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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Joyce

Demystifying Technical Program Management: What do they do?

I was recently asked about my last role. The internal title was Senior Delivery Manager. A role that does not exist in Agile ways of working, but was equivalent of Scrum Master, Agile coach and team morale, general cheerleader, rolled into one.

We didn't have a product owner in place either, so this meant I was covering this role also as I had that experience and was filling the gap.

The role also involved leading and delivering towards a common vision and goals, removing obstacles from team members and collaborating, communicating like crazy!

A Technical Program Manager (TPM), has the same responsibilities and outputs and I started to think about what was involved and why it worked all together.

A TPM would be technical enough to be able to understand when and if decisions are appropriate to team and product success. Emotional intelligence, leadership, listening, critical thinking skills are just some of the traits a really good TPM has.

A significant part of a TPM’s job functions involve building and maintaining strong stakeholder relationships. Communication skills, including active listening skills, are essential to be able to convey information to diverse groups of stakeholders across a variety of different formats, including translating technical information for non-technical audiences.

TPMs require emotional intelligence to work effectively across leadership and staff, particularly in environments where they may lack direct reporting authority but must achieve project outcomes through influence.

Finally, TPMs also benefit from critical thinking skills to be able to solve complex business problems. These skills are important for processing and integrating information from cross-functional groups, thinking on their feet when interacting with stakeholders, and holding their own in a dynamic environment where few of their tasks may be repeatable.

The great people over at Digital Project Manager have gone into even more detail on all things TPM if you would like to know more or find out how to get into a role like that.

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