Interview with IN2 employee: I am proud to be a part of this story
Interview with Stjepan Grđan, Head of GIS Operations at IGEA, a subsidiary of the IN2 Group.
Our IGEA is known for the development of complex GIS systems and Geoportals as well as the construction of software solutions that have laid the foundations for the digitization of processes in the GIS field. Stjepan has participated in the development of such systems on a number of significant projects. If we add to that that he is pleasant, open and clear in communication and ready for all challenges, we get the ideal candidate for an interview with IN2 employee.
I: Stjepan, we'll start with what you're doing at IgeiI. You are currently the director of GIS operations, but that is not the only function you have performed since you have been with us. Tell us something about your current position, how did your career develop?
S: Then I will start from the beginning 😊 I became a team member in 2010 as a software engineer. I have to admit that IGEA was a great match for me since day one. The type of people I worked with, the projects we got and the accompanying challenges made the job interesting. I was not actively working to get a promotion, but this, from my perspective, positive environment motivated me to do my best. Business results followed, so I soon became a project manager. Similarly, the position of the head of the business unit came in a similar way, as well as the current one, the director of GIS Operations.
I: What has changed in your responsibilities and day-to-day activities with the change of functions?
S: Now I do more managerial work in terms of project and people management, coordination at all levels and aspects, status meetings ... But I am still in the role of leader of some strategic projects.
I: How do you balance those activities?
S: I am very glad to have remained involved in the projects, especially being the SDGE project manager. I want to continue doing that part of the job. This is a project I’ve been working on since the beginning and working on it is very fulfilling to me. The project achieves results we could not even imagine. It currently has over 2,300 users mostly from the surveying community and more than 75 percent of all studies are made through our system. We have digitally transformed the processes of making geodetic studies and made the work easier for the entire geodetic community. I care about its further growth and development, and I have a lot of other ideas that will help achieve that goal.
I: The next question was supposed to be "What was your most interesting project so far and why?", but I think the last answer suggests that it is SDGE.
S: Yes, maybe I should clarify a little my enthusiasm about the results of the project. The development of such systems and tools requires domain knowledge and expertise in specific areas. Back in 2013, based on the recognition of user needs, we developed a tool that has made such a significant step that it had to be integrated into existing systems and today is part of the System of Digital Geodetic Studies. IGEA has always known to recognize what is the key flaw or milestone that will make a difference. And that's great for me.
And now to answer the question: each project carries its own interesting story and specific experiences, but one I am particularly fond of remembering one. This is a project of Quality Control of the Digital Cadastral Plan (KKDKP) in which I participated from the idea stage, through development and production to user education. The software solution of this project is still part of several newer and larger systems such as the System of Digital Geodetic Studies, the System of New Surveys and the System of Cadastral Expositions.
I: Okay, let's talk about less enthusiastic topics now. What are your typical challenges at work?
S: The biggest challenge is to prioritize activities and roles, but there are solutions for that as well. What I’ve learned in recent years is that the most important thing is to have a team you can rely on. A team of professionals who share the same vision as you and the company. When you have such mutual trust and a quality relationship, at the moment when it is necessary, it is not difficult to entrust part of the responsibility to colleagues because you know that everything will work out well and with quality. I am lucky to have such a team so my challenges are quickly overcome.
I: What is your style of work? How do you achieve the mentioned trust and collegiality in the team?
S: I believe that the hallmarks of my work are responsibility, consistency and pragmatism. I am always ready to tackle new business challenges and help colleagues. I really appreciate that in others as well. Questions are good and necessary, timely and helpful answers too. By this I mean that clear and open communication are also ideal features of one’s style.
I: How should one not lead a team?
S: It should not be run insecurely. There should be no hidden intentions or individual goals put before the goals of the team or company.
I: What characteristics of the employer would you single out as the most important? What is most important to you in the workplace?
S: If we go back to answering the first question about my career development, it is important to me that the employer appreciates my effort and commitment and provides me with opportunities for development and progress in every sense. What I would like to single out is the quality communication between colleagues, a healthy relations and teamwork. You spend the vast majority of your day at work and it is desirable, and even necessary, to feel good in the team.
I: What do you value most in colleagues, and what in superiors?
S: With colleagues, responsibility and willingness to help and understand at any time and situation. With superiors, it is effort, vision in the further development of the company and business and their experience.
I: Tell us something good about your colleagues in one sentence.
S: They are the best team that achieves great results! We prove that we are the best when it is most needed at work, in sports, and at every opportunity.
I: How do you spend your free time?
S: I love sports so whenever I get the chance, I play football with the team. I love cycling, hiking and nature. I am involved in a family farm and we are engaged in beekeeping, so I dedicate part of my time to work on the apiary. However, I try to spend most of my time with my daughter Anabela because it is true that children grow up too fast 😊.
I: Bees are an interesting hobby. Tell us a little more about it.
S: Breeding of queens and production of royal jelly. 😊 Very few beekeepers do this because it takes a lot of experience, will, effort and time. Since I also lack time, it is just a hobby at the moment.
I also have a hunting permit, but I prefer sport shooting, that is, shooting at flying targets. It does, however, require speed and skill.
I: Zanimljiv hobi. Reci nam još malo o tome.
Uzgoj matica i proizvodnja matične mliječi. 😊 Jako malo pčelara se time bavi jer je potrebno puno iskustva, volje, truda i vremena. Pošto i meni fali vremena, to je trenutno samo hobi.
Imam i dozvolu za lov, ali preferiram sportsko streljaštvo, odnosno gađanje letećih meta. Za to je ipak potrebno brzine i vještine.
I: Do you have something you would like to add? Something we didn’t touch on in the conversation.
S: IGEA celebrated 30 years of existence last year, I think that says it all. I highly appreciate colleagues who have been at IGEA from the very beginning and from whom I have learned a lot. All of us, older and younger, more experienced and less experienced, make a top team recognized and appreciated by our many users. It’s nice to hear when users praise IGEA’s solutions and I have to admit that I feel proud to be a part of that story back then.