RE: Project Management Office

Subject: RE: Project Management Office
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Toni Williams" <tonicw -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 10:31:28 -0800

You don't say what the structure was before, so I can't readily agree
that it's an attempt to eliminate middle management. Did they eliminate
a manager of documentation?

This is a more formal variation of a very common structure in product
companies. As a technical writer, you report to a manager of
documentation or (in my case) to an engineering manager. You also have a
responsibility or reporting relationship (or both) to a product manager,
who drives, evangelizes, coordinates, and communicates for a particular
product.

I myself have been a product manager before. In my case, I did not have
anyone reporting to me formally, but I met with people from all
functional areas on a regular basis. I managed their schedules and
helped them communicate throughout the company. In addition, I did
customer and market research, wrote white papers, set up schedules, and
maintained product consistency.

This is called a "matrix" style of management. It was pioneered by the
consumer product company Proctor and Gamble, and it has proved very
effective in many types of organizations. I like it because it promotes
cross-functional cooperation, while at the same time focusing the
organization on delivering a consistent and understandable product line.
It also makes it easier to collect customer/market data and disseminate
it internally.

In fact, I am currently complaining to my own management that we *don't*
have enough product management in place. I find it difficult to get
consensus on items as trivial as product names, because every functional
area has its own!


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
(408)625-1623
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
www.tuvox.com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Toni Williams
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005 8:57 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Project Management Office

Good morning all,
My smallish (65) but growing software company, where I am one of two
technical writers, has undergone a major reorg. One of the changes is
the establishment of a PMO (Project Management Office) to manage all
projects
-- smallest to largest. The reporting structure is that we all -- qa,
engineers, writers, designers, BAs, etc -- report directly to a director
but at the same time can also be reporting to one or more PMs depending
upon the project(s) we've been assigned to.
This looks to me as if they are working to eliminate middle management
such as the Manager of Documentation.
Have any of you had experience working with this business model? I'd
appreciate hearing your experiences and opinions.
Thanks.
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