IT PM & QA

For each command, assign it to one person, or ask for a volunteer.
Don't ask a crowd to take an action.
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
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HELLO.
NICE TO
MEET YOU.

My name is Alexey Arkhipov (you can call me just Alex). I am accomplished russian Project & QA Manager with 18 years experience, based in Tomsk, Siberia, Russia.

All-rounder

I've been lucky to experience a huge range of roles in my career, for both government and commercial organizations, from start up to corporate, from product to services, from development to architecting and testing, employee to founder, PM to product owner and everything in between. This experience means I understand and care about every stage of a project's development. I'm driven by results and want to work with a team that aspires to be and deliver the best, not just good enough.

With a strong business acumen, a problem-solving mind and a penchant for juggling numerous projects, my mantra oozes a 'Get-'er-done' attitude. I have experience in managing teams that are a combination of in-house and freelance talent and I especially like when the Client is part of the process in a collaborative nature. Educated in the field of Project Management via PMI PMBOK, my PM skills improved gradually with experience.

I believe in being pro-active in Client management and utilizing team members’ strengths to ensure the best outcome for any projects. My previous business experience aid me in bringing a broader skill set to the table – sometimes you need to be team champion, other times you need to go to bat for the Client – but most of the time it’s all about a fine balance.

Generally, my approach to project management is like a three-legged stool: one part lean and lightweight process, one part uber-detailed organization and one part team champion. I have experience in both agile and waterfall methods and find that each project should be individually assessed to determine which approach is best suited to promote on-time, on-budget and within scope deliverables.

I have worked with a lot of software and technologies: Windows, Linux and Mac OS OSs (administration and automation in bash, CMD), DBMS (SQL, PL/SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle), Java (SE, ME, JavaCard), Web technologies (XML, HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python), VBA and even more. Of course, impossible to be wiseacres in everything, but my technical outlook is really quite wide. Continuously learning, in case of need I relatively easily plunge into a new problem domain. This is often rescued me in a crisis, especially in multi-component projects, where problems often occur at the joints of different technologies.

With soft skills

Proven leader and project manager, experienced in team building. I could use my overlapping skill-set to manage team member from designers to developers as well as communicating with project stakeholders. Interpersonal skills allows me happily solve multiple and complex (sales, human resources, legal, financial, operational) issues and motivating staff to peak performance.

Addicted to testing

Not all of my projects were successful. Time has taught me to be tolerant to strange clients' requirements and legacy code, but sometimes I had to participate in pulling the project out of the crisis, with what in most cases successfully handled. In the time I made ​​a lot of mistakes, but now I know how to avoid them.

Some time ago I began to analyze the reasons for our mistakes, and concluded that the most frequent cause of problems is unclean requirements or bad testing. Since that time I became passionate about testing. Now I respect testers not less than developers.

In recent years, I have been consulting IT-companies in the field of quality assurance. If you suffer from bugs and have a questions about organization of testing - perhaps I can help you.

Want to know anything else about me?

Then ask. I’m always looking for new business opportunities and will be happy to hear your proposals.

Currently I have Schengen Visa and ready to business-trip. Not ready to relocate (but ready to discuss in case of considerable reasons).

Timelines

In the world of IT-projects, I am not a cheerleader for a gantt chart as the be-all tool for managing work backs and milestones. They tend to work well with a waterfall-only approach and can sometimes set the tone for limited flexibility. What tends to work well, is to produce an epic gantt chart for Kick Off (so Client primes can share with their Stakeholders, and get initial sign off), then create weekly timeline check-ins with the Client prime.

Client-facing Contact

For most of my projects, I am the Client contact for that particular project, and the high level Client strategy piece is the role of the agency’s account team or big cheese. I have experience in chairing weekly status meetings, working luncheons and white-boarding sessions. I tend to take uber-detailed plans, and on some projects I’ve had to juggle several calendars simultaneously. I’m flexible to work with or without an account person on a project.

