What does it take to be an effective Program Manager at Microsoft? I'm responding to some requests for my take on what it takes to be an effective PM. I figured I could use a familiar 7 habits approach to help frame out a start.
To pick a set of habits, I started with a set of reference examples. I used the most effective and ineffective PMs that I've seen over time. I considered their track record, their ability to influence, and their leadership skills. Most importantly I looked at their ability to ship and make the right impact for customers. Next, I looked for the underlying patterns (I'm a principles, practices and patterns guy). I used the ineffective PMs to think of the anti-patterns and the practices of what not to do. This contrast helped me clarify the distinctions between effective and ineffective.
Here's what I found to be the 7 habits of highly effective program managers:
- Habit 1, Frame problems and solutions.
- Habit 2, Sell visions.
- Habit 3, Deliver incremental value.
- Habit 4, Manage communication.
- Habit 5, Connect with customers.
- Habit 6, Execute.
- Habit 7, Leverage the system.
for more, see:
Here's a brief set of success patterns I've shared with a few colleagues. These are the patterns I see that make a difference in getting results.
10 Success Patterns
- Empathic listening.
- Rapport before influence
- Character trumps emotion trumps logic
- Match their style
- Ask WIIFY
- Distinguish between responsibility and authority
- Turn chickens into pigs
- Adapt, adjust, or avoid situations
- Know the system.
- Analyze it over time.
for more, see: