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Old 04-25-2019, 08:04 AM
 
780 posts, read 202,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
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.
Charlygal is correct. Usually the project manager is coordinating with many different departments to complete one project. It takes skill in organizing, managing expectations, understanding the requirements for output on a high level, communicating effectively to stakeholders, among other things.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:06 AM
 
5,127 posts, read 2,313,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
As a developer, you cannot see that there is more to the project that just the tech piece.
Well, that's an oversimplified stereotype, that may or may not be true, depending on the individual.


In my experience, experienced engineers working on the technical side generally have an excellent understanding of the overall goals and value of the project, which is why they so often get roped into being project managers, at which point their technical knowledge, experience, and output are largely lost to the organization.


I recently found myself doing three jobs at once: departmental management (budgets, hiring and firing, management of interpersonal issues, etc.), project management (defining scope, schedule, and resources, monitoring progress, reporting to management, etc.), and senior engineering work (defining product requirements/specifications, designing, prototyping, testing, releasing for production, post-release support, development of new product concepts, fundamental research, etc.)


Each of these jobs was basically a full time job. By being expected to do all three at once, it was guaranteed that I would not do a very good job at any of them.


With a corporate acquisition and total re-organization, the three functions were split up and are now the responsibility of different people. The overall stress level in the organization has gone down, and the quality of product design and compliance to project schedules have improved.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:16 AM
 
Location: San Diego
35,147 posts, read 32,136,802 times
Reputation: 19698
A good PM can be very valuable. By good I mean polite, organized and has at least enough business acumen to know ahead of time what can be done and push back on the customer if need be. Someone who is a bossy, "yes person" is useless to a project. Someone who doesn't know anything about the product and/or coding is also useless. Pushing a timeline because the customer wants it can cause it to fail for sure. I've also told my PMs right off the bat, if that's when you need it consider it a fail and give me something else.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:23 AM
 
686 posts, read 249,062 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Quotes A Lot View Post
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.
Agree.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:30 AM
 
6,839 posts, read 3,713,227 times
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My experience is developers usually make the worst project managers for a couple of reasons. First, they are so in love with their tech solution they cant see that they aren't meeting the custermer's needs and second they tend to think of the software part of the project as the whole project. They forget that it is just one piece that has to work with all these other pieces as an integrated whole.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:55 AM
 
3,774 posts, read 2,033,149 times
Reputation: 5210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Quotes A Lot View Post
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.
Very true. And when you have too many unnecessary layers of management, the higher-ups don't know what's happening on the ground. And quite frankly they don't care, because all they're looking at is numbers. I worked on a "team" with such person at the helm and they created sooooo many problems that their managers would never see. The entire team was motivated by fear, and they made sure to pick a certain type of person (people who had a hard time finding a job or it was their first real job) to ensure people would stay. Turnover was high and I'd love to know the lies the bad manager told to explain it. But again...if the goals are being met, the company doesn't care. Those bosses get bonuses for doing more with less.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:23 AM
 
12,265 posts, read 18,397,848 times
Reputation: 19088
PMP - Project Management Professional
PMBOK
ISO 21500 on Project Management


If your project managers in your organization PMs are not familiar with the above, particularly if they are not PMP certified (I am, and I'm not even a PM), they they are not really project managers. They are just some geek that some manager from somewhere that they pulled out and pointed a finger at and said "you lead this project".
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,767 posts, read 4,827,803 times
Reputation: 19395
Yes! You need someone with professional Project Mgmt training. Without a PM you have a bunch of different people with no central individual who is responsible for managing all the many threads of a project. There are so many different types of projects, of which IT is only one, that it may be hard for someone "in the trenches" to understand what it is that the "generals" are doing from their lofty perches, to borrow a metaphor from the military. Someone has to take the responsibility for managing the myriad details of a project from the project schedule, to the personnel resources, the timing of physical material deliveries, and project deliverables, managing risks, to keeping the various workflows in different departments or specialties from getting into conflict or delays. Many variables can throw a project the critical path, from material shortages, weather, funding delays, labor disputes, price changes, illnesses, human error, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. Someone has to run the show, and be responsible for making sure the timeline is met, and costs are kept in line to see the project through to completion. If there's no PM, who is responsible if the whole thing runs off the road into the weeds?? You don't want to be that guy/gal, but there is an absolute NEED for that guy/gal. BTDT ;^).
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:34 AM
 
1,199 posts, read 435,679 times
Reputation: 3722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lekrii View Post
'good' and 'bad' are subjective terms. The problem with most technical people are they look only at what's the best solution from a technical perspective, not what is most cost effective, or what can actually be accomplished from a political perspective, or what's realistic given resource constraints.

Often programmers, analysts and other more technical people are fairly poor at looking at the larger picture, which often includes a less than perfect solution from a pure-technical perspective. To those people, PMs and other management are 'useless' when in reality management and the programmer or analyst simply have very different goals.
Not really, at least in my industry (banking) it wasn't too hard to evaluate success from dismal failure.
And of course a good PM is an asset and essential to large, complex projects.
Unfortunately when technical advice gets swept aside for 'political/financial' reasons and less desirable solutions are implemented, the short term decisions often have heavy long term costs in end-result quality e.g. lower levels of service and increased operating costs due to constant maintenance needed to fix bugs and improve throughput.

Of course there's a sweet spot in compromise among all the factors, but having technical experience, or at least a wise reliance on trusted experts facilitates this end. Our finest systems were always the product of PM's who did both.

Otherwise it will result in anything from a cluster#uc& to a merely tolerable, mediocre product.
I have witnessed both as well as wonderful outcomes.

YMMV.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:19 AM
 
1,675 posts, read 548,866 times
Reputation: 3560
Quote:
Originally Posted by PamelaIamela View Post
Not really, at least in my industry (banking) it wasn't too hard to evaluate success from dismal failure.
And of course a good PM is an asset and essential to large, complex projects.
Unfortunately when technical advice gets swept aside for 'political/financial' reasons and less desirable solutions are implemented, the short term decisions often have heavy long term costs in end-result quality e.g. lower levels of service and increased operating costs due to constant maintenance needed to fix bugs and improve throughput.

Of course there's a sweet spot in compromise among all the factors, but having technical experience, or at least a wise reliance on trusted experts facilitates this end. Our finest systems were always the product of PM's who did both.

Otherwise it will result in anything from a cluster#uc& to a merely tolerable, mediocre product.
I have witnessed both as well as wonderful outcomes.

YMMV.
I am talking about the compromise you mentioned. There are people who narrowly look at one technical piece and try to optimize that, instead of optimizing the net of everything for the best business result.

And, as we all know, political/personal issues needs to be taken into account in any larger organization. The best technical solution is meaningless if it's not understood and supported by the myriad of people making decisions (as well as the people who would actually be asked to use the system). Getting all stakeholders to come to agreement on competing priorities with limited resources are political conversations.

It is subjective. You seem to be talking about 'good' and 'bad' from the perspective of the 'best technical system'. I am saying a better system that's not used, not supported and not adopted is worse for a company's profitability than an average system that has support and a high adoption rate.
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