As the company growing and more product verticals are coming in, and more competitors coming in not only from Indonesia but also big players from outside the country, there are needs from stakeholders and management (C/VP levels) to ensure we are delivering our initiatives more than ever. Hence, ensuring a team to be self-organized, transparent, and great visibility of ongoing and upcoming project progress are very critical. Spotting potential delays early and doing continuous improvement on how we structure the team and do communication within the team is also essential for us to achieve effective & efficient productivity.
Mekari current Scrum Master role is able to provide value and deliver a couple of our needs as stated above, however, we need to adjust and add a couple of responsibilities that will stretch the Scrum Master and essentially change how we play the game to ensure we can deliver what we want with this role. The additional role, or having TPM (Technical Program Manager) side by side with Scrum Master is considered but disregarded, as the role of TPM itself has a lot of overlap with the scrum master and eventually will supersede the scrum master role.
What is Technical Program Manager ?
The person should have a technical background but also have great project management skills to manage programs of work, often requires many interdisciplinary skills. This role coordinates projects across many teams who all have stakes in a technical project.
The person will work across product teams to coordinate dependencies, keep track of the critical path, to expose risk to the overall roadmap, and to drive decisions around priorities that come in conflict with a cross-team wide versus a product team-centric set of priorities.
The person works with the product manager, the software engineers, DevOps, and the QA and makes tradeoff calls in order to hit a deadline. He is also responsible for ensuring that at any point in time, there is enough resource to account for the pipeline of work coming in from the product. The person is also responsible to serve as the bridge between engineers working on different stacks to ensure that the requirements needed on both ends are in place to ensure smooth product delivery, while keeping everyone, including non-technical stakeholders informed on topics that are very technical.
- in charge of handling all aspects of one to many technical projects
- work with management such as the CTO to be able to outline the next steps or decisions that need to be made in a timely manner
- create visibility and work the full life-cycle of projects from idea generation through deployment and optimize the full release value stream (either with traditional project framework or agile framework)
- initiating programs, driving delivery to completion, and providing support in case issues arise
- negotiate scope and timelines with technical dependencies that have to make changes to support the launch of a product
- may help facilitate on establishing the technologies, tools, and processes that can move an organization towards Continuous Integration and Deployment and a DevOps operating model
may involve non-functional aspects of software delivery such as application telemetry, performance, reliability, resilience, security, and compliance.
- Manage through Agile methodologies
- Come up with well defined and structured information capturing methodology for different teams to collaborate in a consistent manner
- Help solve product and technical problems with urgency by helping technical teams reach consensus by asking the right questions, and offering solutions
- Always consider the short term needs of the business and long term implications of any decision
- Design pragmatic solutions. these solutions are flexible and forward-looking while remaining simple and straightforward
- Understand basic principles of distributed systems
- Able to write high quality , unambiguous functional specifications that business and technical stakeholders can easily understand
- Collaborate to ensure that decisions are based on the merit of the proposal, not the proposer
- Continue to move forward in the face of ambiguity and imperfect knowledge. Do not suffer from “analysis paralysis”
- Build a strong and sustainable working relationship within the team and with others across Mekari
- Proactively support knowledge-sharing within the team and across team
- Continually listen to all team members to help them be successful in their role
- Stay current on the latest news, information, and trends about program management and the organization’s industry
- Have an understanding and empathy for Mekari’s customers and business goals, particularly those aspects relevant to team
- Master of communication, relentlessly strives to ensure that the right information is delivered to the right audience about the programs and projects. This communication clearly articulates scope, timelines, owners, risks, mitigation, and successes
- Deal with technical and business ambiguity while delivering clarity of vision for the product
- Catalyst for faster execution. Create & continuously improve the processes that business and engineering teams use to get things done
- Strong self starter and therefore have the ability to drill into business data and research results to identify clear direction and focus on projects and programs
- Proven ability to make tradeoffs using sound business intelligence to keep projects moving. Keep projects and product aligned with Mekari’s business objectives as new and improve data or direction becomes available
- Undertake a variety of tasks willingly. Switch from complex to routine tasks when required. Adapt quickly to new technologies and products/ Work effectively with a variety of personalities and work styles
- Can-do attitude and share optimistic which helps dealing with adversity and high-pressure situations
- Demonstrate appropriate quality and thoroughness in work
- Act with personal integrity at all times with factual information and non-bias view
- Understand that there are many factors that go into decision making. And thus understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from their point of view, rather than from your own would help guide effective decision making
- Confront problems (even when outside of our own domain), propose solutions, take ownership through to resolution or ensure a clear hand-off. have a positive, can-do approach to work
- Living by Mekari’s company values
This Technical Program Manager role is indeed a complex one, yet over a quarter we successfully establish couple of processes including initiative trackers with project state log and escalation process, meaningful and valuable gantt chart, insightful scrum reports & team metrics, and capacity planning that help us on hiring plan and OKR.