Scaling Project Management Career

The Story and Advantages of Merging Project Management, Product Management, and Agile Coach Roles

I consider myself a professional who finds fulfillment in working at the intersection of technology, business, and people management through project management. With a solid background in agile methodologies, I strive to maintain excellent communication and leadership skills, and I am always eager to drive innovation. In this blog post, I’ll share my journey at my current company, BWL, where I’ve embraced a unique role that combines project management, product management, and agile coaching.

The Path to Triple-Impact

Having spent five years working as a Scrum Master in my previous company, I felt ready to take on more challenges and expand my horizons. When I joined Bridgewater Labs as a Project Manager, I was thrilled to find that my new role also encompassed product management and agile coaching. This was a perfect opportunity for me to grow, learn, and make a more significant impact on my team and the company.

The Power of Project Management

Project management goes beyond managing people and their task towards the common goal. It's an art of constant fine-tuning to achieve the best results to suit all stakeholders and team members.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

As a Project Manager, I am responsible for planning, executing, and closing projects. This means defining the project’s scope, developing a detailed work plan, and managing resources to ensure that goals are met within the established time and budget constraints.

In this capacity, I’ve been able to sharpen my leadership and communication skills, as well as learn how to balance competing priorities and make tough decisions under pressure. This has not only made me a more effective project manager but has also contributed to my overall professional growth.

The Art of Product Management

In my product management role, I work closely with cross-functional teams to develop, launch, and improve products that meet customer needs and drive business growth. This involves identifying market opportunities, defining product requirements, and collaborating with stakeholders throughout the product development process.

As a Product Manager, I’ve honed my ability to think strategically, empathize with customers, and manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders. This has not only made me a more versatile professional but has also allowed me to make a more substantial impact on the success of our products.

The Wisdom of Agile Coaching

Agile coaching is beneficial for a PM career because it provides a framework for effective collaboration and communication, promotes adaptability and flexibility, and emphasizes continuous improvement. By mastering agile methodologies, PMs can become more efficient, productive, and successful in their roles.
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

As an Agile Coach, I guide and support my team in adopting and improving Agile practices. This involves facilitating ceremonies, providing training and mentoring, and helping the team remove impediments to their progress.

By combining my Scrum Master experience with my newfound responsibilities as a Project and Product Manager, I’ve offered more comprehensive and effective coaching to my team. This, in turn, has led to increased collaboration, innovation, and overall performance – ultimately contributing to the success of our projects and products.

Why is it good to master these three roles?

The decision to take on a role that combines project management, product management, and agile coaching has been a game-changer for my career. By understanding the nuances of each role, I can better navigate complex projects, effectively manage resources, and ultimately drive business success. Finally, the challenges and rewards in these areas have allowed me to grow as a professional and make a more significant impact on my team and company.

Is this kind of role future-proof?

In my opinion, this kind of role is indeed future-proof. As businesses continue to adopt agile methodologies and prioritize cross-functional collaboration, the demand for professionals with expertise in project management, product management, and agile coaching is only expected to grow. As a result, mastering these three roles can help future-proof one’s career, ensuring that one remains relevant and competitive in the job market.

Ivana Vojnic Tunic, Project Manager at Bridgewater Labs