How do you manage your mail?

3 months before I moved out here and started working at Microsoft, a friend of mine told me: “KC, you need a pilot… because you have the organizational Zen, but not the tools required to implement it”. Little did I know that I would shortly find that tool, and it would be Outlook. I apparently…

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How to get someone to answer your questions

I learned a wonderful trick today that completely resonates with me, and I wanted to share it. Perhaps I should start a new program management category for this kind of thing, seems like I’ve been writing about it a lot recently. The problem: You have a question. You need an answer. You know the person…

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Tripped up by imprecise terminology

In OWA 2000 SP2, we added some registry keys to control certain behavior related to attachments. We needed the keys to be set by default, so I talked to the setup team, and they agreed to make the change. I sent them a mini speclet where I described that we’d have the registry keys under…

3

Strategies for being a program manager

PMing is an odd thing. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what you did all week, especially if you don’t want to use words like ‘unblocked’, ‘enabled’ and ‘drove’. You might spend a large portion of your time simply following up with other people to get them to respond to your questions (get used to…

1

What is it exactly that you *do* here?

Starting next week, I’ll be a release manager, as I mentioned before. And I know that it’s not necessarily obvious to folks outside microsoft what release managers do. Well, Raymond has a post recently that explains one part of the job: During the run-up to Windows XP Service Pack 2 Beta in December of last…

3

So long Exchange, hello Exchange

I haven’t been blogging much recently, and there’s a reason for that. Omar’s recent post reminded me that I needed to blog this. I’m changing jobs… Starting in a couple of weeks, I will no longer be a program manager in Exchange. Instead, I will be the release manager for Exchange, which is a funky kind of program…

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There’s no such thing as a simple feature

Whenever I think about designing seemingly simple features, I reflect back on this to remind myself how nothing is as simple as it seems: For Exchange 2000 Service Pack 2, I was tasked with speccing out a feature – type-down search. In Outlook and Windows Explorer, this is the feature whereby you can sort on a…

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What it’s like to be a Program Manager at Microsoft…

I got a big kick out of this thread on Joel Spolsky’s forum, such as the part about how PMs manipulate developers. I have to admit, I’ve played the “Oh what a smart idea you just had, Mr./Ms. Developer!” card more than once, but that’s usually because I was being honest, and I think it’s…

4

Should Microsoft add features in service packs?

This is an issue that gets debated around the company from time to time, and there are many people on both sides of the fence who feel passionately about it. In Exchange 2000 SP1, we did add a few features. In Exchange 2000 SP2, we added even more (I was the program manager for most…

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