Rahul’s been posting some PM philosophy lately which caused me to go back and revisit the extensive history of the classic Microsoft PM role as told by Joel Spolsky.
One of the critical themes from Joelonsoftware, which had retreated to the back of my mind, is that the PM is a seller, not a buyer – it’s the PM’s responsibility to sell developers and designers on a spec. NOT the other way around where devs, designers, and others need to sell the PM on why the spec. should be different. It’s pretty easy to get this backwards whilst ‘herding cats’ – but there are certainly productivity consequences when the people actually writing the code view it as YOUR plan, rather than THEIR plan.
I had to throw 'whilst' in there - it's a great word :)