused individual. At this juncture I had better give you some background to this post.
I’ve been in the technology consulting game for nigh on 16 years working my way through the organisation from developer through project management and back into development services as a solutions architect. I’ve successfully managed projects, teams and at one stage 80 employees and a multi million pound P&L account. It was this role which I found most stimulating. The management of a P&L is where I want to take my skills. Identifying strategy and delivering on that strategy to drive revenue, manage cost and hence increase controllable income.
To enable me to progress this area of my career I’ve been reading the following:
- Operations Management: AND MyOMLab; Prof Nigel Slack, et al
- Balanced Scorecard, The: Translating Strategy into Action; Robert S Kaplan, David P Norton
- Managing the Professional Service Firm; David H. Maister
These books came highly recommended for giving you the thought leadership required to deliver on the process and organisational aspects of running a software services company. All three are classics in their field and together give you the information required to manage the operations of a service based business, measuring the relationships between strategy and business initiatives and organisational management. The only thing missing from this is a decent sales and innovation set of books. For innovation I would recommend Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates; Peter Skarzynski and Rowan Gibson.
Sales is a more difficult to pin down. I personally like the Solution Selling methodology looking at solving the overall business problem rather than looking at the individual technology sale. There are a number of books on this subject from SPI who own the copyright to the content and I advise reviewing these publications.
Hopefully one day an opportunity will arise where I can apply these skills to get me the role I want to be in for the second half of my working career. Fingers crossed eh.