This week in pm-clinic: Management at start-ups

This week in the pm-clinic discussion forum – The softer side:

I’m working at my third tech sector start-up company. This one is a web 2.0 type shop (consumer facing web service) comprised of me and four other programmers. We divide up the work to avoid conflicts, giving each programmer great autonomy and minimizing the need for any kind of manager role. It has been good so far, but we’re fast approaching bigger decisions (e.g. financial, strategic) that impact all of us, and I fear our anti-management/consensus approach will eventually be a burden.

So how do you know:

  1. When is it time to create a dedicated manager or PM type role? Is it defined by the # of people you have? Other factors?
  2. How do you transition from a totally organic model to one with defined roles?
  3. Or do we even need to worry about this at all? Most of my peers think we’re successful because of our lack of any formal management knowledge or structure whatsoever.

– Signed, Start up management

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