05 September 2017

The structure of our R&D center is composed of project management, product management, HW/FW/SW development, Verification & Validation.

From technical point of view, HW/FW/SW development is the most important departments. Because the engineers contribute all their effort to

  • clarify the requirement
  • propose implementation proposal
  • create architecture design
  • design detail solution
  • implement the design
  • test from low level and integration
  • support product and system test
  • support maintenance cases

But from business point of view, project management is the communication window with project sponsors; product management ensure the product is correctly designed ; verification & validation ensure the product is designed in right way.

So if I am the sponsor or top manager, I only need to get requirement from product manager; talk with project manager to get schedule and status update and get final qualified product from verification & validation team. The logic is clear, that

  • project manager talks to development team to get project schedule and progress status
  • product manager talks to development team to ensure that design is following the requirement
  • verification & validation talks to development team to fix the misunderstanding and mismatch between implementation and requirement

As a sponsor/top manager, I do not need to talk the development team to understand technical details and progress, otherwise, people will blame me to micro-manage the team!

Thus here is some advice to R&D managers for HW/FW/SW management team:

  • always expand your business domain knowledge as a product manager. If you are developing software for fintech, you need to understand the basic rule of finance. If you are developing software for industrial automation, you should know how the product is used in factory or process
  • always take project schedule and product quality in mind. Project schedule and product quality is the most important aspect of a successful product development
  • think innovatively to get things done fast and well
  • learn from past experience, and reuse as much as possible