John Murch

Project Mangers are Useless

15 Feb 2011
Project Mangers are Useless

Let me explain why.

Project managers do the When and How
Product managers do the What and Where

And…Developers are the ones who actually build it!

In many cases developers know more and have a better understanding of a business than anyone because they are coding it line by line.

Product Managers are creative thinkers, they see no limit and ask for the impossible to be possible. The project manager is there to limit and focus on scope, but much of that is done by the developer. So why not cut the middleman out? Exactly!

Now to be fair, the project managers are great at documentation, Gantt Charts, and all those useless powerpoints with a LOT of animation. I would imagine that those schedules and all those paper pushing documents that high VPs like to see are actually slowing the project’s progress. The bottom line is either revenue or features, either way they need to produce results. Project managers are just focused on making as many hoops to jump through as possible. UGH!

I have worked various … jobs?…including being a project manager… at various places that have had two extremely different expectations e.g. like “is it done yet” or “we have to develop a process to find the best approach on building this… let’s form a committee!”

Okay, back to business. If you are a startup, you should focus on features, revenue and scale. Look at Facebook, they basically are putting flickr in a corner because you can upload high res for free and easily share your entire photo album, plus it’s linked to your social graph and they make money (CPM) if you are clicking through your friends photos.

The goal of any business should be to pump out as many features (stable, as in functional) and then scale it to fit. Google created it’s Labs and had Gmail with a freaking beta label on it for WAY WAY too long. People except things to break online, which is CRAZY, but they do. Build it fast, scalable and just stable enough that people can use it.

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