TPM: Running Large Scale Programs – Podcast with Rhea
Mario Gerard: Hello, and welcome to the TPM podcast with your host Mario Gerard. Today, we have a very special guest with us, Rhea Frondozo. She and I have worked together at Oracle cloud infrastructure team OCI. Rhea has been a tech industry for the last 20 years. She's worked at IBM for eight years, Microsoft for fours, EMC square. And then at OCI for six years, she's had a variety of different roles as well. She's been a developer, a program manager, a test manager, engineering manager, a director of TPM, and right now, is working at Salesforce as a senior director of TPMS. Her specialty is to run large scheme programs. Rhea, thank you for joining us today. And why don't you introduce yourself to our audience to our audience?
Rhea Frondozo: Thanks Mario. As you mentioned, I have had a 20-year run in the tech industry working for several of the top tech companies in a variety of different roles.
But what I found is that I’ve always been most interested in working on large scale complex programs and products after trying out so many different roles at different companies. What I now know is that my passion tends to be working on projects that aren't so much consumer facing in terms of features or products or services, but more on, so solving enterprise level infrastructure challenges.
I find that the problem solving I enjoy most applies to cross-functional technical challenges that typically span multiple products, services, or even processes.
Mario Gerard: Fantastic. Rhea and I actually have worked together at OCI. As I mentioned, we've been on the same team I’ve reported to Rhea where it was so much fun. We've actually solved so many large-scale programs or problems, which turned in programs and I’ve learned so much from her. So, I think this is going to be a very interesting podcast. So how we have designed today's podcast is the first section. We are going to just go over some very fundamental TPM questions with Rhea. And the second half of the podcast, we're going to go very much into the details of how you've run a large-scale program.
So, let's start with the first section, right? So, Rhea, how would you describe the TPM function?
Rhea Frondozo: So, the TPM function I have to say is not a very easy one to describe because it typically is something that varies from company to company and organization, to organization, team, to team. It's a newer function I think that has a blended role within many organizations.
So, if you can imagine at the base, you have the project management or program management responsibilities, then you apply that to some kind of technical project, program process that needs to be solved for. And so, it also can vary tremendously depending on seniority level. And so, the scale at which you operate can be very small and narrow, more depth focused If you are a depth TPM, or it can be very large and crosscutting across entire organizations or entire companies, if you're looking more at the breadth TPM role.
Mario Gerard: And what would you say are the core skills TPM should generally have?
Rhea Frondozo: So, at the most basic, you know, skill that I would expect TPMS to have been first and foremost, project management skills. These are just your basic project management skills around being able to define scope, a problem space, understand business impact, being able to identify key stakeholders and goals that you want to solve for as well as, you know, creating schedules and tracking execution.
But outside of just your project management basic skills, the expectation would be that you have to have very solid communication skills. The ability to communicate both up down and laterally, whether it's your having conversations with Lee leadership, having conversations with team members, who you are giving direction to, or maybe peers or TPMS that you are trying to get to work on your project, who are maybe peers.
Outside of communication Some other soft skills that I think are important are...
Tue, March 7, 2023