blogFebruary 15, 2022

What it takes to become a Delivery Partner in the software industry

Alina interviewing Ilie, Delivery Partner

Article presentation
Ilie Pandaciuc Delivery Partner at OceanoBe

I got to meet Ilie Pandaciuc working on a case study project for our clients and I was impressed by his capabilities, organizational skills, and his good humor. Here, at OceanoBe, he is a Delivery Partner and manages several big projects and teams. He obviously has a busy schedule but let me tell you something, no matter how busy he is or how many escalations he has to manage on the day, he is always greeting you with a smile. And that speaks volumes about his character.

A description of Ilie, that I happen to hear, is that he is the type of person that you can add to any team or situation and he will, somehow, “bring the light on” and improve things. So I began wondering what are some of the key ingredients of his success as a manager and team leader. Here is what I discover during our conversation.

Alina

Getting to know Ilie

  • So Ilie, tell me more about your experience and expertise?

At the moment I am leading several projects and am in charge of various activities from architecture, DevOps, team management, and delivery, I cover pretty much the entire scope.  I do however put most of the effort into time and team management, including the recruitment process. There is of course client management which is in itself a very important aspect especially when it comes to growing the team and helping the customer grow or scale the business.

  • How would you describe yourself? 

Organized, efficient, and trustworthy. And I do emphasize the importance of trust in my team, it’s something I care deeply about for two reasons:

  1. We are in a professional setup and keeping your word is to be the best way you can act professionally. If I give my word and commit to doing something, you can rest assured that I will do it, and I ask my team to do just the same. Having someone in your team you can trust is the best way to eliminate micromanagement. I do my best to implement this within the groups I lead. 
  2. The second thing is obviously the willingness to compromise, but being in the confines of being professional (smiling).
  • What do you enjoy doing, when you’re not coding obviously or playing with the two cats? 

Travelling, when I have the time of course. I am in for a long-due vacation. But joking aside when we started OceanoBe we always had a WFO policy and it was great for many like me who loved to travel. Other than this I try to catch a movie sometimes and now am working on my home project, which is quite demanding.

Growth

  • You have done so much since you started in 2012. How do you see your professional growth over these years?

Ahh well... 2012 was my first official job position until then I did also some freelancing. In the beginning, I worked for a smaller company which allowed me to develop in so many directions. I did many things but I am not quite where I wanna be. I had found, in 2015, a great group of people and we decided to start our own saas service company, but things got sidetracked and we did not manage to sustain the dream. Later one I started with Robert (Tamas) and we started working together on this dream of creating our own products. There is of course the outsourcing part, but our hearts were always set on creating something meaningful for us. I have grown much in that direction, I had a lot of lessons learned on how to launch a product, how to test your ideas. I mean I am still learning and although the path was not always straight my direction is.

  • How does one become a delivery partner? What are the necessary skills in your opinion?

I think being highly organized and having communication skills are essential. In this particular position you have to juggle, so to say, many situations and talk with a variety of stakeholders. For example, if a problem arises you have to be able to communicate that issue in a manner such as not to escalate or amplify the issue. Keeping calm is essential, especially in an environment such as the banking and payments industry where it's particularly challenging. You have to balance things and be able to absorb and diffuse the tension. Then again a delivery partner covers also some sales skills and you have to be able to spot potential business opportunities. The same with your people, you have to be aware of what's going on and level with them. So yes, communication and also knowing when to compromise.

  • Can you name a specific opportunity from which you learned the most, maybe a specific project? 

I think for me personal projects are the most challenging. When you have an idea and you want to transform it into something more you get to face many challenges. Whether it's development, sales, management, or even going on an accelerator program there is a boom of information. I had the opportunity to attend a business accelerator in Cluj and I really was amazed at the amount of information available.


delivery-partner-in-software-industry


Innovation

  • You have such great experience with new products and helping develop successful MVPs for unique products. What are the key ingredients of delivering such innovative products?

I feel I got lucky because at the beginning of my career I started working with a small company that allowed me to grow in many different directions. My starting expertise is Java, but I began working with web, android, DevOps, sysadmin. After that, I entered the corporate world and began learning about the solutions that they use, and how they scale. Also, working on your own projects gives you a full spectrum of situations you can learn from. I think that the most important thing is networking. If you want to do business then you need to get to know people and surround yourself with interesting people from which you can learn. 

  • What is innovation to you? 

For me, innovation is reaching an area that has never been done before. If you are doing what the rest are doing then you are just optimizing and that is in some way half the word. To innovate is to have a new perspective. Revolut or UiPath are great examples of rethinking the problem in a way that benefits the final customer. 

  • You obviously lead skilled teams, how do you foster creativity and innovation within the group?

It all comes down to having deeper and more meaningful relationships with your team. If you know them then you will be able to know what makes them tick, what motivates and inspires them. But this is a long process one must take on and if you do so, you have to do it all the way through. For sure it's not comfortable but they will see, understand and appreciate the effort. I was lucky enough to work with people I know and thus I am able to find better leverage for creativity and innovation. 

Excellence

  • How do you feel about your contribution to what we do here at OceanoBe?

I have some stages of the contribution that I think apply to the question:

  1. The first was my involvement in the early stages of the company, in making a good and professional impression on our clients. 
  2. Second, was the grow the team stage where we all tried to get as much traction as possible. 
  3. Third, is definitely the expansion of the client's portfolio. 

Well if you want to pursue the dream of becoming an entrepreneur, working for free is a great opportunity that will stir you in the right direction, allowing you to learn to the fullest. If I had to go back in time, I would definitely do that, work for free.

  • Why is that?

Well if your goal is to make money, then your mind will be set just on that, you will definitely grow financially, but there is a limit to that. If your goal is to absorb as much information as possible and learn how to do business, then money will get in the way. 

Experience

  • What's next on your learning path? Any new challenges?

Taking a holiday is the new challenge (laughing). But in all seriousness… Obviously, there is much to learn and try, including entrepreneurship, communication, sales, marketing. I follow amazing people in these areas and always try to implement what they are teaching.

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