What companies will you likely find “real” PMs at?

Question: What companies will you likely find “real” PMs at?

Answer: “Product Owner/Manager” is en vogue, as was “Project manager” some years ago. It has become a placeholder for differing expectations of what this person should do. Often, these expectations are not transparent or even clear to the company itself.

How to find out what a PM/PO at a specific company might be like?

  1. Read between the lines in the job advert, especially in the “Required skills” and “What you will do” sections. The more restrictive these are, the more likely it is that the job will be as well. An extreme example: “Requirement: You have a certification for SAFe 5.1. Tasks: Lead a delivery team by translating stakeholder requirements with the relative weighting method”.

  2. Be wary of “knowledge interviews”. If the interviewer only tests your theoretical knowledge (“What's the fourth principle in the agile manifesto?”), that's a red flag for companies that follow the letter, not the idea.

  3. Ask questions in the interview what the PM/PO should and should not do. This will force the company to reveal their expectations and will show you what the scope of the product person would be.

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