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Old 04-25-2019, 06:26 AM
 
11,118 posts, read 8,523,617 times
Reputation: 28059

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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
So it sounds as though your internal people arenít trained or a good fit.

Often in big companies people ďfallĒ into PM because they donít have the subject matter expertise or skills for product or technology jobs, not because they are good PMs.
Folks don't get it, huh? Being a developer and being a project manager are TWO DIFFERENT skill sets.

A great developer could falter at delivering the ENTIRE project. The code may be great, but the scheduling, cost management, procurements, risk management, hiring resources, etc may all falter.

As a developer, do you want to deal with all that stuff or do you just want to do your code?

As a PM, I have no interest in being a developer. It's not that I couldn't do it. I'm just not interested in that focus area.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:27 AM
 
5,113 posts, read 2,309,561 times
Reputation: 14678
Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
deliverables and multiple departments involved is begging for disaster without a PM.

If something runs late the first thing a subject matter expert on the team does is to shut down communication and work harder. This tends to frustrate management. Itís the PMís job to understand the impact and communicate it to the stakeholders.
So true.


If you talk to experienced engineers, one of the first things they tell you they HATE is when a project runs late, the senior management's invariable response is "let's have daily emergency status meetings that take three hours out of the heart of the work day, until the schedule delay is made up". If your organization has technical people doing project management (and it will usually be the most experienced people, the ones who REALLY need to put their heads down and concentrate on the problem), their constant attendance at status meetings will only slow down the work even further. The solution is to hand off all that management-managing work to the PM, so the technical people can concentrate on solving the problem.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Washington State
18,438 posts, read 9,548,793 times
Reputation: 15732
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?
I worked for an Engineering and Construction company and most of our Project Managers were outstanding. My wife was a Software Developer and she feels somewhat like OP does.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
So it sounds as though your internal people arenít trained or a good fit.

Often in big companies people ďfallĒ into PM because they donít have the subject matter expertise or skills for product or technology jobs, not because they are good PMs.
The guy that I mentioned that is clearly in over his head somehow got the PM job from corporate finance. He has no IT or PM background that I know of. Finance had a lot of restructuring and I'm guessing he found something to hang onto.

He's going to be completely dependent on the actual IT/engineering staff for this thing to not fail. It's not a huge project, but it's very visible.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:38 AM
 
684 posts, read 248,421 times
Reputation: 1810
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Folks don't get it, huh? Being a developer and being a project manager are TWO DIFFERENT skill sets.

A great developer could falter at delivering the ENTIRE project. The code may be great, but the scheduling, cost management, procurements, risk management, hiring resources, etc may all falter.

As a developer, do you want to deal with all that stuff or do you just want to do your code?

As a PM, I have no interest in being a developer. It's not that I couldn't do it. I'm just not interested in that focus area.
The developer's job is to think and work on the project right, to produce products. The project manager's job is to manage, to bark orders, to expect the developer to finish projects as fast and he can with the best quality with the lowest cost. Some pms are clueless. When they don't have knowledge about the job and don't have to do the work, it's so easy for them to say you suppose to do this, to do that because they think they are above you and have power (given by the ones above them). They think they just have to push and shove people and wave the magic wand, and everything will appear in an instance and in a good place.

Anyway, I don't think all managers are stupid and useless. Just saying many of them are. I have a few very good and knowledgeable managers.

And yeah, someone can say "good" and "bad" are just subjective. Yep, many people are like snakes.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:39 AM
 
1,193 posts, read 1,043,638 times
Reputation: 1775
I do software development, and love my project manager. She runs interference with the customers and executives to free up as much of time for actual work as possible. She's also not the type that wants an update multiple times a day.

I've had bad ones in the past, but in pretty much every job the project manager has been my actual boss when it comes to what to work on. My actual "boss" is usually just an interface between the company and I.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:48 AM
 
780 posts, read 202,631 times
Reputation: 1134
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOrdinaryCitizen View Post

Anyway, I don't think all managers are stupid and useless. Just saying many of them are. I have a few very good and knowledgeable managers.
Bad managers don't take the time to understand what goes into a process. They don't listen to their staff when they provide feedback, concerns, or potential solutions. And while they ignore this valuable intel, they set expectations at some unattainable or overwhelming goal to impress their own managers or clients while simultaneously burning out their own staff in the meantime. Their staff likely ends up resenting them and moving to new jobs, and said manager probably gets a promotion to senior manager or director for 'getting things done'. Maybe a little over cynical take on things, a little tongue-in-cheek. But it probably does happen. Bottom line is that this is an ineffective strategy for retaining talent if that is indeed a goal of the company.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:55 AM
 
1,193 posts, read 1,043,638 times
Reputation: 1775
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
If you talk to experienced engineers, one of the first things they tell you they HATE is when a project runs late, the senior management's invariable response is "let's have daily emergency status meetings that take three hours out of the heart of the work day, until the schedule delay is made up". If your organization has technical people doing project management (and it will usually be the most experienced people, the ones who REALLY need to put their heads down and concentrate on the problem), their constant attendance at status meetings will only slow down the work even further. The solution is to hand off all that management-managing work to the PM, so the technical people can concentrate on solving the problem.
I've experienced this as well. We had a customer who wanted twice daily status update calls (what they thought changed between the 5 pm call and the 8 am call I'm not sure) with all parties (them and three other companies), plus calls between individual parties, plus meetings to prepare for the calls, etc. After I pointed out that they literally had me in meetings and call for 21 hours one week, instead of fixing the issues, I was excused from all that.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:56 AM
 
11,118 posts, read 8,523,617 times
Reputation: 28059
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOrdinaryCitizen View Post
The developer's job is to think and work on the project right, to produce products. The project manager's job is to manage, to bark orders, to expect the developer to finish projects as fast and he can with the best quality with the lowest cost. Some pms are clueless. When they don't have knowledge about the job and don't have to do the work, it's so easy for them to say you suppose to do this, to do that because they think they are above you and have power (given by the ones above them). They think they just have to push and shove people and wave the magic wand, and everything will appear in an instance and in a good place.

Anyway, I don't think all managers are stupid and useless. Just saying many of them are. I have a few very good and knowledgeable managers.

And yeah, someone can say "good" and "bad" are just subjective. Yep, many people are like snakes.
The developer's job is to produce the required technology. Developers do not bear the responsibility to deliver the ENTIRE project.

You are substantiating MY point. As a developer, you cannot see that there is more to the project that just the tech piece.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:59 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,339 posts, read 7,982,576 times
Reputation: 4756
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?
I think you're referring to the specific people - as opposed to the position/role of project managers.

As with any role, they serve a purpose within an organization. However, the necessary processes and support needs to be in place for them to succeed. And more often than not - the PM is just a manager that was given the responsibility of managing said project.

PM's are extremely valuable to help drive the project and ensure the necessary resources are in place. But that doesn't' mean every individual with that title can do a good job. And this goes for every position under the sun.

So yes, project managers can be useless. But you can replace project managers with any role and the statement can be true.
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