Tuesday 7 December 2021

Is project management a chore for product managers?

Is project management a chore for product managers? of course not, there is to do "hybrid" experience, mostly did not find the right way, the efficiency is not high enough. not only is it not a chore, but it also brings a lot of incidental value to the work and to itself.

this raises the question: is project management a chore for product managers?

conclusion of course not, there is to do "chores" experience, mostly did not find the right way, the efficiency is not high enough. not only is it not a chore, but it also brings a lot of incidental value to the work and to itself.

a brief description of project management

Before today's discussion, the author first makes a brief explanation and definition of the project management work.

What is the difference between product management and project management?


To think about project management from the product manager's point of view, we must first distinguish between product management and the definition of project management:

is project management a chore for product managers?

from the above information:

product management focuses on "results": product management is responsible for the end result, more concerned with what solutions can be used to achieve the result, and ask: how the project stakeholders work with the project, what work, when to deliver to achieve the result.

project management is concerned with the "process": project management is responsible for the scope of the project when the project is established, but also concerned with how to promote and organize the work of the various stakeholders in the required time frame to achieve quality and quantity.

to sum up, product management is heavy "results", work keywords "solved", project management is heavy "process" and work keywords are "coordinated".

2. overview of the content of project management
a project from 0-1 project management process is divided into four main stages: project start-up, project planning, implementation monitoring, and closing the recovery.

1) project start-up phase - what to do

the project start-up phase is primarily about translating business objectives into specific project objectives. the first thing that needs to be figured out at this stage is "what to do". to find out the beginning and end of the project, we can cure the disease and allocate the relevant manpower and resources.

2) project planning phase - how to do it

the project planning phase is primarily about planning how to accomplish project tasks of high quality within a given time frame, i.e. "how to do it".

it is divided into three parts: project rule making, demand priority combing, scheduling, risk assessment.

3) perform the monitoring phase - how well you are doing

most project management articles divide execution and monitoring into two steps, but in practice, the two are parallel.

execution: according to the project schedule, the specified work is completed within the specified time.

monitoring: monitor whether the project is scheduled and whether the execution is accurate. resolve any issues that arise at the job at any time, including personnel, implementation content deviations, changes in requirements, etc.

4) close the recovery phase - how to do better

the closing is the final stage of the project life cycle. however, in addition to contractual projects, there is no particularly clear project end demarcation line, mostly the end of a phase, the next stage has a new functional iteration.

how to avoid doing "chores"
project management process has to do "chores" feeling, indicating that the project management efficiency is not high. how to improve efficiency without doing chores?

the author has the following suggestions:

Make the rules in advance

before the project can begin to execute, project rules need to be developed as a benchmark for follow-up and change. projects without rules tend to lead to out-of-control management, adding a lot of unnecessary work.

there are two main types of rules: confirm the overall project tone, and the requirements change rules

overall project tone: the tone of work for the whole project in progress of all the benchmarks of judgment, with the tone, will not be led by the nose.

the main categories are:

  • Project nature: custom? standard? are there charges for new demand (people? when you're human?
  • Business relations: pure a-b relations? partnership?
  • Prescribe the process: all requirements must go through the product manager, and the technology has the right to reject the requirements provided by the non-product manager.

4) requirements change process: there are almost no changes to the project, so do not reject the change, but be sure to develop a complete set of requirements change process, "can be changed, but not easily changed." a well-developed requirements change process allows sponsors to think carefully about whether the change is necessary and its priority, so that all project stakeholders are aware of the change.

Learn to promote


When communicating across departments, there is often an awkward situation of "pushing and not moving", resulting in no improvement in efficiency. you can solve it by means of consistent value and finding leadership.

(1) the value is the same

everyone does the same project for the same purpose. so for the whole team to be valued consistently, members can be self-reliant to get the job done.

there are several ways to be consistent in value:

1) pre-project: let all members understand the purpose of the project;

2) project implementation phase: the business leader to take the lead in the establishment of reward and punishment mechanism;

3) project run phase: synchronize externally available operational data weekly/month to all project members to build team identity and pride.

Find a leader to borrow

really can not push the situation, to learn to borrow power, let your leader communicate with the other leader, from top to bottom to promote.

the value of project management to product managers

since project management is not a chore for product managers, it will certainly have its value, this article will be from two aspects of its value, namely: in private interview bonus points, in the public project control.

