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Career Path while developing TM1?

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:58 pm
by ChrisF79
I know this question comes out of left field but you're definitely the people to ask. I am planning my career path and am looking at a next step so I'd like to hear from each of you as to what you're doing and how you got there.

I worked as a Financial Analyst for a couple of years, moved to my current company and did the same. I was then asked to take on TM1 development, took IBM courses, and became a TM1 developer. We now have two TM1 developers. I've been doing the same thing for five years now and frankly, I feel stuck in this role. At the Vision Conference in Orlando, I spoke to someone who has done what I do for nearly 20 years (various software) and asked him what his next step is. He laughed and said, "This is it. There's not really a next step from here." Incredibly depressing moment.

That brings me here. For those of you that have been working with TM1 for a while, what's your career path? What's next for you? Or, if you're ahead of me career-wise, what are you doing now and how'd you get there?

Re: Career Path while developing TM1?

Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:16 am
by Martin Ryan
Last year I became "Planning & Analysis Manager" which added a big operational component to the technical role. I facilitated the budgeting and forecasting processes including timings, running meetings with all the divisional General Managers to work through what their budget would be and collating all that information for CFO/COO/CEO.

A senior planning role is quite an interesting one as you get to talk with and understand a lot about all the areas of the business. The "Analysis", i.e. reporting, side of this goes hand in hand. Working with the business to understand their reporting needs and then delivering it. The way our company was structured I had a bunch of business analysts/management accountants reporting to me who did the detailed planning and analysis work for their divisions. I've never been a management accountant so it was a bit odd managing them, but I got the hang of pointing them in the right direction.

Since then I've become Business Intelligence Manager. Which again means working with all the divisions on their BI requirements. It's part Business Analyst, part techy, part management as there's a fair bit of co-ordination involved.

These kind of roles do require the right kind of personality though: getting on and communicating with a wide range of people. It also requires commercial knowledge about how a business actually operates.

Your source is to an extent correct in that there's no obvious step up from TM1 developer but there are certainly options. I probably got a bit lucky in being able to take a diagonal step up. Another option is moving into a Business Analyst role or Project Manager role as you learn a fair bit about systems, processes and projects by the time you've done a couple of TM1 projects.

Re: Career Path while developing TM1?

Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:24 pm
by ChrisF79
Congrats on your step up. That does sound like a really great transition. The way our company is structured though, we have a team of analysts that all report up to one woman. Their team already handles the budgeting/forecasting for the company on a sales side.

Re: Career Path while developing TM1?

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:17 am
by Martin Ryan
Where do you sit - are you finance or IT? Could you get yourself reporting to that woman somehow? Start making yourself her apprentice? What is the current structure around you and the wider IT and finance teams? Do you want to stay with the company you're at?

Is that woman approachable? You could get half an hour of her time and ask her what she thinks and how you might progress. Good managers (even if they're not directly yours) are always happy to talk to people who show initiative and drive about how they can futher their careers.

Dunno about your organisation but restructures are not uncommon in ours. The way we were structured it should have made no sense for those guys to report to me, but it worked out that way. It's a matter of being in the right place at the right time sometimes.

If there's no clear path right now my suggestion would be to find a way to start getting to know the power brokers. Not sycophantically either directly as mentioned about, or by figuring out what their problems are and try to help them solve them. For example do they need better reporting on a certain issue - e.g. HR - and can you deliver something to them? Try to get inside their head and think what their biggest issue that you are capable of doing something about.

Make yourself useful and show yourself a capable pair of hands then start mentioning you're looking for other challenges. If they see value in retaining you for the company then they'll create something for you, even if there's nothing obviously there right now.