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As project managers, it’s easy to fall in love with one tool and let it define the way we manage projects. Perhaps in the rush to support a big project, we pushed the tool we were using to its limits, using advanced features and becoming a power-user in the process. We inserted structure and process into the tool and made it work for us.

However, despite expertise with our project management tool of choice, our team isn’t experts with our tool, nor should they be.

The agile manifesto states, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” It’s easy to fall into the trap that processes and tools guide individuals and interactions; however, we know that’s not the way things work out. …

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This article is part 1 of our written series “Building Trust in Product Teams,” where we examine what is required for cultivating a positive, results-producing environment for your team. Based on over a decade of experience in partnering with startups, enterprises, and Fortune 500 companies to build digital products, these are the repeatable tactics we’ve vetted out that drive successful product teams. If you’d like guidance in implementing these in your organization, check out our Agile Coaching services.

Trust is crucial, yet often absent

Trust is the foundation of any successful product team. Trust is what all good intentions and results are built upon. Yet, in a recent online survey conducted by product leaders at Crema, we found a lack of trust is surprisingly common across many organizations. Even for many of the organizations that do have it, there’s a heavy weight present with that trust: it has to be earned, and what can be earned can be taken away. …

Graphics of Agency Tested A Developer-Led Client Collaboration
Graphics of Agency Tested A Developer-Led Client Collaboration

Managing any large project is complex, full of risks — and faced with a natural reluctance toward team-client collaboration. As a project manager, you cannot mitigate everything: you need to put the expertise of your team front-and-center to navigate each challenge.

This requires a team-focused and agile mindset where you place your focus on impromptu coaching and relationship building between your team and client. If orchestrated well, your client relationship will be rewarding, your team will be celebrated and your project will enjoy the best outcomes.

But, as a PM, how do you pull off a client-facing development team?

I’ll show you how we did it, and why. …


Michael Luchen

People-focused product person with experience helping teams build digital products for enterprises, small businesses, and startups. Coach @Cremalab.

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