Infy is undergoing major organizational restructuring (Economic Times, 22-May-2008, “Infosys plans organizational restructuring”). Among other things, providing more flexibility and movement for employees is one of the drivers. To quote from the article: One of the issues it will address is greater flexibility and movement of people within the organization. For instance, it could provide an alternative career path to employees who don’t want to manage people but who are technically competent.
This thought process is laudable. Earlier this year I wrote in “Beware of technical ladder roles” how technical ladder is becoming a popular tool among HR heads to address the attrition challenge of the IT industry. However, organizations need to be careful how they trade the path. I feel that there are 2 major drivers for tech-ladder:
- Demand-side driver: If organization can have senior technical specialists, then they can help organization moving up the value chain by solution architecting and technically anchoring complex projects
- Supply-side driver: Experienced talent pool needs flexibility in their roles to leverage its strengths
Usually, the supply-side driver is the first one that gets attention and a tool like tech-ladder seems to address it. Until, as time passes, these so called “architects” and “principal engineers” realize that there is no “meat” in the job. This is where, I feel, proper homework needs to be done in defining “meaningful” roles which the business demands. This is what I wrote earlier this month in the article “Creating meaningful technical leadership roles in Indian IT services industry”