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Layers of Alignment / AI makes you productive / Collaborate with Me
Welcome to 📮Monday TPM Field Dispatch 015 - Short-form thoughts on tech program management + curated content for further exploration, delivered every Monday to your inbox to kickstart your week.
Layers of Alignment
Alignment is a tricky thing. It feels like something that you constantly manage and control. Akin to keeping ether within certain constraints or imaginary lines or box.
Recently, John Cutler shared a post on this topic from his vast archives about shallow and deep alignment, which got me thinking about another dimension to alignment: stakeholders.
Shallow and deep alignment mean different things for executive stakeholders compared to cross-functional working groups, non-delivery stakeholders, and customer stakeholder groups.
Consider how you write your weekly status report. Do senior leaders care about the technical details like which API is working with stub or real data? No. They care about the ultimate goal and deliverable that many APIs will bring but some engineering team might care when that API is working with real data.
Context and time also come into play. I've noticed that status reports become less detailed during the beginning of a development cycle and more thorough in the middle and later stages. This does play into the fear many TPMs have of status reports needing to be “full” of content all the time so we fill in words that don’t mean much to the stakeholders.
We write a single report for all stakeholders because it would be impractical to write multiple reports for different stakeholders.
New project leaders often struggle with finding the best approach to writing status reports, as these reports are typically the primary source of alignment across multiple teams. I haven't found a perfect template for status reports or alignment yet, without involving significant overhead.
Here's the template I've been using in the absence of a company enforced one for the past many years:
Executive Summary: Include items that require input or action from senior leadership.
Goals for the next two weeks
Upcoming critical milestones (not the entire schedule; only something over the coming month)
Status report publication cadence wise - weekly is the standard in the industry.
AI is a productivity booster.
Courtesy of Ben’s Bites - Ethan Mollick of One Useful Thing conducted a social experiment involving a team of social scientists observing consultants at Boston Consulting Group to assess whether AI increases productivity.
I know that there is tons of speculation and hype about AI helping people complete tasks faster but this is perhaps the most in-depth attempt to actually answer the question with data.
This working paper is my reading goal for tonight.
Some highlights from the paper:
For each one of a set of 18 realistic consulting tasks within the frontier of AI capabilities, consultants using AI were significantly more productive (they completed 12.2% more tasks on average, and completed task 25.1% more quickly), and produced significantly higher quality results (more than 40% higher quality compared to a control group). Consultants across the skills distribution benefited significantly from having AI augmentation, with those below the average performance threshold increasing by 43% and those above increasing by 17% compared to their own scores.
I do plan to write a more detailed post on my thoughts of AI and Technical Program Management so stay tuned.
Collaborate With Me On Something Cool
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Ever wonder what is possible with generative AI and web in the productivity space?
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🚨 Send me a reply to this email or reach out to me at email@example.com and let’s have a chat.
We are few weeks away from the TPM Summit conference. 🎊 🎉 ❤️
It will be a mix of virtual and in-person at the venerable Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA taking place on October 6th.
Huge kudos and extreme respect, admiration, and well wishes to the organizers behind this momentous event. I have always felt that the TPM community deserved and needed something like this.
🌝 I will be doing a talk at the conference titled “TPMs Are World Builders”.
🚨 For my readers only - use promo code
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How was this week’s newsletter?
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👉🏽 Sign up today as spots will be very limited for this cohort.
What does it take to Become A Great Technical Program Manager?
It took me years and many difficult projects at places like Apple, Google, Nike to understand what it means to be "Great".
😁 Good news for you, you won't have to spend years. Become a standout TPM in a few hours. Learn the skills and knowledge needed to gain senior leadership's trust to lead large cross-functional programs and take your career to the next level.
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More deep dive into topics like Systems Philosophy, Influence, Shape of Power, approaching complex technology and much more.
Now 2 Days long / 6-8 hours in total.
Rating: ⭐️ 8.6/10 (10 Reviews)
Course Fee: $899.
Read what people who have taken my course say:
A fantastic mix of tools, information, and real world examples to increase my understanding and capabilities. - Ryan Curry Technical Project Manager
This course had real life examples, great group of like minded professionals, and such insightful conversation. Best training I’ve had so far in this space. - Favour Okoh Sr. Technical Program Manager
Aadil is an excellent presenter and speaker, and the material he left us with was thought-provoking and actionable. I took so much value out of this class and can't wait to use this new toolkit to become better. I took so many screenshots of the slide deck, and I even printed out one of the slides to hang above my desk! - Michelle Andreana Technical Product Manager
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