The Combination of Product Manager and Project Management

2022-12-28 12:00:00
ZenTao ALM
Translated 151
Summary : The product manager is often in charge of the whole project, almost as the project manager in daily work, to promote the project's development and achieve a successful project. In this article, we will discuss how to manage a project completely and the general thinking in the process, combined with the relevant theoretical knowledge of PMP and the project I participated in.

The following is a mind map for this article:

I. Project Initiation

Before starting a project, it is necessary to recommend a viable business solution. When the leader determines the alternative solution, the whole project has just begun, which is only the start of the project. There is no successful project without details throughout the process.

1. Management of Stakeholders and Access Permission of Project

Next, it is necessary to accurately identify all the stakeholders at the beginning of the project, which is important. During project initiation, high-power stakeholders must provide resources and powers to facilitate subsequent projects. (For the management of stakeholders, please refer to the power/ interest matrix.)

Then, the project launch meeting will be held to explain the background and purpose of the project so that participants can have an overview of the project. Stakeholders can provide appropriate resources from their resources pool for the project according to different situations, formulate the project charter, standardize the output and its quality, and determine the communication form of stakeholders.

For example, the company's leaders must complete the project's approval during project initiation. Then we can organize the leaders of relevant departments involved in the project to hold a project launch meeting, request resources, and jointly formulate a project charter to regulate the behaviors of project participants.

2. Project Planning

As a product manager, designing requirements is also important in the project process. To reduce the changes in the execution of the project, the product manager needs to consider how to create more perfect scenarios, reconfirm the requirements with customers during the demand survey and design, at the same time, clarify the requirements with the corresponding developers and testers during the requirements review, and try to confirm and solve all uncertainties and risks in the early stage.

The overall plan of the project depends on the strategic plan of the company or the plan of customers, while the specific details and schedule time needs to be formulated and subdivided by developers and testers according to the assessment of requirements, which is easier for them to estimate accurate working hours and create WBS documents.

At the same time, the product manager needs to judge whether the iteration is needed for practical reasons and, if so, how to prioritize the requirements of related versions. The product manager needs to make a comprehensive judgment and set project milestones after completing all of the above evaluations, which symbolizes that the project's initiation ends.

Ⅱ. Project Execution

The execution is the core of a project, which determines the final result.

1. Follow-up Projects

In the process of execution, the preliminary plan to control the project schedule is to follow up on the Project regularly. When the Project comes to a crucial stage, the Daily Scrum Meeting can be used to know the progress at all times.

It can help the project manager predict whether the project can be delivered on time. At the same time, the progress should be synchronized with the stakeholders in time. The management of stakeholders is as follows. Different management methods are adopted according to the quadrants of stakeholders. The corresponding stakeholders are informed of the project's progress according to the communication form stipulated in the project charter.

2. Record Changes to Minimize Scope Creep

Change is inevitable in the process of the project. When there are some changes, it is necessary to have detailed change records, predict whether the changes will affect the project schedule, such as the reach of changing requirements and the workload of the developer and tester, evaluate the possible risks and remedial measures to the project, and try to avoid project scope creep.

The product manager needs to serve as the bridge for communications in the team and coordinate related personnel to communicate with each other when encountering problems to improve the team's enthusiasm and efficiency and apply some incentive policies appropriately to enhance team members' enthusiasm.

3. Solve Temporary Problems Actively

There are always some problems in the process of the project:

1) Temporary Increase in Customer Requirements

Clarify why the customer wants to add the requirement, analyze whether the requirement affects the current business process, and assess the workload for the developer and tester.

Please communicate with the customer to provide a better solution and put it to the next iteration. If the customer insists on changing, clarify the possible risks and problems and ask for a project delay or remove part of the current requirements to put it in the next iteration.

Cover as many scenarios as possible, and confirm requirements with customers to reduce changes in the following requirements design.

2) The Risks of Project Delay

Analyze the reasons for the delay, such as requirements change, unreasonable workload distribution, unexpected problems, and low work efficiency, and solve them accordingly.

This risk can be taken into account in the project schedule, some time can be set aside, and some low-priority functions can be removed when necessary.

3) External Reasons for the Project

When the project involves interfacing with the external, the risk of it is high. The external uncertainties and changes require the project manager to follow up and urge the feedback of the other side continuously. If necessary, the project manager can give feedback to the leader for help.

Ⅲ. Project Closure

Project closure is the last stage of project management and an important part of the project. It is mainly to assess and accept each part of the project, review it, and summarize the lessons. The project will fall short if there is a leak in the acceptance.

The successful acceptance and launch mark the completion of the project for the customer, but it is not enough for the project manager, who needs to review and summarize the whole project.

The evaluation and summary mainly include the following:

  • A. Comparison of the scheduled time and actual time to determine the reasons for the delay or being ahead of schedule.
  • B. The actual cost of the project. Find out the expenditure of the project.
  • C. Problems and solutions in project. Risks and responses in project.
  • D. Unsettled issues, requirements, and subsequent plan.
  • E. Summarize the lessons of the project.
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