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Centralized vs Decentralized Product Management

What every executive should know about organizational structures in product management.

In my years of speaking with organizations, one question continues to come up – how do we better align our product teams with the business and development organizations to drive growth. It’s a tough challenge, and one that executives try to address by deciding on if the product management team reports to an enterprise management team, or an individual GM/BU leader. On one hand you can drive a corporate wide strategy and optimize development investments across your entire portfolio. On the other hand, you can get deep vertical expertise to drive change that really moves the needle for a specific business. I always compare it to an age old saying – you just don’t know what you don’t know.

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Changing the Way We Think: The Facilitator (9 out of 11)

Changing the Way We Think: The Facilitator (9 out of 11)

“If I improve team communication, then the organization will see project performance improvements, but I’m not a behavioral scientist, and don’t know how to improve the teams communication habits.”

Facilitation is difficult work because it is demanding cognitively and emotionally. It is especially difficult when you find yourself in situations you consider potentially embarrassing or psychologically threatening. Research shows that if you are like almost everyone else, in these situations you use a set of core values and think in a way that seeks to unilaterally control the conversation, win the discussion, and minimize expression of negative feelings.

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Clear Roles: The Facilitator (3 out of 11)

Clear Roles: The Facilitator (3 out of 11)

“If I identified my role as a facilitator, then I’d have greater adoption rates 6 months after I left, but my role must be aligned with my objectives and position within the organization.”

To help project teams, you need a clear definition of your facilitator role so that you and the teams you are helping have a common understanding about the kinds of behavior that are consistent and inconsistent with your facilitator role. This has become more difficult in recent years, as organizations now use the word facilitator to indicate many roles. Human resource experts, project sponsors, organization development consultants, trainers, coaches, and even managers have sometimes been renamed "facilitators."

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Coaching Others in the Community

Coaching Others in the Community

“If I coach new members, then I will develop friendships, but I need to know the best way to quickly create a focus on change and goal accomplishment.”

Short-term coaching is particularly useful in certain PM situations: The learner is a temporary assignment to your PM team. The learner is someone that has been outsourced and will be providing a temporary service. The coaching goal is sufficiently precise and narrow in scope that it can be achieved in a short time period, or the learner has a limited window of opportunity in which to develop in the agreed-upon coaching area. Short-term coaching will not be useful if the coaching goal is beyond the scope of what can be achieved in a short time frame, or if the learner is either too low in self-mastery or has insufficient skills and/or on-the-job experience to achieve the coaching goal within the allotted period.

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Competitive Advantage and Transformation Programs within Integrated PM

Competitive Advantage and Transformation Programs within Integrated PM

"If we use Integrated PM in our Transformation programs, then we can benefit from systematic change aligned to strategic plans, but we will need to spend time in change preparation across multiple disciplines."

High performing enterprises, as well as those lagging the leaders, are always on the lookout for the levers that give them a business performance edge, and are always striving to maintain that edge. A business strategy discipline has numerous frameworks and tools that are used by enterprises to formulate their competitive strategies. Enterprises recognize the equal importance of possessing the strategic execution capability needed to effectively implement a competitive strategy. This "must have" strategic execution capability is also the capability of Program Management within Integrated PM.

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