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Old 04-26-2019, 09:04 PM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
2,206 posts, read 930,610 times
Reputation: 6228

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I work in IT, and I'm on several large, concurrent projects where we have PMs.

Each one of them, down to a person, acts like they're the boss of the analysts and engineers actually doing the work. I received a request from one of them this morning to create user accounts. My team doesn't handle that, and I was never informed of what type of accounts they needed. I get a nastygram back that "I'll take this to someone else if I need to," CCing other employees on my team who are no longer on the project. After all that, the vendor PM still didn't provide all the information required to create the accounts.

I was placed on a new project last week with a brand new PM who has never done this type of work before. He's a nice guy, but clearly in over his head and has no IT background. He's useless.

I have another project where the PM has been out sick for weeks/months and follows up on every single minor issue. She wants to another the status of minor support cases and other super granular data. She's not around enough to help, and being so granular is causing us to lose focus on the bigger picture.

Anyone else find these people to be damn near useless?
Apparently an IT PM is very different than a manufacturing PM. I canít imagine trying to manage a $50M manufacturing project without a lead PM. My experience has been that unless youíve been the person ultimately responsible for a major project, itís very easy to see these people as near useless. Try it sometime and come back with your opinions.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:05 PM
 
3,270 posts, read 845,371 times
Reputation: 3779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
Apparently an IT PM is very different than a manufacturing PM. I canít imagine trying to manage a $50M manufacturing project without a lead PM. My experience has been that unless youíve been the person ultimately responsible for a major project, itís very easy to see these people as near useless. Try it sometime and come back with your opinions.
I think this recent popularity of the title, and surge of people seeking the certification leads people to question the importance of anything that they hear is a "big deal".

I don't imagine many critics of the PM role would be very interested in hearing some story about how the very first proto-PM role in Ford Motor Co. occurred about 100 years ago. I just know that I didn't understand a single thing my friend told me about his job. It's hard to see a purpose when you're outside of the discipline.

Also, many startups and even medium sized businesses may not have an immediate need for an in-house PM, so people who have worked only for small-medium sized businesses might not see a need for one. And they might be right.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:10 PM
 
Location: NYC
12,908 posts, read 8,735,729 times
Reputation: 14156
At some point when automation has taken over many job roles then we don't need PMs anymore. Most IT jobs today don't really have a full-time PM running the projects. A lot of managers are PMs because they're the only ones that can negotiate and allocate the resources needed. A lot of PMs these days are just mediators, they get in between other managers and just work on an agreement between delivery dates and commitment. Now, a lot of these tasks has already been automated through IT workflow and automation software. So I believe in a few years or decade from now, there won't be any PMP in the IT delivery field. It's still necessary for software development but it's also becoming more streamlined where the lead software designer is the PM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:12 PM
 
5,143 posts, read 2,317,406 times
Reputation: 14733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I work in IT, and I'm on several large, concurrent projects where we have PMs.

Each one of them, down to a person, acts like they're the boss of the analysts and engineers actually doing the work. I received a request from one of them this morning to create user accounts. My team doesn't handle that, and I was never informed of what type of accounts they needed. I get a nastygram back that "I'll take this to someone else if I need to," CCing other employees on my team who are no longer on the project. After all that, the vendor PM still didn't provide all the information required to create the accounts.

I was placed on a new project last week with a brand new PM who has never done this type of work before. He's a nice guy, but clearly in over his head and has no IT background. He's useless.

I have another project where the PM has been out sick for weeks/months and follows up on every single minor issue. She wants to another the status of minor support cases and other super granular data. She's not around enough to help, and being so granular is causing us to lose focus on the bigger picture.

Anyone else find these people to be damn near useless?

Well, it sounds to me like you have people who are confusing fiddly-dicking around with computers, with managing a project. They are not the same thing. All this business with "creating user accounts" - or, in my company, "What particular version of Share Point will we use to post files that everyone should have access to?" are essentially clerical functions, NOT project management issues.


Project management comes down to three things.


Scope.
Schedule.
Resources.


If it ain't these, it ain't project management.


