Steven Greenberg, director of
program management, Socrata Inc.,
Seattle, Washington, USA
United States to create data portals that share a vast
array of public data—anything from the location of a
crime to the status of a restaurant inspection.
As Socrata expands into U.S. federal agencies
and other countries, Mr. Greenberg ensures the
portfolio’s strategic alignment while helping practitioners implement agile approaches.
In the past year, the company’s workforce
has tripled from 50 to 150. How has that
rapid growth impacted you?
It’s honestly the most exciting time to come in and
do project management. The rapid-growth stage in
a technology company is a time when program and
project managers get to define processes and build
a great culture and a company that can innovate
rapidly while also having predictable results for
What kinds of processes have you
put in place?
Some of it is basic stuff that any mature company
would have to have—for instance, having one place
that lists all the work the engineering team is doing
and its backlog. Other parts are more subtle. The
biggest challenge is: In an organization in which
the opportunities greatly outstrip the available
resources, how do you have a fair and transparent
system for evaluating what work to do? I spent
a lot of my first year here focusing on building a
sustainable system for making decisions about prioritizing and assigning projects.
How does that system work?
I use a portfolio approach: assigning different
VOICES Inside Track
percentages of the organization to tackle different
types of requests. Right now we devote approxi-
mately 70 percent of the organization to working
on the next generation of software, 20 percent to
handling customer requests on the existing system
and 10 percent on improving the team so that it is
Socrata works with city and state governments in the