For example, he says at the company everyone knows what a developer does and what a product manager does. But those roles need an overhaul, and that’s what he meant in his memo when he said “nothing is off the table.”
I saw the role of the Program Manager change only slightly in my ten years at Microsoft. The explicit separation of the Program Manager’s responsibilities from the non-code side of the business – marketing, business development, KPI’s, etc. – made it such that you could get really good at designing a UX interface but have no idea if customers liked it (or really needed it in the first place). Not every team or individual PM had such clear separations, but it was definitely less than common.
I’m still in a bit of the honeymoon phase of working for a tiny startup where everyone’s roles are naturally wider (due to the work vs. resource balance). Yet my short time here has convinced me that for the PM role to evolve at Microsoft, it absolutely must move more towards a Product *Management*-style discipline, one driven by metrics, KPI’s, and customer-driven development. This was happening on my last team where we were building Mail, Calendar, and People on Office 365, and I hope that the style of work we were beginning to embrace (more agile, metrics- and customer-driven development) continues to spread.