And, though you didn't provide a lot of details, it almost sounds like your company is applying the term "project manager" when some of this stuff isn't even projects. A project is defined as work with a specific scope that is completed within a certain time. Ongoing support is, by definition, not a project.
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:53 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,881 posts, read 8,657,053 times
Reputation: 8401
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
I've been a software developer (22 years), management consultant (14 years), and project/program/product manager (5 years). I rarely meet (another) software developer who respects management/coordination/budget people, and I rarely meet (another) management-type who understands the work of software development. I don't put much stock in sniping any of the players engage in directed at any of the others categorically. It often indicates nothing more than a lack of perspective on the part of the complainer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creature of the Wheel View Post
I find middle management at any given company in any given field utterly useless.
What I wrote earlier applies here as well - I see comments like that as reflective of a lack of perspective on the part of the complainer. I've never been middle management, but I've had enough exposure to all levels and departments in companies to realize that the only people truly in a place to say that a certain role is "utterly useless" are people who have spent many years in that role. (And before you say that that could never happen, it has. An economist I know made that comment about his particular part of the profession thirty years ago, after a career that he described as pointlessly pushing a pencil around on paper.)

The usefulness of a position is not governed by how it affects some other position; it is governed by how it affects the enterprise overall, where things like administration, governance, audit compliance, operational effectiveness and such matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
My experience has been that unless you’ve been the person ultimately responsible for a major project, it’s very easy to see these people as near useless. Try it sometime and come back with your opinions.
Precisely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
I think this recent popularity of the title, and surge of people seeking the certification leads people to question the importance of anything that they hear is a "big deal".
And instead of "following the money" (i.e., realizing that for profit businesses value what they spend resources on) they just assume that if it is a big deal (and they aren't benefiting from that) it cannot possibly be important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vision33r View Post
It's still necessary for software development but it's also becoming more streamlined where the lead software designer is the PM.
I've never seen anything less effective than putting management tasks in the hands of software developers, who seem to have an endless propensity for getting blinded by the technology, and for being callous to the needs of end-users, customers and the business itself.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:58 AM
 
11,125 posts, read 8,531,120 times
Reputation: 28094
Quote:
Originally Posted by vision33r View Post
At some point when automation has taken over many job roles then we don't need PMs anymore. Most IT jobs today don't really have a full-time PM running the projects. A lot of managers are PMs because they're the only ones that can negotiate and allocate the resources needed. A lot of PMs these days are just mediators, they get in between other managers and just work on an agreement between delivery dates and commitment. Now, a lot of these tasks has already been automated through IT workflow and automation software. So I believe in a few years or decade from now, there won't be any PMP in the IT delivery field. It's still necessary for software development but it's also becoming more streamlined where the lead software designer is the PM.
Is this a joke post?

If anything, the opposite is true. It is much easier to automate coding work than it is to automate the FULL job of a PM. Heck, we already have low code development using platforms like Pega.

I don't see any automation built for handling the people, process, or regulatory work done by PMs.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:21 AM
 
1,547 posts, read 400,415 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
This. I think a lot of places try to cheap out and get the benefits of a PM without actually setting things up to be a real project. Basically making the PM responsible/accountable without any of the authority to successfully manage the project. Glorified facilitator.
Thank you, that's a better term. They do this to stroke the egos of people to feel more important in their job so they can repeat their job titles to family and friends. I think it is dishonest to stroke employees like that, when they simply aren't in charge of anything without someone else's approval. It just causes more stress on the job because they are operating under a delusional that they are actually a PM. It has become almost as overused with the term "manager". Coming right out of college with no management experience and no direct reports, not in charge of anything but doing their own work assigned by their supervisor, they have the job title of manager. More stroking but it is designed for the company benefit to exclude those people from overtime pay because they are considered part of management, when they simply aren't. In some organizations the hourly non-manager positions can be paid more money than the new hire with the title of "manager".

