Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wondering about Project Managers

I had a couple of issues lately with a PM (Project Manager) at work which made me ask myself a couple of questions & wonder what others might be thinking of it.. I'll give my humble opinion here to start a conversation, coz I badly wanna here how others would answer them.
  • Should PMs know/ask much about technical decisions?
    • IMHO, I thing the answer is NO!! PMs should be asking for less fine details like what's the estimations for doing that option or so.. But they shouldn't be asking why we are using X, or Y technology/approach to tackle a problem.

  • In an agile process, where should PMs stand? What exactly is their Role? Should there be PMs in agile in the first place? Or Should they be replaced by a PO (Product Owner), or -may be- a Scrum Master?
    • That's a question that really confuses me a lot.. I can't give a definite answer.. Should they replace POs.. Hmm. I guess not.. On one hand, a PO should be the one directing the project, knowing what the customer want.. But still, a PO -probably- should have some technical background.. So according to my answer to the previous question, PMs can't replace POs..
    • On the other hand, Replacing a Scrum Master, is a bit too far for PMs, Scrum Master are supposed to be in favor of the development team, ie a facilitator & protector for the dev team; & PMs are notorious of failing to do so.. :D
    • Another option -that just came to me right now- is PMs replacing customer in environments where it's difficult to involve the customer.

I'm desperately waiting for your answers to either of the above questions.. I'm really confused & don't have enough knowledge actually to answer them.
I might be adding other questions but for now that's what is on my mind..
Cross posted on FCIH blog


mouneer said...

Hello Shady,
Here's my attempt to answer the questions: http://agileonsoftware.blogspot.com/2009/10/attempt-to-answer-wondering-about.html

Mohammed Hewedy said...

for #1, I think he shouldn't interpret in the technical issues, but you upper management - I think - should.

The PM, is a Process manager, not person manager, he should manage the process, if their any blocks and facilitate it. He is to monitor the process itself.

Shady M. Najib said...

Thanks Mouneer for you reply, it really helped.. Actually I was about to update the post to add another question, something like: How should a PM interact with the team? & whether it should be only through a Technical Lead.. But you implicitly replied..

Thanks Hewedy for your reply..

I need to add a couple of replies I had through twitter (from Meligy) here to refere to them later:



There's also a reply from Hossam Kamel on the cross-post of FCIH blog..


All the opinions expressed on this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.