Greg Geracie, Actuation Consulting, Take Charge Product Management, Lee Lambert, Gary Heerkens

Lee Lambert and Gary Heerkens on ProdBOK and Lessons Learned

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This week we continue our discussion with Lee Lambert, CEO of the Lambert Consulting Group and Gary Heerkens, President of the Management Solutions Group. You can read the first part of our discussion by clicking here.

Why did you choose to support the development of the ProdBOK?

(Lee Lambert) After almost 50 years in the project management profession I read the draft version and the “light” went on — brightly. I suddenly realized how important pre-project and post project delivery planning and involvement in the project management lifecycle was.

It was clear that there are two separate job classes: Project Manager and Product Manager. The jobs are different in content, but MUST be tightly interfaced. I remembered many projects that never really reached their potential value add and now I can see clearly why. This document will eventually become a vital addition to every project manager’s library and will sit proudly on the shelf next to the PMBOK.

(Gary Heerkens) At least three reasons cross my mind, actually:

– Like most people, it’s important to me that the things I work on be worthwhile endeavors; in my view, development of a product management body of knowledge —particularly one that seeks to include project management — is a VERY worthwhile endeavor
– I have a soft spot for the field of product development because I spent a considerable amount of my days at Eastman Kodak managing product development-type projects
– I’m at the stage in my career (and life) when I’m seeking to do things to “give back” to the profession

Any lessons learned from your involvement with the ProdBOK project that you would like to share?

(Gary Heerkens) Collaboration is a key component of a high quality effort. There were a few points during my efforts contributing to the ProdBOK where I submitted what I believed was a flawless piece of project management prose. But after a couple of reviewers examined it and offered their comments, it occurred to me that variety in perspective is a wonderful thing indeed!

(Lee Lambert) One: Project Managers must also sometimes think like a Product Manager. They need to understand how important this interface is to the long-term organizational success of their project. Project Managers need to understand you can’t just “throw it over the fence” and run.

Words of wisdom indeed!

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. 

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