Going above and beyond

Przemek in front of mountain
Przemek in front of mountain

I’m a programmer at heart. I wrote my first computer game when I was 14, and I graduated from the Technical University of Wroclaw with a master’s degree in computer science. Early in my career I focused on software development, but for the past 10 years, I’ve worked as a project manager. I joined McKinsey in 2017 for the chance to merge my technical and business knowledge.

I’m amazed by the intelligence and expertise of the people around me. I’ve worked for other large organizations, but the concentration of experts and bright people in one firm is greater than I’ve seen elsewhere. McKinsey does a great job finding and attracting the best talent, both new graduates and experienced hires.

Working across cultures

I led an especially memorable pricing project for a client from Japan, where our team dealt with unexpected situations related to both culture and technology. The project was to build a pricing simulator to allow pricing managers to see how the market would react to a price change within a category.

Pricing projects require a specific set of data, which we ask clients to deliver. Usually files containing such datasets are less than 50MB in size. It was a surprise for us when the client delivered a dataset close to 1TB. In conversations with the client, we discovered the main reason they collected and delivered such granular information and considerably more than typical was that they wanted to exceed our expectations and please us delivering better quality data. That was our first cultural lesson.

While we were impressed with the data, our tools were not made to manage so much data and this level of granularity was not necessary. While we would have liked to go back to the client to see if they can pull the data again with the granularity we requested, our Japanese team members advised us that request could offend the client. This was our second cultural lesson.

Przemek and red mountains
Przemek and red mountains

Problem solving as a team

In this case, our team of analysts and data engineers had to quickly find a way to import the data to a database and write aggregation scripts.

In the end, the project went very well. The unconventional project kick-off motivated the whole team to find ways to make our work more efficient and streamlined and we finished with a refined set of tools,  experience handling unexpected situations and a happy client.

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About Przemek

Przemek is a solution delivery manager in McKinsey’s product management group Wroclaw, Poland. Prior to McKinsey, he was a principal delivery head at Capgemini, senior IT project manager at Lukas Bank and a consultant at Accenture. He earned his master’s in computer science from the Technical University of Wroclaw. In his free time, Przemek enjoy playing squash and board games.

For more information on McKinsey's product management career paths, visit mckinsey.com/TechCareers

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