Project Management

7 Habits of Highly Effective Program Managers

JD Meier uses his past experience with both effective and ineffective program managers to help him formulate this list of seven habits highly effective program managers possess. The basis of his judgments center around their ability to influence and lead, the patterns they stuck to, and how well they were able to make an impact for customers.

The list includes:

  1. Frame problems and solutions
  2. Sell visions
  3. Deliver incremental value
  4. Manage communication
  5. Connecting with customers
  6. Execution
  7. Leveraging the system

Each of these habits is accompanied by an explanation and instructions on how to implement them effectively, such as the following explanation of selling vision:

The most effective PMs dream up great ideas and they sell them.  They sell them in the hall, they sell them to co-workers, they sell them up the chain.  They have an elevator pitch that resonates.  They can paint a vivid picture of how the world will be different.  Sometimes a PM has an idea that people aren't ready for.  Sometimes a PM has an idea they just aren't selling right.  Sometimes a PM has an idea that … well … just isn't ready for market or planet Earth.  Selling visions involves both thought leadership and people leadership.  I think the secret here is effective PMs sell visions by answering "what's in it for you” for stakeholders and customers.

While the post is centric to Meier’s experiences at Microsoft, it’s beneficial to anyone who wants to better understand the habits that successful program managers have and, in turn, what anyone can use to become stronger and more able at their jobs. To read the full blog post, click here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jmeier/archive/2007/04/09/7-habbits-of-effective-program-managers.aspx

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