All related (39)
Vasanth Arunachalam
Director, Technical Program Management, Meta | Formerly MicrosoftAugust 9

I’ll apply the framework outlined above to this question and talk about setting up a Technical PM function for the first time.

30 days of LEARNING: I’ll start with a listening tour, meeting with all cross-functional leaders (Engineering, Data Science, Design, Marketing, Operations etc) and trying to understand where the Technical PMs can add value. I usually get a list of all the areas where help is needed. I ensure that the expectations from the team aligns with the Technical PM job profile and career expectations defined for that job profile. Next I get a deeper understanding of the following - 1) Overall org growth plans (hiring, site strategy etc) 2) Long term strategy for the Product/Platform along with current priorities

30 to 60 days of ALIGNING: Once I have consumed all the information, I typically create a plan to build the Technical PM function and scale out for the next 1 to 2 years. I’ll prioritize roles I’m going to fill based on where the Technical PMs can have the most impact in relation to the org priorities. I’ll ensure I have alignment with the cross functional leaders on that plan. I advocate for hiring strong leaders in advance and not waiting for the team to grow to a certain size. This is because - 1) Strong Product leads think big picture and know how to design orgs for the future 2) Coming in early gives them the opportunity to grow product expertise better. They get to be a part of the evolution of the product which is critical 3)They are good at hiring too.

60 to 90 days of EXECUTING: The next order of business is to partner with recruiting and kickoff hiring. I’d also recommend getting hands on as a leader, by taking ownership of a critical product or platform area before you staff your team. This provides the opportunity to understand the space and the challenges your team might face in their roles. Now is the time to also build some of the key processes to help your incoming team be successful. I’ve addressed some of these in my previous AMA