Bonus points for private interviews

(1) project management is a necessary skill for product managers

the recruitment conditions put forward the corresponding requirements for project management ability.

what businesses need is not only an "executor", but also an "organizer";


Simple demand analysis, functional implementation work will limit your vision to the "point", ability is difficult to achieve improvement, participate in project management, from the "face" point of view to pay attention to the entire product, quickly improve the organization, communication, coordination and other capabilities.

Familiar with the business

with the growth of working years, enterprises prefer to recruiters to recruit ready-to-use "familiar", so in more than 3 years of product manager recruitment requirements, will mention "familiar with a business" functional requirements.

project management involves an entire line of business, helping product managers quickly become familiar with the business and processes.

Cross-functional communication helps you understand the logic of the relevant line of business. for example, to do stock expert trading products, through cross-departmental communication will help understand the trading system, wind control system, brokerage counters, brokerage compliance, push systems and other business and operating mechanisms.

The requirements of recruitment conditions for business competence

Project control

project management process, will be exposed to the progress of the entire project, changes, will also come into contact with external customers, partners, handled properly, product managers can control the progress of the entire project, quality, to ensure that within the specified time quality and quantity of delivery projects, to ensure the smooth development of follow-up business, there will be no unexpected problems hindering business development.

Control the progress of the project

Reasonable planning can improve efficiency and avoid risks

of the four stages of project management, the most important is the "planning" stage, which can improve efficiency and avoid risks.

the planning phase is the preparation before implementation begins, including project rule-making, requirements prioritization, scheduling, and risk assessment.

Product managers are the most business-savvy, need-understanding people, combined with the understanding of the business to sort out priorities, organizational scheduling, can make full use of limited resources to improve efficiency.


During the operation of the project, sudden risks can cause the project to be delayed, or even overturned. the product manager's understanding of product architecture and data flow helps to sort out possible risks in advance in the planning process, effectively avoid risks, and formulate appropriate contingency plans.


Understanding the business of the relevant departments can help improve communication efficiency

in the project management process, there is always no need for cross-departmental communication. in the course of communication, you can understand the relevant departments responsible for the scope of business, responsible person, executive.


With this information in place, you can quickly locate which modules are involved in this problem/function when problems/implementation functions arise, who should be responsible for each module, reduce the time of inquiry, improve the efficiency of resolution, and efficient organizational execution will make you recognized by the partner department to carry out follow-up work more smoothly.

Contact with the outside world is conducive to business development

In the project management process, not only to contact internal staff, but also to contact external customers, partners.

Close contact with customers and partners can analyze their preferences, risk tolerance, work rigor. in the course of cooperation, the drug is used to help the smooth development of the business.

Closer relationship with customers will play a positive role in promoting the progress of later cooperation projects. for example, there is a need to rely on external data, external improvements to the system, external help to troubleshoot problems, external tolerance after an accident, etc. will be affected by customer partnerships.

The promotion of customer relationship not only needs to rely on the per-business to lay a good foundation, in the process of product manager docking also needs to carry out relationship management.


Control the quality of the project


After the project is planned, if the product manager waits for the output result, the final output may be out of control or not completed on schedule. therefore, monitoring in project execution also requires the involvement of product managers.


The quality check of the project is most important because the product manager can only check from a business perspective whether the required functionality has been achieved. however, the quality of the code cannot be checked, and there may be some unknown risks hidden. so the code quality check needs to be carried out with the help of external forces:

  • Testers feel the most direct about the quality of the code, the number of bugs can represent the quality of the code;
  • Organized by the technical leader, regular code review meetings.

The above method combined with a certain reward and punishment system, can improve the delivery quality of the whole project.

To sum up, project management is not a chore for product managers, there is a "chore" experience, mostly did not find the right way. by setting rules in advance, learning to be consistent in value, finding leadership and other ways to promote, can effectively improve work efficiency.

Product manager to do a good job in project management:

The company, with the help of product understanding of the business, in the early stage and in the process of work to skip the possible pits, effectively avoid the late unpredictable risks and bugs, on time quality and quantity of delivery of products;

For the product manager himself, can improve professionalism, a comprehensive understanding of the rules and processes of the line of business, for future interviews plus points.

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