We are in the midst of conducting our 2014 survey of Product Team Performance. This is an annual study we conduct to examine the factors that drive high performance product teams. One of the questions we asked this year relates to how central the role of a project manager is to efficient product teams.
Speaking for the team, we greatly value the contributions of strong project managers particularly in large and complex projects. We find that their ability to manage projects effectively frees up the product manager to focus on where the market is headed, the customer, and the key components that make for a robust product.
With the rise of iterative incremental processes (E.g. Scrum, Agile, etc.) we wanted to better understand how these methodology adoption changes have impacted the perceptions of product team members regarding the role of a project manager.
While the study is still on-going it appears that only 40% of product teams indicate that a project manager is essential to the success of the effort. This is a bit startling.
What is your perspective? Do project managers still have a place at the product development table?
Note: Feel free to voice your opinion in our survey as well. Click here to tell us what you think.
Greg Geracie is a recognized thought leader in the field of product management and the President of Actuation Consulting, a global provider of product management consulting, training, and advisory services to some of the world’s most well-known organizations. Greg is also the author of the global best seller Take Charge Product Management. He is also an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on high-tech and digital product management.