What can you expect to see from the PMC in 2013?

For 2013 we have a new board, a new structure and a new plan.  We want to share what we have been up to, and some of the problems we have been tackling. Why share?

  • we want to be transparent about the PMC and how we work

  • we want to be held accountable by each other and our members

  • we want to give you a chance to offer us feedback and suggestions

  • we think you find this kind of information interesting and engaging, and creating better online content is part of our plan


First, a bit of history....

2012 was a challenging year for the PMC board

We began 2012 with five board members, a co-ordinator and a time-boxed challenge: take the organization and turn it into an independent legal entity. Previously we were owned by Pivotal PM, who helped grow the organization to what it is today (36 annual members, 973 online members and 2052 on our mailing list).  Without them there would be no PMC - for this we are ever grateful.  In 2012 they decided it was time for us to walk on our own two feet.

No small task for a group of six part-timers.  And as with any volunteer-based organization we had our own time struggles as well.  Scott welcomed a son into the world, Dan was growing his own business and I got hooked into a company acquisition and a 60% travel schedule.  I sometimes think if it wasn’t for Rupika’s tireless effort keeping us in shape we may not have made it.


But we did some AMAZING things!

Have you ever created, incorporated and registered a non-profit organization? Yeah neither had we.  Running the PMC is a lot of work in itself, here are some other things we achieved in 2012:

  • broke out from under Pivotal and incorporated as a legal entity with Washington State

  • applied for 501c(6) status (filed September ‘12, status pending)

  • created a comprehensive set of bylaws and associated corporate structure

  • put on a killer ProductCamp Seattle (your words, not ours)

  • started and grew our monthly lunches

  • recruited the 2013 board of directors


The last one on the list will end up being the most important

People (way smarter and more experienced than me) often say that recruiting the right people is the most important factor in scaling a business. This applies to us.  For 2013 we more than doubled the size of our board and we have ended up with an energetic, enthusiastic team brimming with ideas.  Dave and Tiana did a great job of working redundancy into the bylaws so we no longer have any single points of failure.

However, as with scaling any business, we encountered issues.  Being a volunteer organization, we don’t get a whole lot of facetime as a board.  Whilst the individual teams meet, the only times we get together as a group are for the monthly events (which don’t leave a lot of collaboration time) and the monthly board meetings (in which we cover a lot in 2 hours). Our original strategy of having the teams figure out their own projects, and report back to the board didn’t leave us with a huge amount of alignment.  By the end of February we decided we needed to get together and figure it out.


And here it is....

We used dot voting (unconference-style) to prioritize our programs.  We agreed that we would all sign off on the plan (alignment) and that we would only commit to one initiative per team, per quarter.  Each individual team is still empowered to take on other projects, but these are the ones we have committed to as a board.




Eerrr.... Have you got a more legible version?

Of course - here is Q2 in more detail:

  • Executive Team - Re-Visit our Vision and Purpose - Peter Samson gave a great session last year about alignment - he talked about having a ‘main thing’.  What is ours?

  • Keystone Events Team - start planning for #pcs13 - ProductCamp is the pinnacle of our annual calendar, by planning now we can increase our chances of success

  • Tools Team - Online Content Strategy - How can we find new members through our web channel, and engage better with our existing base?

  • Business Intelligence Team - CRM - who are our current customers? - we interact with you guys through many different channels, how can we better understand what works and what doesn’t?

  • Membership Team - Annual Membership Value Proposition - before we go deeper into acquisition and retention for paid members, we need to understand what is important and valued

  • Events Team - Speaker Planning - in order to provide value for our monthly tickets we want to make sure we have a pipeline of quality speakers and content, with redundancy built in

  • Operations Team - Board Meeting Efficiency - how can we make use of the little facetime we have to get the most done?

  • Logistics Team - Centralized Tasklist and Planning - with so much work going on remotely we want to ensure we have a task management process that provides transparency and makes it easy for people to get things done

  • Treasury Team - Redundancy in Accounting - We didn’t do a great job of filling our first tax year. This quarter we will get on top of accounting and tax filing and spread the knowledge between the team



So what do you think?

Leave your comments below - we always love to hear your opinion.  At the end of the quarter we will share our dashboard and give you a breakdown of Q3.


Do you have something interesting you would like to share with the community? We are always on the look out for guest blogs. Send us your ideas here!

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Comment by Deborah Lelinski on April 17, 2013 at 2:14pm

Appreciate the consistency - as I recall, it used to be consistently Wednesday, which aided planning.  Would suggest always keeping it the third week of the month, or something similar.

 

You may find that Thursdays is better in general for the group.  Just inquiring.  thx.

Comment by Jon White on April 17, 2013 at 11:07am

@Linda - thank you guys for making it all possible!


@Deborah - we have kept to Thursday deliberately for consistency's sake.  However we are always open to feedback, let me talk to our events team and get back to you.

Comment by Linda Merrick on April 17, 2013 at 10:30am

Mara and I are proud of the 2012 Board for accepting and meeting the challenge of taking PMC to the next level.  We offer our appreciation, encouragement, and support to the 2013 Board and look forward to PMC's continued growth and success!

Comment by Deborah Lelinski on April 17, 2013 at 10:21am

Question and suggestion - can the monthly meeting be rotated as to night of the week?  I (and I assume others may) have a standing conflict on Thursday evenings or would be at the "kick ass" events you are planning to host.  Any chance to rotate between Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays?

Comment by Deborah Lelinski on April 17, 2013 at 10:20am

Great update!

What is the PMC?

The PMC is a non-profit, volunteer driven organization for Product Management professionals.  We are based in Seattle.  We enable product managers to connect, share, participate and learn from each other.  We host monthly events, an online community, job postings and ProductCamp Seattle.

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