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I Switch Hit Between Product And Program Management

Certainly project, program, and product management are all very different things. But are they really all that divorced? What are the skills, sensibilities, and mindsets that allow DPMs to move between those worlds and expand the value that they are able to deliver?

If you’ve been looking to expand your repertoire into product management but aren’t sure where to start, this Ask Me Anything is for you.

We put project manager, product manager, and strategy consultant Sarah Hoban on the hot seat to learn how she’s managed to keep her toes in both worlds.

Points of interest

  • 11:02 – Introducing the topic and Sarah
  • 13:41 – What are the biggest differences between a product and program management mindset?
  • 18:32 – As a stakeholder, how do you view these roles as being different, and is it very apparent?
  • 20:38 – What skills would a project manager need to build to get into product management?
  • 24:26 – What to expect when making the transition from project to product (or vice versa)
  • 26:13 – Is it sometimes a welcome relief to jump back and forth between a laser-focus on a specific product within a specific vertical and managing projects across multiple sectors and products?
  • 28:36 – Can you be both roles in one project team? Should you? (+ more about skills)
  • 29:34 – In smaller teams doing $35-100k, single-product web app projects, should the project manager wear both project and product manager hats?
  • 33:34 – How do you promote yourself as someone who can live in both worlds?
  • 37:03 – What are the differences between product management as a dedicated job versus the product manager role in a scaled agile framework?
  • 42:41 – Commercial Break!
  • 45:12 – Talk to me about the leap to strategy : )
  • 49:48 – What does the future hold for program managers and product managers?
  • 56:12 – The value of people management in the future of program management
  • 57:45 – If an organization is instituting a product manager / program manager hybrid role, what is one thing they should not do?

Host

I am a digital project management nerd, a cultivator of highly collaborative teams, and an impulsive sharer of knowledge. For the past decade, I've been shaping and delivering human-centered digital transformation initiatives in government, healthcare, transit, and retail. I'm also the co-founder of The Digital Project Manager and host of The DPM Podcast.

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