Tag Archives: Product Managers

Learning PM Success Secrets From Product Managers

PM ChangeAgent Commentary by Stacy Goff; ProjectExperts CEO.
In the early 1990s, a corporate executive and I were talking about the talent in his organization, and he asked me a question: “What’s the difference between a project manager and a product manager?” I knew he had his own answer already, so I asked him: “I can think of a dozen differences, but what do you think is the difference?”

He replied, “The Product Manager has a personality.”

I was shocked. As a practicing project manager and consultant, his reply stung. But then, this company was a major Aerospace/Defense contractor, and despite the Integrated Product Team initiatives of the 1980s, some of the old-timer Project Engineers were still not known for their interpersonal skills and scintillating style. But to make such a blanket statement? Even by the early 1990s, I had had worked with thousands of project managers who had great interpersonal skills—and personality galore!

A Product BOK
I was reminded of this discussion several years ago, when PM Consultant/Speaker/Author Gary Heerkens suggested that I should assist in a new initiative, to develop a Product Management Body of Knowledge. Gary put me in touch with Greg Geracie, who had completed a useful and popular book on the subject (Take Charge Product Management), and was working with a professional organization on this Body of Knowledge project. Continue reading

Project Managers: Playing Nice With Others

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff, ProjectExperts CEO.
Project managers operate in many different contexts, ranging from operational companies with few projects, to project oriented enterprises. Competent and performing project managers not only respect and serve our context, but also manage to get the context–including the permanent organization, to work for us.

One secret to accomplishing that feat–for the permanent organization to work for us—is to look at our efforts and relationships from Executives’ and Managers’ point of view, instead of just a project view. In this article, we will explore facets of those and other views.

The Executive View
Executives view projects and programs as part of their portfolio. Perhaps just a minor part, in some cases; major in others. And from an Executive viewpoint, there are many different disciplines involved with these initiatives. In addition to the Functional Managers, who own the business area, manage much of the talent, and measure the benefits, there are quite a few other players involved with our initiatives, including… Continue reading