Merce Select

Organisation structure

  • The roles in a team

    Application Engineers At the junior levels in the development cadre, developers join as Assistant Application Engineers or Application Engineers. We recruit freshers straight out of college too.

    After a year or two of hard experience, developers may look forward to a promotion to Senior Application Engineer. Some particularly talented programmers may become Tech Leads.

    More senior and diverse roles are available, and are open to young developers to move into. These roles will be described as part of the team below.

    A typical team A small project team will comprise a Project Manager, a Tech Lead, and a few developers (Application Engineers) at various levels. The smallest teams have part-time Project Managers who time-share among multiple small projects. Somewhat mid-size and larger projects have full-time Project Managers.

    The PM The role of the Project Manager includes allocating tasks to developers, interacting with the customer to get specifications of new tasks, and keeping track of tasks. A Project Manager often also works on code, and sometimes helps junior team members with their code challenges, a little like a Tech Lead. Two critical areas of responsibility of a PM are driving the team to meet delivery commitments and performance monitoring of team members.

    The Tech Lead is a developer with two differences. He provides technical guidance to junior team members, and he maps technology impact of new specifications from the customer. In the role of technical guide, he ensures that all junior team members remain productive and never get stuck for long. In the role of technical expert for new tasks, he asks the unpleasant technical questions in meetings with customers and assists the Project Manager in analysing the impact of any change request or new feature. A Tech Lead spends most of his hours doing hands-on development; the other two activities occupy a minority of his time.

    Business Analyst A project team may have a part-time or full- time Business Analyst too. Only large projects require a full-time Business Analyst for the duration of a project. A Business Analyst focuses on the business functionality of a software system, and maps this to the customer's requirements. Business Analysts vary widely in age and seniority.

    Solution Architect This role is never a full-time assignment to a single project. This role is given to experienced software designers and systems engineers who have the experience and expertise to take a complex software specification and convert it to the design of a software system. These experts design software, and the Tech Leads pick up the design and work on the implementation and testing.

    Account Manager In the case of an outsourced team, the Project Manager is termed Account Manager, since there is no one-time project in the picture. If the team is operating in a staff augmentation model, the Account Manager's role is primarily non-technical.

  • Senior positions

    General Manager It is expected that a General Manager will handle about three or four project teams, depending on team size. Roughly three PMs report to a GM.

    A GM's role is largely client-focused and less solution focused. A PM focuses more on the day to day delivery of her team, while the GM focuses on delivery at a higher level, e.g. monthly plans, team structure and management, etc. However, a GM will typically meet each of her PMs at least once a week, typically more frequently.

    One key area of a GM's responsibility is to enhance and strengthen customer relationships. The GM treats each customer as an account and explores opportunities of growing business from those accounts. She also participates in new business acquisition, bid process, etc.

    A GM has P&L responsibility.

    Vice President A Vice President is in charge of a strategic business unit, with two to four GMs in it. A strategic business unit operates like a company within a company, with its own resource planning, recruitment pipeline, customer pipeline, etc.

    Merce Select is currently not large enough to have a VP. We hope to reach there soon.


  • Case studies

    Work we have done for other customers in various engagement models