Introducing Lilia Kushnir, an IT project manager here at Phase One Karma. Lilia has mastered uniting a set of hard and soft skills. She takes care of different processes: from running product development and tracking progress to estimating development risks and acting as a SCRUM master.
Today we are sharing her insights into project management in tech, the challenges she is facing, and tips on how to stay motivated.
My way to IT
As a kid, I had a dream of becoming a TV presenter to stay up-to-date with the world. Eventually, it shifted— I desired to get an MBA, arrange international events and global conferences to solve the world’s problems, and the questions of humanity during globalization. Over time, my ambitions changed again; I decided to go into the beauty and sports industry.
I have searched what fits me for a long time. I was fascinated by the opportunity to work in international companies. Said it— done it. In the fourth year of university, I started a job as a Database Manager at Loreal Ukraine; in my final year, I completed an internship at FMCG SC Johnson Ukraine within the logistics, sales, and procurement planning departments.
My likes, wants, and priorities
I have been looking for outsourcing projects because the foreign clients and I were in sync with our mindset and work approach. It was an international company that gave me independence: I was arranging business processes, taking responsibility for the department, and compiling a team. Such an excellent opportunity to build your own strategy.
It feels vital to understand my development within the company.
I have had some experience of outsourcing in Germany, working with CMS systems, where I put together business processes and organized teams. I felt detached at some point— there was no growth opportunity, just routine, and monotonous work.
To the point with Phase One Karma
During my job interview, I was impressed by how the manager talked about the company, the team spirit, ambitious goals, and priorities. I instantly felt that it was not empty talk.
Getting started with P1K was challenging, as I had to establish all work processes from scratch and gather a new team. However, I feel great now — new members have joined, and an innovative AI product is on the way. Artem, our COO, is an open-minded and highly motivated person with fire in his eyes, very dynamic and innovative. I appreciate his approach.
I believe that brilliant business ideas are not created by lone geniuses, but by people working together.
Life as a Project manager
I am a project manager at a new AI-powered legal tech product. We are developing a tool for lawyers based on NLP and ML-technologies to help make contracts simple, easy-to-do, and accurate.
We are willing to create an indispensable product that will become assistant to the daily lawyers’ tasks and reduce the workload of proofreading documents.
A proper, structurally organized, and clearly-written contract means that the lawyer was happy to work with our product!
In my childhood, I used to go into much detail when talking about things that fascinated me — this used to be my two-way connection with the world. I believe that the skill of building communication is a top task and a guarantee of success. The lack of it is especially notable during remote work because it is crucial to ask the right questions, not to overcomplicate, and have sharp emotional intelligence. Everyone on the team wants recognition and great results. It is essential to create conditions that are comfy for everyone — communication is the key here.
About working remotely
There is almost no difference: we end up spending time on calls instead of physically going to the office. Remote work is okay as I do not enjoy wasting extra time on public transport during rush hours.
On challenges and hyper responsibility
It gets more complicated when it comes to those responsibilities I feel less competent with. For instance, overseeing conflicts — I do my best to prevent them, yet it does not always work. Sometimes, managing deadlines could be testing too.
I am a responsible person. Hyper responsible. Yet it is not easy to live on a detailed schedule. I remember getting very stressed out when I could not complete all my daily tasks. Now I am used to making a detailed timetable for the day and prioritizing the things that matter.
Work should be enjoyed.
When it is, workdays are not a burden.
That one question
If I could ask a question to any person on the planet, I would have asked
Michelle Obama how to redirect emotions and passions into results and actions. Nevertheless, I do not have an icon or a leader I would follow.
How not to burnout
I love what I do. So there is no point in thinking about burnouts. One thing I need is feedback at work. Once I see the result — I feel satisfied and motivated.
My dream is to launch my own IT project. As simple as that.