“This is now your company!” Those are five words we share with every new Meta employee on their first day, and we mean it. A lot of employees tell us that their favorite part about working here is how we regularly partner with highly collaborative, cross-functional product teams. There isn’t one single role that drives all of our product vision or decisions and every team member has the opportunity—and is encouraged—to voice ideas and opinions.
This collaboration helps maintain Meta’s start-up culture and ensures that everyone at Meta has the opportunity to bring their ideas to life, despite being a large, global company. Nevertheless, working together across global teams is easier said than done.
This is where our Product Technical Program Managers (we call them product TPMs) play a critical role to drive impact and deliver measurable results across a wide range of areas within and between product teams. You will see below why TPMs are the secret ingredient driving our product teams.
What do product TPMs Do?
Product TPMs leverage a unique blend of product and technical strengths, leadership and program management skills to accelerate delivery of products and programs. They drive strategy and execution for product platforms and specialized technical areas in addition to cross-team initiatives that require strong collaboration and breaking down complexity to deliver a product solution.
Product TPMs have unique perspectives on both the vision of the product, and the various components that need to be connected to help implement the product. They bring together and engage with a diverse group of people to solve impactful problems. They provide technical, leadership and program management skills for scaling and delivery.
Product TPMs impact these areas
Product platform or infrastructure
Product TPMs leverage their technical and product understanding of the user problems and business needs to deliver the vision, roadmap and drive end-to-end execution, which are often leveraged by multiple internal and external products and consumers. They focus on combining business context, user requirements and technical experience to define product vision, technical requirements and engineering solutions.
Quan is a TPM on the Product Foundation team and works on product performance, reliability, and developer frameworks. He leverages his technical expertise to solve complex cross-functional problems and partners with engineers to test platform abstractions, improving the overall framework.
Quan also drives platform adoption internally, represents the voice of the internal users and helps launch critical products across the family of apps that rely on the framework. “I work with engineering teams in different locations: Menlo Park, London, and New York City,” Quan says. “Flexible working hours are extremely important for my situation. I feel I have total control of my schedule. I usually start my day early so I can work with teams in London and New York. I could end my day early to pick up kids if needed. My job requires me to visit our teams from time to time. Again, I have full control on my travel plan and could coordinate with my family so my travel won’t be too interruptive to my family responsibilities.”
Cross functional TPMs run complex programs that span team members on multiple XFNs. They have visibility across the entire program, influence and pull in the right people at the right time to unblock the program and move the team towards their goals. Due to the nature of these programs with a lot of dependencies and moving parts, TPMs are good orchestrators. They ensure that teams are aligned from the beginning. Planning is thorough and they are on top of any cross team dependencies during execution.
Emily is a TPM in the Social Responsibility organization that drove and scaled the launch of the COVID Information Center on Facebook, which is a hub for authoritative information. She mobilized teams across the company to come together and define use cases, quickly execute and scale the surface to reach billions of users globally.
Through these learnings, Emily built a framework for other products that relied on news sources, expanding and enabling launches such as Lift Black Voices, Voting Information Center, and the Climate Science Information Center products.
“My favorite part about Meta culture is that it is strengths-based,” Emily says. “What that has meant day to day for me is that throughout my time here, my managers have focused on finding my superpower and helping me find projects and channels to use it. Celebrating and finding value in people for what is different about them, for what makes them unique and special is built into the values at Meta. It is baked into the management style here, and echoed through consistent emphasis on diversity of thought and background through DEI initiatives and training, and mentorship opportunities.
Specialized technical product areas
Product TPMs leverage their domain expertise to drive these specific areas of product (performance, ranking, machine learning, API). This often requires industry knowledge and a deep understanding of the technology stack.
Angelica is a TPM at Instagram who played a formative role in building its early machine learning platform and enabling bleeding-edge ML capabilities, and expanded the platform to all of Instagram. She started the program by working on a complex technical problem for feed ranking, and using her deep domain knowledge, Angelica helped build the tools and roadmap required to shape the multi-year direction of ML across the organization and influence the Meta-wide strategy.
Why join the Product TPM team at Meta?
The opportunity to manage products that scale across the billions of people and businesses we serve is truly a humbling and career-defining challenge. Solving complex technical problems that scale across our family of products, coupled with learning how to adapt, trust and influence without authority in cross-functional teams will evolve your skills and grow your confidence in new ways. Everyone on a product team has the same goal—to successfully bring a product to market to serve people in a meaningful way.
Have you driven and managed cross-team collaboration, process and solutions? Have you managed cross functional initiatives like integrity, privacy, legal or security? Working as a product TPM at Meta is a unique and significant opportunity to shape a rapidly growing discipline at scale. With mentorship, learning circles and foundational on-boarding support, there has never been a better time to join this team of talented product TPMs.