Question Page

As a TPM (program manager) how do you deal with changing priorities when the business is not sure of what they need?

1 Answer
Vasanth Arunachalam
Vasanth Arunachalam
Meta Director, Technical Program ManagementMay 4

“Change is the only constant” is a cliched phrase in the industry but the reality is not far off in many lines of businesses. At Meta we often get to work with the best available information in hand and not afraid of pivoting when that information changes. That comes with a degree of ambiguity, churn and sometimes loss of motivation for the teams involved. As a leader, my role is to ensure the teams have a strong understanding of the ‘why’ and when priorities change, again communicating the ‘why’ with full transparency. I then empower the teams to drive towards subsequent outcomes which could be any of the following -

  • Pivot and rework the plan with a new set of strategies, goals and timelines.
  • Stop the press and shut it down.

In either of those scenarios my team communicates clearly to all the stakeholders. You might see a pattern here with my emphasis on ‘ strong communications’.

On the motivational front, if you build a culture of rewarding people for stopping the press, you’ll see teams surfacing problems and recommending pivots sooner.

802 Views
Top Product Management Mentors
Poorvi Shrivastav
Poorvi Shrivastav
Meta Senior Director of Product Management
James Heimbuck
James Heimbuck
Doppler Principal Product Manager
Sharad Goel
Sharad Goel
Homebase VP Product & Design
Katherine Man
Katherine Man
HubSpot Group Product Manager, CRM Platform
Paresh Vakhariya
Paresh Vakhariya
Atlassian Director of Product Management (Confluence)
Natalia Baryshnikova
Natalia Baryshnikova
Atlassian Head of Product, Enterprise Agility
Zeeshan Qamruddin
Zeeshan Qamruddin
HubSpot Senior Director of Product Management, Flywheel
Clare Hawthorne
Clare Hawthorne
Oscar Health Senior Director, Product Operations
Tom Alterman
Tom Alterman
Notable Head of Product
Anton Kravchenko
Anton Kravchenko
Carta Sr. Director of Product Management