With less than a year after joining MCON GROUP BEIJING, Jinfei has been promoted to Associate Director leading a full scale of 14-people project management team. Does he own any secret recipe for fast growth?
Jinfei, congratulations on your new promotion to Associate Director of MCON GROUP BEIJING. What do you think is the driving factor for this promotion?
I am thankful for this great recognition. I just did what I should do to fulfill my duty and at the same time motivated my team to grow together. I would say there are no distinct success factors. To make our customers happy and help them to fulfill their targets, the first thing on my list is always to stimulate my team. When you have a great team fully fired up and committed to delivering an exciting project, you have everything prepared to be successful.
Again, I want to be with our people and the company together, to seek maximum development both for our team and for my company, to increase MCON’s competitive position in the market.
Speaking of great team spirit, how do you cultivate it?
The perfect example might be of my co-worker Stephen. He is an experienced Dot Net Developer as everyone acknowledged. In the current project where java is mainly used, it’s difficult for him to show his strength in his technical expertise, but conversely, it’s a very good opportunity for him to improve the other aspects of his career development. Well, there’s always a time to begin. So I connected him with opportunities of project management training. When there’s a good chance to do a presentation in front of our customers, I asked him to go on the stage and you would see how fast he survived and excelled. He is now successful in leading the team and customer as technical project manager. I am proud of him that he took the challenge and was open to experiencing new skills beyond what he already knows.
I am proud to say all my teammates are seniors and professional in what they do to deliver high quality in our projects. I always trust my team, and I always believe everyone has strong potentials.
You’ve identified business opportunities and successfully increased the value of customers. What traits indicate a perfect timing of customer retention?
Honesty and trust.
The quality we deliver on our projects speaks for who we are. Plus, interpersonal relationship management keeps us in good relation with customers.
Could you elaborate more on one specific project you’ve handled?
Sure. Trust is usually not gained at the beginning. On the flip side, I was challenged a lot by the customer when I newly joined the project. As grown with the observation on customer requirements and project status, I started to proactively manage the problems on my table or even got help from my managers to solve the problems together.
During the communication with our customers, I keep the status transparent and ensure it is communicated to all of my team members. No burst out or urgency will be hidden from my side. Instead, I would proactively identify any possible risk during the project lifecycle and manage it.
We’ve seen your background in computer science bachelor degree granted in 2008. How do you keep up with the new development in the IT industry?
It has been over a decade since my graduation. During the past ten years, I attached the utmost importance to personal career development as well as corporate development in a bigger scope. So one thing that I never stop is learning.
In the early years after graduation, my focus was on learning and improving my English skills. Gradually it shifted to project management and interpersonal communication. Apart from the training offered by my previous companies, I was accredited with BEC (Business English Certificate), PMP (Project Management Professional), ITIL V3 (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), and most recently MBA granted by Beijing Institute of Technology. If you ask me the most cutting-edge knowledge I am chasing, it is spring cloud, a tool for developers to quickly build some of the common patterns in distributed systems.
Last but not least, you are internally well known as a man who’s always smiling, what’s the best way to help the whole team smile in tough situations?
Hahaha, I am not smiling like every day. When facing the challenges from clients, I don’t smile at all. What I adopt as my life value is always keeping a positive attitude. I aspire for a brighter future and spare no efforts to achieve it. Maybe that’s why I am the Mr. Smile.
When in conflict, it won’t be hard for me to quickly calm down and think of the reasons behind and best possible actions. Thanks for the questions. I do like smiling because this means the project is running well and our customers are happy with their objectives fulfilled.