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  • Ed. 006 How Change Management Ensures Successful Projects and Programs

Ed. 006 How Change Management Ensures Successful Projects and Programs

Program Managers don't always have the luxury of authority. You'll have to use influence instead.

And we’re back. Hope y’all had a great week.

Ever try to convince a person or team of a new tool or process only to observe a not-so-great adoption? It’s cool I’ve had that happen plenty of times. The process or project wasn’t taken seriously at all and quickly forgotten. It turns out, I didn’t make it “hurt“ enough, and latching an emotional response to the change is the key to getting the change adopted and maintained. One of the most effective ways of doing that is through change management. Chip and Dan Heath’s book, Switch outlines a simple framework for changing people’s behavior. Feel like buying the whole book? Get it here (sponsored link).

Why does this matter? Change management is one of the key aspects that can get overlooked as a project or program is executed. You might have a rock-solid project and implementation plan but if the activities involved for people to even adopt and adhere to the behavior are not solidified, implementation and timelines will definitely suffer.

I found an entire war chest of System Design Interview prep. It puts to shame all the other system design resources out there. It helps TPMs out there sharpen your technical chops. Oh, and I mentioned it was free, right?

Why does this matter? If you’re a TPM then you’re regularly engaging in absolutely riveting, RIVETING technical conversations, I tell you! Those engineers on the third floor will tell you timelines and solution architectures galore, and it’ll be up to you to push back or agree and help them drive progress. But how do you plan to do that if you don’t have a cursory or rudimentary understanding of how their tech stack works? You do that by faking it, duh. Well, maybe not fully fake it, but know just enough to be dangerous. Internalizing a bunch of system design architectures helps bridge the knowledge gap quickly.

The folks over at Educative has released a new course for strategic leaders trying to implement AI/ML solutions into their initiatives.

Why does this matter? As orgs and companies become more data-driven and automated you’re likely to encounter new projects, initiatives, or opportunities that could be solved using AI. By ramping up on the technical facets of such solutions and technologies, it positions you to be able to personally lead or advise on the implementation of future projects and investments.

Norman doors are terrible. I know for a fact that you’ve encountered these awful doors and had to double-take when figuring out how to open the accursed thing.

Why does this matter? Because it’s an excellent example of how design can strongly drive behavior and process. It’s an easily understood analogy for describing the poorly designed process that the Ops managers want to keep pushing.

You’ve definitely seen this role crop up. It’s a fairly new role that sprung from the agile needs of the Product org but with the continuous delivery/integration mindset of a developer.

Why does this matter? TPMs that originally worked within the Product org have transitioned to the new Product Operations Manager role. This original general-purpose use of TPMs has now been replaced with a more specialized role focused solely on “building roads“ for Product. What the hell does that mean? That’s still TBD in my opinion, but from what I’ve observed, it’s making sure the Product team delivers and cleaning up after them. Subjectively, I see very little difference between PgMs and Prod Ops folks but there are nuances in the job descriptions. See for yourself in the Job Postings section below.

Looking for a new role? We’ve curated a few PgM, TPM, and Prod Ops roles that may interest you.

We’ve added a few new assets recently. Take a look and feel free to suggest additional resources.

Takeaways

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