July 6: What do Technical Program Managers do?
What the Technical Program Manager role is all about.
Source: Pragmatic Engineer
Published: February 2022
What do Technical Program Managers do?
Technical Program Managers (TPMs) drive the delivery of company objectives through the tech organization. Program Manager roles in tech started to gain popularity at Microsoft around 20 years ago.
While each organization is different, generally:
The TPM owns the when? and who? questions.
The Product Manager owns the why? and what?
The Engineering Manager owns the how?
Responsibilities often include:
Leading complex, long-running projects involving many teams.
Example: TPMs owned implementing GDPR across Uber which was more than a year-long effort.
Working on engineering programs that don’t qualify as products.
Example: migrating from on-premises data centers to AWS.
Engineering process improvements.
Example: drive areas like release management and incident management.
Organizations with less than 50 engineers tend not to have TPMs.