Irrational Exuberance!

Opportunity & Membership

July 17, 2018 Fostering an inclusive organization is intimidating work. Not only is it intimidating, for the longest time I struggled to find a framework to even think about it effectively. Over time, I've found a framework for thinking about inclusion efforts that is simple but that I've found very useful. An inclusive organization is one where folks have access to membership and opportunity. Membership is participating as version of themselves they feel comfortable with. Opportunity is having access to professional success and development.

Service cookbooks.

July 15, 2018 If you're an infrastructure or SRE team that is underwater and only have time for one project to reduce your toil, what should you pick? For my money, you should start using a service cookbook.

Sizing engineering teams.

July 14, 2018 I've come to believe that most organizational design questions can be answered by recursively applying a framework for sizing teams. Over the past year I've refined my approach to team sizing into a bit of a framework, and even changed my mind on several aspects, especially the viability of small teams. This post describes how I now size teams

Selecting project leads.

July 12, 2018 Have you ever worked at a company where the same one or two people consistently got the most important projects? Me too. It's not only frustrating, I think it's a key indicator of poor organizational health. Over the past few years, I've started to use a very deliberate approach to selecting project leads, which has lead to a much wider set of leaders, and has been a great learning opportunity to evolve.

Writing strategies and visions.

July 9, 2018 As an organization grows beyond fifty people or so, you'll feel a building pressure to add a third layer of management, and eventually you will. This ought to be a benign event, what's the difference between supporting some managers and supporting their managers? It shouldn't be too different, but for me it was when my previous mechanisms of alignment stopped working very well. Two of the most effective tools I've found are strategy and vision documents, and this post introduces how to write both.