Zvika Bash's Personal Approach
HF: What was one of your greater (team) successes? Were there setbacks? Lessons learned?
ZB: The biggest success in my current project has been a technological success. For the first time (as far as I know) we technologically combined SAP software with development in the FLEX environment. The project's staff successfully developed a special graphical interface that can be produced only through FLEX.
Since this had never been done before there were a lot of first-time decisions to be made. We tested the technology before execution, and even though it was not without problems, the execution was very successful. Considering the technological challenges we faced, we managed to finish an ERP project within a year - a significant achievement.
As for failures, I am happy to say I haven't personally experienced any. Wise planning, methodical reviews, order and mostly the devotion of our staff have found us reaching all of our goals.
Lessons? It is very important that the customer is involved in all stages of the project. In my opinion, the customer or a representative should be an integral part of the team. This representative needs to accept the responsibility of the success or failure of the project as any other member. He/she needs to be totally responsible for decisions made and he/she is the IT- the staff's ambassador to the end user. All team members carry the weight of meeting agreed responsibilities along with organizational changes but it is up to each individual to be responsible for their own decisions.
It is important to manage this process with the customer and make sure everyone is working towards the same goal. In our project the development committee authorizes all development and approves every change in the process. I call it "positive bureaucracy". It helps minimize the changes in the program and development but still promotes team involvement making it possible to initiate positive change without any interruptions.
HF: What do you do to keep up with the world around you (do you have a favorite newspaper, website, etc.)?
ZB: I mostly keep up with the SAP products world. I am subscribed to an email newsletter called SAP Flash that keeps me informed of the latest updates. The SAP developers website (SAP Developer Network - SDN) is filled with useful data on SAP products and services. In addition, I read the Gartner Group articles to learn more about other fields that I want to extend my business in.
HF: What event or experience in your (professional) life has made a really big impact on you?
ZB: My first project as a systems analyst was quite big (a project of 150 IT people and assimilation of 1200 users at the same time). Being involved in a project of that scale throughout all of its phases was a formative experience for me. As an active partner and sometimes a bystander on the project I learned a lot about building a project administration, and managing a project from start to finish. I also learned how to building a team, manage clients, get them involved, and how to integrate all the elements in a project. That was a good experience that provided many positive and negative lessons. Later, those lessons helped me when I started to manage the "show" and I had to make the decisions.
HF: What would you say is your weak spot?
ZB:My weak spot? I love going into details on everything, and sometimes I ask too many detailed questions about the process improvement solutions that someone has offered. I can see how it can make my staff think I don't respect their experience or professionalism at times.