Technical Project Manager — Wearing many hats

Technical Project Managers ( TPM ) are resources who combine the usually conflicting roles of technical manager, communicator, and cross functional project manager. TPM’s are meant to look at every detail of the project and develop, execute and close projects that are aligned with the organisations strategic goals and vision.

  • What does TPM’s do ?
  1. Evaluate the project schedule, resources, and control from a more technical perspective. The project management scope includes new product introduction, current product maintenance, business opportunities, platform module development and technology research.
  2. Analyse economics of project plans and provide actionable feedback relating to cost benefit and return-on-investment.
  3. Promote the company strategy and act as leaders in driving change with strong skills to build strong third party relationship and management.
  4. Accountable for the cross-functional project activities from technical feasibility to production ready qualified prototype.
  5. Develop and validate project plan for approvals from stakeholders.
  6. Monitor project progress continuously and make detailed reports of cost, milestones and deliverables.
  7. Communicate proactively with all involved personnel to provide encouragement, identify problems, create solutions, and implement efficiency improvements.
  8. Oversee acquisition of resources and materials as needed before and during projects by talking with customers, team members, managers, and in-house accountants, negotiating price and payment agreements with vendors.
  9. Anticipate details of future projects by communicating directly with customers and staying informed of relevant market trends, technology and industry news.
  • What skills are required for TPM’s ?
  1. Deliver successful business outcomes by fostering collaboration, managing dependencies with shared accountability and effectively navigate the cultural idiosyncrasies.
  2. Able to accurately assess the progress of the project through visibility into the deeper technical layers and to control technical-scope issues that arise.
  3. Leadership to resolve project related issues with proper prioritization, communications, escalations and follow-ups.
  4. Cross-functional leadership and management of external partners.
  5. Execution of the necessary partnership and supplier agreements, including governance agreements and subsequent performance management.
  6. Constantly monitor, manage and mitigate project risks through trade-off analysis, counter measures, and contingency planning.
  7. Balance the needs of all stakeholders.
  8. Excellent communicator able to adapt communication style based on the audience.
  9. Business acumen and knowledge in general management.
  10. Contribute to the creation of technical concepts that include reuse strategy, platform adoption, and technology maturity assessments.
  11. Motivate the team to meet deliverables at the expected quality and schedule.
I am a Senior Engineering Manager with the Advanced Technology Group in EFI India Pvt Ltd. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email — shine.vijayan@efi.com.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly my own.
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