At the cost of generalizing, I would say most of the folks working in the IT Sector (Corporate) would be able to relate to the title. If not, I shall present opinions from my standpoint and hope for a healthy discussion.
Now again, I am no HR expert to comment on the said topic but based on the personal experience and sharing experiences with friends, Promotions in the IT sector are one of the most talked about. Well, it might as well be the most talked about topic irrespective of the industry but I feel that the framework for promotions in the IT Services sector is not without serious loopholes which does more harm that benefits.
Before proceeding further, let me clarify that I am not against promotions being doled out to deserving candidates but the general principle on which promotions are based is biased towards the employee’s total work experience (Number of Years) including the number of years the said employee has been at the current workplace.
This principle in most cases is applicable at the mid-level and senior level promotions ( Eg: Technical leads being promoted to Project leads/managers) From an employee’s perspective, this is the general progression. An employee who has been handling technical issues for a sizable team over the years expects to lead the project and manage more responsibility. Nothing wrong with that but here are two aspects which bother me,
The company loses technical experts
Imagine an employee who is considered the technical guru in the department he works in (most teams/departments have one). When one such employee does his bit and bides his time, he/she aspires to take on Project Management responsibilities during the next promotion. Now, I am not saying that the said technical expert does not get opportunities to showcase the technical expertise but project management is a whole different ball game.
The responsibilities are in most cases completely different from what he/she must have handled during the stint as a technical lead or a technical architect. Not taking anything from the employee but isn’t the team/department at loss by foregoing a technical expert whose actual skill set might have been utilized better.
Project Management requires specific skill set
For instance, liaising with the client, time management, team building are some of the aspects that technical leads may not be accustomed to.
I am not sure if I am alone in my way of thinking but I have seen too many technical geniuses taking the project management route and often not doing a great job out of it. Moreover, I am not sure if there is a viable solution incase this is indeed a problem because deserving candidates need to be promoted when their time is due.
What are your thoughts on the same? Do you think you have come across similar instances where the promotions being based on experience alone have not delivered the desired results..