If you could stream domain knowledge into your being (outside of the technical PM domain), for what purpose would you do this?
[A] - Career advancement as a project professional (e.g., from PM to program manager).
[B] - Improved ability to collaborate and communicate across the project team.
[C] - A path to move from one domain to another as a PM.
[D] - Enhanced capability to lead through influence.
[E] - Increased agility when responding to change.
[F] - Higher quality outputs and outcomes.
[G] - Advancing our profession.
[O] - Other
[N/A] - I would NOT do this, as extended domain knowledge is not relevant to our field.
Domain knowledge (outside the technical PM domain) is a subject that comes up periodically on PMC. I structured the question this way, as I thought it would be interesting to understand the “mindset” behind the desire to obtain “extended domain knowledge.” Saving Changes...
As an instructor, it would be primarily B & F for myself, but I can see at different times in my career when I've done it for many of the other reasons except for G. Great question, George! Saving Changes...
I’m doing some research on this subject for future content (type to be determined). What are some additional purposes besides the ones I listed – any thoughts?
Sure - the original reason why folks went to institutions of higher learning - an interest in broadening their horizons without expectation that this would translate into career advancement! Saving Changes...
As someone who loves solving puzzles, I have found that the most enjoyment in my job comes from the B) collaboration that enables E) agility. For me personally, solving different kinds of difficult problems is incredibly fun. There is a personal satisfaction that comes with it, just like exceeding your personal best in sports. As the PM it is a team effort and you are the team captain.
As an engineering PM, often I am assigned to 1) Figure out what the unknown problem actually is, and 2) Present a plan to fix it. Many times I found the problem involved something very important that I knew nothing about at the outset but I already needed a plan yesterday.
Having more tools in your problem solving toolbox is always helpful when you are facing unknown detail level problems. On occasion, you might actually know an elegant way to approach the technical part. Vertical integration knowledge may be very important when dealing with the many issues that span the whole value chain.
Unless you are already an expert in the TBD subject when the issues emerge however, you need to quickly identify which smart people have to be assembled to develop a plan, and what a smart plan would look like for this type of problem. The better you can learn to speak the languages of the smart people, the better your ability to get enough consensus on an executable solution.
Another thing is that when you learn new domains, you often find there is significant crossover with things you know already and uniquely important aspects. Sometimes learning something from the unique perspective of a different domain can change your thoughts on domains that you are already familiar with. Saving Changes...