Note - This is about software engineering.

A friend at work said:

Did you know that Facebook and Atlassian have abolished project managers for their software dev teams?

This sounded familiar, but I couldn't find a reference confirming this.

I'm asking the question how is it possible for large companies to have software delivery accountability when Project Managers are removed.

It seems you turn a single responsibility into a group reponsibilty which is less effective.

My question is: How is it possible for large companies to run software development teams without Project Managers?

  • 1
    "how is it possible for large companies to have software delivery accountability when Project Managers are removed". Remove the need for software delivery accountability, then there is no one who has to take responsibility. Rather than focusing on avoiding delivering broken systems and then blaming someone when it occurs, the model changes to focusing in on good monitoring and rapid recovery when it does break and deploying often in a blame-free fashion. Who needs a project manager in such an environment?
    – David Arno
    Jan 16 '18 at 10:51
  • 1
    I've lost count of the developments I've been on where recognised roles are missing. The end result is always the same - other roles pitch in to fill the shortfall.
    – Robbie Dee
    Jan 16 '18 at 11:46

I don't know anything about the internals of the two companies you mentioned, but AFAIK both offer software as products which are constantly evolved in small steps, and not (at least not primarily) as projects, where complete new products are created within a given time period and/or budget.

For managing such a development process without projects, one does not need project managers, one needs product managers, or in Scrum-speech product owners. This is quite a different role, focussing much more on quality and getting features from the backlog into the deployed product, and less on time, budget and contracts.

This has nothing to do with "turning a single responsibility into a group reponsibility", as you wrote, but with having different responsibilities than project management in an organization which does not develop software in projects.

  • I like your words. They make me understand good.
    – MetaFight
    Jan 16 '18 at 12:09
  • @Doc Brown Relevant Article (German though) jaxenter.de/noproject-65851
    – Falcon
    Jan 17 '18 at 15:25
  • @Falcon: thanks for the link. But honestly, that article looks to me like someone trying to "sell" some old wisdom (which is actually decades old) using some contemporary buzzwords like DevOps and "#noprojects".
    – Doc Brown
    Jan 17 '18 at 15:59

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