Wednesday 15 December 2021

Collaboration between product manager and project manager



This problem is bound to encounter, the larger project will appoint another project manager to assist the product manager to ensure that the project can finally go online, this situation is very common in large companies, small companies do not say, otherwise how to call the product manager this. 


After contact with several such projects, feel that this mode of cooperation is difficult to reach a very harmonious point, the project manager from the project project start to follow up, to the project on-line, it is to ensure that the project is not delay; , all need to be involved, in the middle if not agile development, there is no strict iterative control, then the requirements change is inevitable, will naturally affect the progress of the project, here is not agile development as an example, take the common waterfall as an example.

Previously wrote an article "how to distinguish product management and project management", which probably talked about the product manager and project manager division of labor and collaboration, really to be strictly distinguished is more difficult, in the work process are more closely integrated, take the actual example of personal experience, a project before the project, there is no project manager, the process is all by the product manager responsible, mainly to complete the needs confirmation process, until after the project project, the general project manager is the development leader or test leader, and then the problem comes.

An assessment of the workload

The product managers generally on the line of a project is to back KPI indicators, in how long on-line, so if the pre-demand research time is long, the later will be very tight, will want to develop and test speed up, difficult to hear is overtime; this time in order to ensure that the project on time, is to negotiate. 


I personally feel that there is a consensus here, that is, the early stage did not let developers participate in the discussion of requirements, or product managers did not realize the value of requirements, meaning and project manager to make clear, so there will be cognitive bias, when doing tasks in order to do tasks, it is conceivable that there is no sense of urgency, but from the product point of view, it will be two different things. 


Because the individual suggested in the demand explanation, do not just talk about functional points and implementation logic, we must say to achieve product value, give everyone a consensus of ownership, so that in the coordination of workload issues will be much better, and the follow-up process will be much smoother.

Perspective on the understanding of requirements

The product managers are more from the business point of view to understand to design, and project managers are mostly from the perspective of technical implementation to consider, look at the problem from different perspectives, decided that there will be a lot of conflict. for example, the product manager in the design of a demand function, think that this function is a necessary function, and is to meet business requirements. 


The project manager after reading the implementation of the code is huge, want to block this function point, do only part of it, or even recommend not to do, or will affect performance but can not give a better solution when the proposal can not do this function for the time being. in this case there will be a great contradiction, this time needs to establish a system of responsibility, when the differences in the end listen to who, is the product manager to decide or the project manager to decide. 


In theory, no function is technically impossible to achieve, should be assessed by the product manager to decide whether to do this function.

Tolerance of changes in demand

For product personnel, demand change is commonplace, which product in the process of doing not have a demand change, the product's non-reliable index estimate will be very high, so for product managers, demand change is normal, although also to control the frequency of changes, too frequent changes to prove that the product framework structure is problematic, or has deviated from the original main direction. 


But developers do not think so, when a function painstakingly developed out, immediately received notice that this function is not, to change to another, this situation occurred more times, replaced by any one person will feel that is played, after all, are their own results, say don't, say change has to change, and change more times will affect the project progress, if the development leader is the project manager, the problem will come. the first is to let the project manager understand the purpose of the change of requirements and its value, to communicate well, to ensure that each change is acceptable to all parties, and the other is to strictly control the version, reduce the number of changes and reduce the frequency of changes, do a good job of iterative cycle planning.

There is now a new way to solve the problem of collaboration, that is, the introduction of PMO as project manager, neither product manager nor developer, tester, in short, not in the product team, just come to manage the project. 


This has the advantage of avoiding the constraints of project management, the entire product team can be assured to do products, but the problem is also clear, the first is that the PMO is only to manage the project, must be the project progress as a priority; Individuals are not recommended to pinch a project cycle is very dead, to control the list can be appropriately adjusted according to the actual situation, whether the project delay as a KPI, will compare cups. Agile development is a little better, with only one big cycle, and all the people are in it.


In fact, in most cases a project is only product manager, personally feel that this is better, although it is more difficult, but there is no long-term leadership, so many led, we all faint not to say, but also prone to contradictions. 


American has a characteristic, no official light, a bit of official will put on the official shelf, the internet industry is a little better, but large companies are still easy to breed bureaucracy, so small companies are suitable for starting a business suitable for products, because there are not so many process constraints.

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