Product Management vs. Project Management

Product Management vs. Project Management

产品管理VS 项目管理

Earlier I have written about how important it is to clearly distinguish the roles of product management and product marketing. But many companies suffer from a related problem, which is when the roles of product management and project management are combined.

早先,我曾经写过清晰区分产品管理和产品营销的角色是多么的重要。但是许多公司忍受着一个相关的问题,就是产品管理和项目管理的角色被合并。

I have also written earlier about how the nature of product management and project management are different and typically attract different types of people to each.

我在早先也曾经写过产品管理和项目管理的本质是不同的,并且是典型吸引不同两类人的。

But I haven’t written yet about why this situation exists, and I think this sheds light on several related problems.

但是我一直没有写为什么存在这种情况,并且我认为这清晰地阐述了几个相关的问题。

The reason so many Internet companies still define product management as including project management is because many of our practices came from the shipped software world. In the shipped software world, like what Microsoft became famous for, it is common to have product managers cover the project management role (in fact, Microsoft still does this under the job title program Manager. But this is one of those areas that don’t migrate well to web services.

原因在于如此多的互联网公司仍然定义产品管理是包括项目管理的,原因在于我们的许多实践来自shipped软件领域。在shipped软件领域,像微软在此就很著名,它通常是由产品经理担负项目管理的角色的(事实上,微软一直是在程序经理的名称下做这些的。但是这只是领域之一,不能很好地平移到web服务中。)

To explain, first a little bit of Internet history. When Internet services came about, around 1996 or so, at first we struggled with whether to continue to call ourselves product Managers. Because things like a Travel site are more of a service than a traditional product, but we quickly got over that (although sometimes we called the role producers. To emphasize the media and content nature of the services, but that wave too passed fairly quickly).

解释一下,首先,互联网的历史很短。当互联网服务在1996年左右出现的时候,起初我们争论过是否需要继续称我们自己为产品经理。因为像旅游站点都要比传统的产品有更多的服务,但是我们很快克服了这些(尽管有时我们称这个角色为制作人。这是为了强调这个服务的媒体和内容的自然性,但是这个潮流很快也过去了。)

However we initially tried to continue having the product manager cover the project manager role. Early internet companies like Netscape and Yahoo did this. But we all ran into a problem with this. In the shipped software world, the product was generally shipped as a self-contained unit. So the product generally was in the same granularity and frequency as the project? So it is not so hard for the product manager to double as the project manager. But in the web services world, with many releases underway in parallel, this model breaks down.

然而,我们起初曾试图继续让产品经理扮演项目经理的角色。早期的互联网公司,像网景和雅虎都是这么做的。但是我们都遇到了一个问题。在shipped软件领域,产品通常是被作为一种独立单元交付的,因此,这个产品通常都处于和项目的同一个粒度和频率。因此,对于产品经理担负项目经理的双重职责并不是很困难。但是在web服务领域,许多发布是平行的,因此这个模式被打破了。

Not to complicate matters too much, but most internet service companies found that they needed to make frequent smaller releases to a larger common code base. And since the duration of a typical project is longer than the release interval (usually ranging from weekly to monthly), this quickly turns into parallel development and the software train model of releases. Most internet companies that are beyond the startup phase use this train model.

为了不使问题过于复杂,但是大多数互联网服务公司发现他们需要频繁有小的发布到庞大的通用代码库中。并且因为一个典型项目的持续期是长于发布间隔的(通常以周或月为周期),这很快演变成了平行开发和软件排序发布模式。大多数互联网公司超出了使用排序模式的开始阶段。

The train model is really a topic in itself, but suffices it to say here that a train requires active and strong project management, which is not tied to specific projects. A train typically contains features from many product managers. A train has significant release management, engineering, site operations, and customer service and product management coordination requirements.

排序模式本身是一个真正的话题,但是满足它需要积极和强大的项目管理,它不是和特定的项目相关联的。序列模型典型地包含来自许多产品经理的特征。序列模型有有效的发布管理,工程设计,站点运营和客服服务以及产品管理协同的需求。

Some internet companies refer to the project manager of a release train as the train is productor.

一些互联网公司指出发布序列的项目经理作为产品经理。

If you use the train model, and you have project managers dedicated to the release trains, you generally don’t need product managers to cover project management too.

如果你用这个序列模型,那么你就要有一个项目经理致力于发布序列,你通常也不需要产品经理来扮演项目经理。

So as the release process at companies like Yahoo, Netscape/AOL, and others became more sophisticated, the project management responsibilities were untangled from the product management role, and all of these companies developed very strong dedicated project management competencies. Many newer Internet companies like eBay and Google could not release the quantity and quality of software they do without their very strong project management team spanning product management, engineering and site operations.

因此,在像雅虎,网景/AOL这些公司的发布过程以及其它事项就变得更加复杂,项目经理职责也从产品经理角色中分离出来,所有这些公司开发了非常强大的专注的项目管理职业特质。许多新的互联网公司,像eBay和Google不可能在没有他们强大的项目管理团队跨越产品管理,工程管理和站点运营的情况下发布他们所开发的有质有量的软件。

For Internet services companies, it really is important that the roles be separate. You are thrashing in release management if you don’t, and releases will consistently be delayed and take longer than they should.

对于互联网服务公司来说,这个角色被分离出来真的是重要的。如果你不做的话,你就会在发布管理上受到打击,发布将会持续延迟并比它们应该的时间更长。

If you are still doing shipped software, I still think It is useful to separate the roles, but this is more due to the nature of discovery-oriented product management versus execution-oriented project management.

如果你依然在做shipped软件,我仍然认为分离这个角色是有用的,但是这更多的要根据产品管理以“发现为目标”与项目管理以“执行为目标”的属性。

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