This is a question that many of my friends and former colleagues have asked me since I changed jobs at the beginning of 2020. With almost a year of experience under my belt now I thought it would be worth reviving this blog to share my experience. 

This is quite a big departure from my previous blog posts. When I was an Application Development Manager, I delivered technical engagements (mostly around DevOps) with customers in the context of their systems and processes. None of the content was necessarily confidential and I very much enjoyed helping some of my readers with tools like Azure DevOps. 

When moving into the Microsoft Quantum program I sent this blog into hibernation. There were different reasons which kept me from adding to this blog.

Yes, there was a significant ramp up period. I thought I knew a lot about Program Management based on my experience in other roles, but I soon realised that there is a huge amount of variety in the discipline and that actually doing the job can be significantly different to what is visible on the outside. 

In addition to all that the Microsoft Quantum program is what we call a “tented” program. It involves lots of confidential information, which means that it is difficult or impossible to talk about any or all the work we do publicly. There was certainly not enough “shareable” technical content that hadn’t already be released in a way superior format than my blog could ever do justice to. (shout out to the great collection of Quantum Katas we have for those who want to start learning) 

During 2021 I will challenge myself to pick up my old habit of writing two blog articles per month. While I will be unable to talk about the program, the products, or projects that we are working on in great detail, I will talk about the discipline of Program Management. I am hoping that this will serve two separate purposes:

  • Help those curious about Program Management decide whether the discipline is right for them
  • Help others see my perspective and hopefully encourage healthy discussion around the topics covered

To kick this fresh series off, here are some topics that I’d like to cover in future posts as we move through 2021. 

  • The many colours, shapes, and sizes of program management at Microsoft
  • The PM Role: What I wish I had known a year ago 
  • What is the value of the Program Manager?
  • 10 things to avoid doing for new Program Managers
  • How to prepare for a Program Management interview
  • Synthesis – in business not chemistry 😉 
  • The concept and impact of soft power
  • Do Microsoft product groups actually use Azure DevOps? 
    • The answer is “yes” and I’ll talk about how it’s used