Good vs. Bad Project Managers

Good vs. Bad Project Managers, from Ben Horowitz of a16z.

Here we go!

The Good:

Know the market, product, and competition

Responsible for right product/time

Know context going in and executes without excuses

Not part of the product team, they manage the product team

Crisply define and manage the delivery of the “what”, not “how”

Gather information informally

Create FAQs/presentations/white papers

Anticipate product flaws and come up with solutions

Take written positions on issues

Focus the team on revenue and customers

Deliver superior value to the marketplace and achieving market share and revenue goals

Decompose problems

Ask the press questions

Err on the side of clarity vs. explaining the obvious

Define their job and success

Send status reports weekly

The Bad:

Lots of excuses

Complain about spending all day on the phone answering questions

Put fires out all day

Lament that the “powers that be” won’t let it happen

Focus team on competitor features

Define good projects that can’t be executed

Let engineering do whatever they want

Confused about the differences amongst delivering value, matching competitive features, and pricing

Combine all problems into one

Answer every question from the press

Want to be told what to do

Forget to send status reports

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