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.
July 6, 2018 Although folks often talk about goals and metrics when they're writing new plans or reflection on plans past, my fondest memories of metrics are when I've seen them used to drive large organizational change. This post covers the approach that I've seen effective to guide broad organizaitonal change relying on metrics and without requiring much organizational authority.
July 5, 2018 There is a moment in every company's growth when top-level planning shifts from discussing specific projects to talking about goals. This can be a very empowering moment because goals decouple the "what" from the "how", but it can also be a confusing transition for everyone involved: writing clear goals takes a bit of practice. This post takes a look at how to write effective goals and how to use them during planning.
July 1, 2018 My experiences working with many new engineering leaders, combined with my own struggles starting out, have lead me to develop a somewhat unusual approach to leadership, centered on systems thinking and providing robust standard rails. This is a collection of my writings by theme, which hopes to introduce folks to how I think about engineering leadership.