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Old 04-25-2019, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Online
362 posts, read 161,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
As a Project Manager, I take offense to this entire thread. LOL.
Or perhaps you could give us an idea of how a PM can add value to a project etc.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should justify but just saying you take offense and leaving it at that is implying you are agreeing with the OP's question.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Online
362 posts, read 161,830 times
Reputation: 388
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.
Yeah, I think this pretty much sums it up.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Online
362 posts, read 161,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PamelaIamela View Post
REAL Project Managers shpuld be people who have actually been workers on similar projects, whether analysts or programmers or construction engineers, or whatever is relevant to deliver the project on time or on budget.. but rarely both. (And often neither).

Then they get the creds to play leader.
Usually they are needed mainly for upper management who want a single point of contact to either praise or threaten.

The best ones, if they are NOT experts in any of the specialties within the project team, should be viewed more as recording secretaries, resource allocators, conflict mediators, and time-project trackers.

Few of them actually LEAD anything.. the worst of them just get in front of the parade and twirl the baton and/or crack the whip!
Great point. I think the use/useless argument comes in to play depending on if the PM is batting for you or for management (9 out of 10 times).
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Seattle
408 posts, read 245,086 times
Reputation: 987
In my experience, Project Managers are like real estate agents. A good one is worth their weight in gold. I'm a developer and a good PM will take care of minor details, get the info from the business leaders, go to meetings so I don't have to, watch deadlines, and communicate. I can concentrate on my work. The servant-leader model can be great when it works.

However a bad one is useless, and there are a lot of bad ones. It's a great place to put someone's nephew, a fresh out of college employee or a political hire-- which means it can be really variable in quality.

As an aside, I also do not entirely buy this concept that managing something requires zero knowledge of the subject areas, which seems to be a very prevalent idea in business (the idea probably came from MBAs). Although the upside is they can't really question you and are easily to confuse with a bunch of tech words.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:48 AM
 
1,541 posts, read 399,025 times
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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.

...
Anyone else find these people to be damn near useless?

I do project management, but I actually manage the group and entire project. Too often the job title of PM is used for just about anyone who is at a desk job. It is job title inflation. A real PM is someone who has control over the budget, the resources and the people involved in it. Everyone else called a PM is not functioning at that level. People who call meetings to get group A to talk to group B aren't really doing PM, they are coordinators and managing their own work. If the people in the project don't report to you, then you aren't really a PM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rummage View Post
I do project management, but I actually manage the group and entire project. Too often the job title of PM is used for just about anyone who is at a desk job. It is job title inflation. A real PM is someone who has control over the budget, the resources and the people involved in it. Everyone else called a PM is not functioning at that level. People who call meetings to get group A to talk to group B aren't really doing PM, they are coordinators and managing their own work. If the people in the project don't report to you, then you aren't really a PM.
I don't think any of the PMs I've dealt with had any financial say-so at all. Most don't have the ability to get more funding, personnel, whatever. At best, they're facilitators.
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:24 PM
 
5,114 posts, read 2,309,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rummage View Post
... If the people in the project don't report to you, then you aren't really a PM.
I disagree. Project management on a large project can easily become a full time job. If you add managing people administratively to that (hiring, firing, performance reviews, interpersonal issues, etc., etc., etc.) you're now doing TWO full time jobs; which means you're not going to do the best possible of either job.


Obviously if you only have two employees and one small project the above doesn't apply, but I'm talking about the standard situation in medium and large companies where there's more work than can ever be done anyway.
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:28 PM
 
780 posts, read 202,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
I disagree. Project management on a large project can easily become a full time job. If you add managing people administratively to that (hiring, firing, performance reviews, interpersonal issues, etc., etc., etc.) you're now doing TWO full time jobs; which means you're not going to do the best possible of either job.


Obviously if you only have two employees and one small project the above doesn't apply, but I'm talking about the standard situation in medium and large companies where there's more work than can ever be done anyway.
Isn't what you're describing above just considered management?
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:34 PM
 
11,118 posts, read 8,523,617 times
Reputation: 28064
Quote:
Originally Posted by rummage View Post
I do project management, but I actually manage the group and entire project. Too often the job title of PM is used for just about anyone who is at a desk job. It is job title inflation. A real PM is someone who has control over the budget, the resources and the people involved in it. Everyone else called a PM is not functioning at that level. People who call meetings to get group A to talk to group B aren't really doing PM, they are coordinators and managing their own work. If the people in the project don't report to you, then you aren't really a PM.
Ha ha. Ever hear of a project oriented organization vs a matrix organization vs a functional organization?

I work in a matrix organization. Google it.
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:03 PM
 
5,114 posts, read 2,309,561 times
Reputation: 14683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Quotes A Lot View Post
Isn't what you're describing above just considered management?
Well, there are a lot of things that are called "management". I'm specifically talking about product design and development here, but it largely applies to other fields as well, when your organization's work involves projects.


1) Project management can be done wtihout having administrative responsibility for team members.
2) There's "administrative management" which covers hiring, firing, performance reviews, etc., in short everything about supervising the work of others.
3) There's what I call "departmental management" which involves budgets, resource allocations, setting up filing systems, where the cubicles will be, that sort of stuff.
4) There's what we might call "product line management" which would have to do with things like looking at future technologies, setting plans for platforms, assessing which field failures need priority to be addressed, things like that.


Usually #2, 3, 4 are covered by someone called "engineering manager". #1 might or might not be done by the same person. Usually engineering managers are promoted because they are skilled engineers with strong personal skills and leadership capabilities. Unfortunately that also means they are probably amongst the most skilled at doing the actual engineering job.


So here we are again with one person trying to do #1, #2-3-4, and also being constantly called on to do actual engineering work. As I said above, three full time jobs.


And this is why a lot of larger organizations divide these jobs up, assigning #1 to "project managers", #2-3-4 to "managers", and direct technical work to "individual contributors".
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