Are TPM's useless?

Bloomberg GOOGLE<GO>
Oct 2 12 Comments

If not, please explain why the job can't be done better by competent engineering and product management.

NOTE: I'm referring to "technical program manager" and "technical project manager" roles here. This poll excludes all product managers.

114 VOTES SELECT ONLY ONE ANSWER
VOTE VIEW RESULT

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 12 Comments
  • Juniper Pliny Jr
    This is a useless poll.

    If you see how many useless product managers and engineers, etc needed to be reigned in to keep them on track there wouldn't be any need for it. But because humans are lazy/siloed and don't speak to each other you need someone to crack the whip across functions to push the ball forward.

    I've worn every job function hat there is within FANG and there's a reason why every function needs to exist to get timely results. No different than an engine missing a part--it just won't run.
    Oct 2 3
    • Bloomberg GOOGLE<GO>
      OP
      Your comment simply proves that with competent engineers, product managers and engineering managers, TPM's have no purpose.
      Oct 2
    • Juniper Pliny Jr
      In an ideal world, yes. But reality is that it ain't this way. Not at FANG and not anywhere else, unless you work at a startup where you know everybody is an all-star that pulls their own weight. But as soon as the org grows, the dynamics change and you need different roles to prevent the whole thing from going tits up.

      BTW, same could be said with dead weight engineers or managers allll the way up the food chain. I've seen all sides.

      If in the future you join a start-up and scale it (or take some MBA classes on such topics), then you'll understand this management dynamic more fully.
      Oct 2
    • Bloomberg GOOGLE<GO>
      OP
      Why? If an upper manager sees that a lower manager's team isn't pulling its weight, they can ask the lower manager why. That manager can explain why. If there is too much BS in this explanation (and its repeated attempts), that will eventually become clear to any competent upper manager. The upper manager can also sit in on the lower manager's meetings, to determine which team members aren't pulling their weight and/or why the team is inefficient.
      Oct 2
  • Uber uKWz22
    Usually a TPM is called in because there is a gap in product management or engineering management. They are useful in the sense they can wear both hats and help fill the gaps in the short term.
    Oct 2 0
  • Amazon lforkdj
    they do seem overqualified; they’re mainly admins.

    note: speaking from prev experience in megacorps, new to amzn and my current team hasn’t interacted with a TPM
    Oct 2 1
    • ^^ same. The only reason they exist is because no one wants to waste time by doing all the admin stuff. They're also overpaid!!!
      Oct 2
  • Facebook / Product rhxhakrbnx
    Product Managers and Technical PMs can be very useful in complex and large projects but not all are useful. Some do more mundane tasks and are glorified admins (PMP style document keepers). I have worked with some really good ones though. Typically large number of TPMs at major FANG companies so quality and experience can vary quite a bit.
    Oct 2 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

  • Western Digital gotrek
    Which one are you? And why do u care
    Oct 2 0
  • Microsoft Paanos
    All the TPMs are fighting over the spec for the poll. And will schedule a daily scrum until the consensus is reached and we have the clarity on the poll
    Oct 2 0
  • Bloomberg GOOGLE<GO>
    OP
    Typo fixed: this poll excludes product managers
    Oct 2 0

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees