Three Years in San Francisco
Mike Davidson

Great write up, really enjoyed the deep dive on the people management side of the PM equation. I’ve often found that the hardest part of the role is to maintain all the different business relationships, and depending on the size of the organisation, you can even end up where one person ends up being a stakeholder on two competing projects — its tough when you have to tell them that one project is green lit, and one isn’t.

I will offer an opposing view to your comments about not being a mini-CEO though. As a PM, I’ve often used this term to describe the view that PMs need to maintain over the business.
As a software engineer, designer, sales or support person, an employee is fairly isolated to their team or the direct teams that interact with them; this is a fairly siloed approach and works well for keeping a team focused on their goals or projects.

A PM on the other hand inevitably touches all parts of the business, often at the same time. They serve as the links between senior management and the front line staff, they champion the customer, and uphold the product. A PM should have a finger in every single pie in the organisation in one manner or another, and ultimately their view of the business should be quite similar to the CEO’s view.

Sure they may have no authority to hire or fire, they don’t set the top line strategy, and there is no board to control, but the view of the business that a PM has should be very close to that of the CEO.

Chances are that most staff won’t have face time with the CEO to ask questions about all these things, but the PMs are a great delegate between the two layers.

Just my perspective. I don’t see myself as the CEO, but I sure do appreciate the view of the business that I have.

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