I AM one of those College grads hired to harrass veteran programmers on their daily work. I'm part of a fairly infant PM program that's been around for about two+ years now. As my first true career job, the situation continually intrigues me: bureacracy meets technical work.
Essentially, management empowers us PM's enough to cause trouble, but not enough to actually change or direct work. The result tends to be loaded on the techs in requirements: documentation, status updates, meetings, schedules and so on. I watch some PM's who weigh it well, and others dump it without discretion.
My misfortune is that I started as a developer, but ended up as a junior PM. I deal with the techs everyday, and every step of "project management" I perform is done with empathy for the poor guy that just wants to write the damn code. The question in my mind each day I work tends to be, "am I adding real value?"
I generally ask this question everytime a developer has to sit in on a end-of-phase meeting or fill out a requirements document. Some PM's don't go this far, and assume the value of their work is immediately appreciated. For them, I'd suggest spending 2 months as a developer under a project manager. It'd temper their views, and like they say in the military, the only way to learn how to lead is to learn how to obey.
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