Why we are no longer hiring Project Managers

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Five people in informal clothes gathered around a table in a boardroom discussing the contents of a product plan

Agile delivery is becoming the new norm, not only for startups and IT companies, but also for enterprises in various industries. The way that we are thinking about delivering value is evolving - we create ideas based on product and customer centricity. The implications of this for the traditional project manager are challenging. Some may say project management is dying.

Is Project Management on its way out?

I wouldn’t say so. Project Management is definitely evolving or adapting to a new age, but it won’t suddenly go ‘poof!’ and disappear. Some elements of the process, tools and techniques will still be in use, but they will be ordered and named differently.

The same with the Project Manager role. What we can say for sure is that the traditional understanding of this role is not valid anymore. It’s evolving and trying to keep up with the speed of changes on the market. But in this case it also means that we expect a different set of skills and competencies in the role.

From scope delivery to value delivery

As I mentioned before, our clients expect to change the focus from scope delivery to value delivery. The environment that we create products in is rapidly changing. All of that results in the need for defining a feasible, dynamic agile approach which will help in creating value for customers.

It means that we need to define a role, which will focus on agile product delivery. We need a person who can support both software development and product value creation in every step of its lifecycle. We need someone who will put leadership over management. Who still can measure product metrics.

That is why we decided not to hire Project Managers anymore.

A changing approach to client cooperation

How we work in a software house, especially when it comes to products, is quite unique. We work in agile, but as Agile Project Managers/Scrum Masters we are never attached to one set of responsibilities. It differs from client to client. And providing real value oftentimes requires us to go far beyond usual PM/SM tasks.

We’ve noticed that with time our approach to cooperation with clients has changed. We are not delivering projects anymore. We are cooperating on product development. We work on different aspects of product delivery together with the client, not only at the software development level, but also when it comes to product discovery, product-market fit, user testing, scaling, etc.

It needs a different attitude, a wider set of skills, specific values and a higher level of ownership.

That is why we decided to define a unique new role - introducing the Product Delivery Manager (you can apply here)

Our baseline for defining the role became a 10Clouds Product Delivery Manifesto that we’ve created based on our current experience, delivery process, market needs and values. It is the way we work and cooperate with our clients.

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10C Product Delivery Manifesto

Product delivery over project delivery

We are providing our clients with a comprehensive service to maximize the chance of success for the product that we are building together.

Flexibility in action over defined roles

We are able to tailor our approach to what is needed for successful cooperation.

Trust & accountability over low-level management

It applies both to our roles but also in the relationship between the Product Delivery Manager and the development team.

Delivering value over delivering scope

We are focused on delivering business value to our clients instead of being focused on delivering scope elements. Features come from a defined business value, not the opposite.

Extreme ownership over areas ownership

We are owners of the end-to-end delivery process and customer success instead of sharing area responsibilities with multiple internal stakeholders.

Competencies over processes

We should be constantly improving our competencies to be able to fit into different needs instead of creating procedures and processes for each case.

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Additionally, we defined our unique agile product delivery process (we will share it widely soon) and a set of skills and competencies that we would like to focus on developing in our Product Delivery Team.

The role of the Product Delivery Manager

All of this brought us to the point where we are no longer just Project Managers. We are blending many competencies together. The role is much broader and should attract candidates from from different backgrounds - even if the baseline competencies are the same as those of Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Product Managers. We are constantly supporting product delivery.

The role of the Product Delivery Manager is a challenging one involving constant self-development, but it also brings excitement, satisfaction and amazing personal growth.

If you feel that you would like to take on this challenge and join our team at 10Clouds, we have two positions open right now for a Product Delivery Manager and a Senior Product Delivery Manager.

See you onboard!

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