Project Management Central

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Topics: Agile, Benefits Realization, Career Development
Product Management
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Hi everyone!
I'm Rosana, PM originally from Brazil but now living in Israel.
Am I wrong, or we are facing changes in the World regarding Project Management?
I recently moved to Israel and based on my feelings to relocate myself in the Israeli job Market, actually working as a Project Manager in a startup, I could see a big change concerning reduced opportunities for Project Managers and a higher quantity of Product Management positions.
Is this happening due to a higher "Agile" influence? Should we start learning Product Management to add value in my Carreer?

Thanks!
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In my view, a project manager always has to do with 'make it happen' and yes, it includes the output of the project (product) and how to get there (work). With people/team management, it is mainly about work, and for product management, it may be about business analysis and architecture.
Anyhow, you need to have technical and industry skills on board, but not as part of project management.

As a startup, you might be primarily concentrating on customers and product, once you scale, efficiency and work management becomes more important.

So, for me you need both views as a project manager, its a yin-yang.
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Hi Rosana,

You are right, product manager is a new phenomenon amongst the new age start ups. Its same here in India too.

In my opinion, start ups have limited cash and they cant burn it on having a full scaled PM along side product manager. They have necessity of a product manager to create something that sells so depending upon the methodology they also hire a project coordinator or a scrum master.

If you have strong domain knowledge in which you practice and its current market , you can pursue career as product manager right now else it may take time in learning but slowly you would get there. All the best!
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1 reply by Rosana Iavelberg
Sep 01, 2019 6:07 AM
Rosana Iavelberg
...
Thanks Vijay. They contracted me as a Project Manager for EU because I speak English and Portuguese/Spanish, but they don't work with their activities in a "projectized way" - it seems they not even like or know about it. This is annoying to me, because I have experience in big companies and sometimes I feel lost. They dont know how to organize the work in Projects and Product Management dominates everything. It has been a new and strange experience for me
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Thanks a lot Thomas..it seems we have to learn about all the subjects when working for a startup...also in Israel it seems the Project Management is important but not so much like in the Americas.
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1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Sep 01, 2019 6:20 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Rosana,
as you are from Brazil, I looked up Hofstede's cultural comparison and found that Israel and Brazil differ most on 'power distance'. Think this might be one reason why you perceive them as being more interested in results than processes, informal and hands-on, which is not what a project manager might prefer.

Hofstede says: "With an egalitarian mindset the Israelis believe in independency, equal rights, accessible superiors and that management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Respect among the Israelis is something, which you earn by proving your hands-on expertise. Workplaces have an informal atmosphere with direct and involving communication and on a first name basis. Employees expect to be consulted. "
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Sep 01, 2019 6:03 AM
Replying to Vijay Kumar
...
Hi Rosana,

You are right, product manager is a new phenomenon amongst the new age start ups. Its same here in India too.

In my opinion, start ups have limited cash and they cant burn it on having a full scaled PM along side product manager. They have necessity of a product manager to create something that sells so depending upon the methodology they also hire a project coordinator or a scrum master.

If you have strong domain knowledge in which you practice and its current market , you can pursue career as product manager right now else it may take time in learning but slowly you would get there. All the best!
Thanks Vijay. They contracted me as a Project Manager for EU because I speak English and Portuguese/Spanish, but they don't work with their activities in a "projectized way" - it seems they not even like or know about it. This is annoying to me, because I have experience in big companies and sometimes I feel lost. They dont know how to organize the work in Projects and Product Management dominates everything. It has been a new and strange experience for me
Network:2526



Sep 01, 2019 6:04 AM
Replying to Rosana Iavelberg
...
Thanks a lot Thomas..it seems we have to learn about all the subjects when working for a startup...also in Israel it seems the Project Management is important but not so much like in the Americas.
Rosana,
as you are from Brazil, I looked up Hofstede's cultural comparison and found that Israel and Brazil differ most on 'power distance'. Think this might be one reason why you perceive them as being more interested in results than processes, informal and hands-on, which is not what a project manager might prefer.

Hofstede says: "With an egalitarian mindset the Israelis believe in independency, equal rights, accessible superiors and that management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Respect among the Israelis is something, which you earn by proving your hands-on expertise. Workplaces have an informal atmosphere with direct and involving communication and on a first name basis. Employees expect to be consulted. "
...
1 reply by Priya Patra
Sep 02, 2019 11:44 PM
Priya Patra
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Cool Thomas. The culture aspect definitely helps.
Rosanna, I work for a service organization, every project that I execute contributes to a product. I feel they may not be naming it as project management, but underlying principles remain the same. Even in startups where Agile is the way ahead, we still have project managers.
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Wow Thomas! Thanks for adding this comment. This is the real thing here in Israel. I came from a more Process and Project Management environment so for me it has been hard to adapt...and I keep asking myself what to study next, since they seem to not need a real PM...
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Each market has its own dynamic. What you live in Brazil (I am living in Argentina but I worked in Brazil (Sao Paolo and Rio)) is totally different. In same places of the world all related to PMI is not known or not valuated, other things go first. For example PRINCE2. On the other side product manager is an "ancient" role that has been taken for an Agile based framework callend Scrum but in the original role you can find that product manager play both roles: business analyst and project manager.
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Here in Israel they mainly use Project Managers in big companies and most part of them should be very technical people (code experience for example). By the other hand, Product Management is really busy but I dont see them using Project management practices such as scheduling, reporting the way we do in Brazil or Canada, US for example.
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1 reply by Dora Mejia
Sep 01, 2019 12:48 PM
Dora Mejia
...
sure. if you are seeing the Project management as a time, cost and scope it is not the view that now companies in agile world are moving on
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I long time ago, I worked for a small company as a Product Development Manager. I introduced a complete new line of products for the company. We did not apply any formal project management principles, but the underlying approach was similar. Probably Agile best described the company both from a project perspective and business perspective. It was s cradle to grave sort of approach. We decided on the business need, designed, tested, built. Marketed, sold, delivered. This was usually done within a one year period.We filled niche markets the big players felt wasn't worth their while, and all the while getting bigger and bigger. Years after I had left, one of the Vice Presidents asked me if they should introduce formal PM practices. I really cautioned him against it, but I didn't follow-up to see what they had done. In the end the company grew 30 times in size, and had actually purchased one of the divisions of a major competitor. I attribute much of the success to the leadership (owner) where he fostered a hyper-collaborative environment, a management approach of vision over profit (much of the profit was invested back into the business), and where he left us to the work (no micro-management). He subsequently sold the company, and now owns several other companies and is worth several hundreds of millions. When I started we were 35 persons and CAN$5M in sales! Good luck!
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Other thing is important (at least for me) to comment is: forget about to use project management with some type of level of formality inside a startup. Some people forget that process to use must be aligened to the phase of the business life cycle the organization is placed today. If you are inside an startup the phase is "growth" and the objective is getting money to growth. Then, nobody will take care about a formal process. You can argue that is not good or that the process will help growing. And I can agree with you. But people that are trying to make mony will have their head in other place than forllow a formal process. So, indeed they have schedule in their minds (opportunities has a time framework), they have risks in their mind, and other things. But they will not put it formally in a piece of paper. If you performed project management in the past then you are able to add a lot of value to this situation because you can detect their "pains" and you can help them to visualize them and help them to find a way to solve it.
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