Project Management

This is an amazing article on how to be a program manager.

It breaks into three chunks of knowledge:

  • Program managers should

    1. Represent the customer's point of view.
    2. Design the UI, in a working click-through prototype, based on what the customer needs.
    3. Write functional specs to fill in the cracks where something happens between pages in the prototype.
    4. Coordinate teams to work on different parts of the application.
    5. Wear great khakis.

  • The program manager should be a peer of the developers, not their manager. The two sides get to argue the software back and forth, and instead of the program manager ruling by decree, they need to gain power by being damn good at their jobs. If there's no argument, it's like letting one of the lawyers in a court trial also be the judge; their side will always win, and that's not the best way to make great software.
  • Writing specs is Agile development, as long as the specs are properly minimal. It's much easier to fix problems before you write code than fixing them once half - or all - of the code has been written.

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