Thursday, December 24, 2009

I want to be a Program Manager

So a few years ago, I put it down as my objective to be a great Program Manager, here is what I've learned.

Great PM's:
  • Are 20% about leadership [looking outward], 80% about management [looking inward]
  • Take responsibility for the progress, product, and team happiness
  • Can Handle pressure
  • Can do multi-step planning and can for see weeks or even months into the future
  • Ask more questions then make statements
  • Work 20% more then they expect from anyone on the team
  • Know when to get out of the way
  • Know when to intervene.
  • Can approach people and tell them things they don't want to hear in a respectful tactful way
  • Can make a single person 2x more productive then they would be by themselves
  • Can make a team 10x more productive then if they we're by themselves
  • Make the hard decisions no one else wants to make
Another important detais:
  • It takes a great PM to mentor and teach another great PM.
  • Employee's that think PM's are useless have never had a good one.
  • I also think that, there are less talented PM's then there are talented engineers or designers. This is ok, I just think it means companies should staff fewer really great PM's and let them drive the projects.

To all the people out there aspiring to be great PM's