I know there are people who get a PMP, and think they are Project Managers now. Just because you approve a vendor's invoice, that doesn't mean you have any actual responsible. For those that don't think so, next time refuse to approve a vendor's invoice, and watch someone in real management question and override you. Don't approve Google Ads payments and watch peers go crazy when the ads stop and you will be to blame. People who work in payroll that approve your paychecks aren't real management, they are facilitators. We greatly need good facilitators, but let's not confuse that job with a real PM.

It doesn't matter how much the project management theory is dressed up to describe different organizations and styles of running the show. At the end of the day, there is only one true PM, and there can't be 20 of them on a project.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:26 AM
 
11,125 posts, read 8,531,120 times
Reputation: 28094
Quote:
Originally Posted by rummage View Post
Thank you, that's a better term. They do this to stroke the egos of people to feel more important in their job so they can repeat their job titles to family and friends. I think it is dishonest to stroke employees like that, when they simply aren't in charge of anything without someone else's approval. It just causes more stress on the job because they are operating under a delusional that they are actually a PM. It has become almost as overused with the term "manager". Coming right out of college with no management experience and no direct reports, not in charge of anything but doing their own work assigned by their supervisor, they have the job title of manager. More stroking but it is designed for the company benefit to exclude those people from overtime pay because they are considered part of management, when they simply aren't. In some organizations the hourly non-manager positions can be paid more money than the new hire with the title of "manager".

I know there are people who get a PMP, and think they are Project Managers now. Just because you approve a vendor's invoice, that doesn't mean you have any actual responsible. For those that don't think so, next time refuse to approve a vendor's invoice, and watch someone in real management question and override you. Don't approve Google Ads payments and watch peers go crazy when the ads stop and you will be to blame. People who work in payroll that approve your paychecks aren't real management, they are facilitators. We greatly need good facilitators, but let's not confuse that job with a real PM.

It doesn't matter how much the project management theory is dressed up to describe different organizations and styles of running the show. At the end of the day, there is only one true PM, and there can't be 20 of them on a project.
No, there aren't 20 of them. Just one. Me. I don't approve invoices. They have people for that.

Where are all the dev folks? Developers, do you want to code or do you want to worry about training the end users, dealing with internal compliance, or working out international regulations?

How many times have we seen a piece of tech deployed over the weekend and then Monday morning, phones and bells begin going off? It seems that the developers spent all their time working on the application and it never dawned on them that on Monday morning 500+ employees would be coming into work to find their main system completely changed and modified. Now, people have to rush putting together training, QRGs and webex classes just so the employees can do their BAU job.

Last edited by charlygal; 04-27-2019 at 08:37 AM..
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:43 AM
 
154 posts, read 73,304 times
Reputation: 435
Some of the most worthless PM's I have ever worked with (and I have worked with plenty my background is tech lead on multi-million dollar large scale projects) have very fancy PMP credentials and boy can they throw around the PMP jargon in meetings to make it sound like they must be the smartest people any of us have ever encountered - in fact we should probably bow down when they enter the room to yield to their greatness. What a joke! Many of these people have no IT background at all, or even subject matter expertise (i.e. financial, HR, etc) to conceptualize what it takes for resources to get the job done. In fact at best these are Project Administrators and at worse they are Project Coordinators. WITH the PMP credentials!

Right now I am working on a 2 year project (multi-million dollar implementation) and the PM I am working with does not have PMP credentials yet this is a very high caliber PM who is actually managing the project. He doesn't slave drive resources, or micromanage people because he's not sure what his job is. He leads and manages the project like he is supposed to.

At the end of the day, project management is NOT brain surgery contrary to what some would try and make you believe. It's a mix of skill sets and if you have the right skills it will come naturally. If you don't, you can get all the certifications you want and it's not going to help. You will FAIL - and ruin your reputation, and make many enemies in the process. I've seen that scenario during my career more times than I can count. Be warned.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:01 AM
 
2,419 posts, read 687,207 times
Reputation: 3394
I attempted to make a career change into project management.

After getting a new certificate and certification, I was told I could not get a job as a project manager. 70% of PM jobs require 5-7 years experience (defined as you have the job title of project manager) - and 30% require more than 7 years.

But the're fine to whine about a "talent shortage" that they created by using requirements that cannot be filled in reality.
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