Estimates

Estimating is like a chicken-and-egg scenario – you can’t always put numbers against a project that has no specifics, yet the Client wants a cost before committing – ugh! A good compromise is for a detailed proposal to be created that gives a range of costs based on the most current. Proposals are great for highlighting ‘unknowns’ and asking more questions. Proposals that are well-written will then turn into SOW (Scope of Work) documents, that Client needs to sign off on, as part of the ‘green-lighting’ of the project.

Resourcing & Forecasting

Weekly resourcing meetings with the internal team is a chance for the larger group to be privy to all the projects on the roster. It helps to forecast the resources available and flag possible schedule bottlenecks of work that somehow needs to get done. Time tracking is essential to keep projects within scope, and the biggest offenders tend to be developers – sorry, but it’s true. At my full time agency gig a few years back, one special developer needed help in this area, so I entered in his time (ssshhh – don’t tell anyone).

QA & Testing

Sometimes I am the tester, other times I oversee a third party vendor conduct the QA – this varies dependent on the size of the project. Clients will also have a process for testing which needs to be dovetailed into the overall development process. I take three approaches to QA and testing – the first is to check directly against what is listed in the SOW and/or tech spec/document, the second is to check against the approved IA and wireframes, and the third is a freeform look at the end result.

Organization & Communication

I’ve been called type-A before, but I know I have a balance to that side of my brain. Sometimes things MUST get done in a certain way or by a certain time. Other scenarios lend to flexibility and going-with-the-flow. Communication is also key – timely responses to emails, and being crystal clear about next steps and expectations with both the Client and internal team and important factors. Also, if a project shifts partway through, or a glitch needs to be highlighted, then honesty is the best policy.

Toolbox

Some of the things in my toolbox are: Asana, Dropbox, Evernote, Word, Excel, Git, Google docs, Google hangout, HTML & CSS, Jira, Mantis, Photoshop, Skype, Slack and WordPress.

HOW I
CAN
HELP?

I can help you in:

  • assessing the prospects of undertakings in the Russian environment, especially in Siberia;
  • creation of a new outsourcing office of your company in Russia;
  • partnership in business in Russia;
  • hiring local team and personnel rating for your projects;
  • consulting about Russian politic (policies), hiring rules, official business accounting rules and tax legislation;
  • finding suitable office space for rent;
  • assistance in business-trip organization, accommodation, negotiations.
and even more...

Why Tomsk can be more preferable than other outsourcing countries or russian towns?

If you heard that in Siberia bears walking the streets – its not true :) Tomsk is small (less than 500,000 inhabitants), provincial town in Siberia, in which, however, there are 7 universities with various branches of learning. Tomsk is often called a students’ town, you can proof it in this YouTube playlist. Our city is full of young, talented and ambitious professionals in different areas, looking for their destination. Working time in Tomsk is much cheaper than in the capital cities. Quiet provincial life sets up a working mood, business vanity does not distract from the work. In Tomsk, most of the year are negative temperatures. Therefore, people prefer to spend their time in the office, not on the beach.

Russian programmers are known for their curious minds, creativity and ability to solve complex problems. Levels of costs to personnel and business needs in Tomsk are very competitive on global market. The average level of English help to solve everyday problems by phone or Skype. Even a significant time difference many firms used as an advantage by distributing the work between their worldwide offices to make work on project round-the-clock (office in Russia write the code, then American managers check it while night in Russia). You may be surprised, but many companies known to you as western or international, have project or R&D offices in Russia, or even in Tomsk.

In 2005 Tomsk opens Special Economic Zone, which takes preferential taxes and import/export tariffs for IT and innovative business.

All of the above makes the Tomsk very attractive for investments.

After all, I have a lot of business contacts in various fields (mobile development, game and gambling development, business applications, websites etc.) and in different places of IT-activity – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and others.

LET'S GET
TOGETHER!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact me by email: alex.archer@gmail.com or through the contact form below.

Hit me up if you want to talk about your next project or if you just want to chat. I welcome dialogue on all IT things and chatting over coffee is a great place to start. Just please note I live in GMT+6 timezone. So if you are at work in US, it is pretty sure I am sleeping right now.

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

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