Irrational Exuberance!

A case against top-down global optimization.

June 23, 2018 After writing "Staying on the path to high-performance teams", quite a few folks brought up the same question, "Once a team has repaid its technical debt, shouldn't the now surplus team members move to other teams?" This is a pretty interesting question, and I've written up how I think about it.

Staying on the path to high performing teams.

June 17, 2018 A friend is six months into supporting a sixty person engineering group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of their teams believe they have urgent hiring needs. It's a great question, and captures a deeply challenging aspect of leading an organization: keeping the path after you've established a strategy and while it's still waiting to show results.

Where to stash your organizational risk?

June 13, 2018 Lately, I'm increasingly hear folks reference the idea of organizational debt. This is the organizational sibling of technical debt, and represents things like biased interview processes and inequitable compensation mechanisms. These are systemic problems, which are preventing your organization from reaching its potential. Like technical debt, these risks linger because they are never the most pressing problem. Until that one fateful moment when they are. Organizational risk is the more volatile subset of organizational debt.

Consider the team you have for senior positions.

May 19, 2018 I've been hiring engineering manager of managers roles over the past six months. These roles are scarcer than line management roles, and vary more across companies. This process has taught me a bunch of new things, and been remarkably rewarding.

Setting organizational direction.

May 9, 2018 Over the past year, as I've transitioned into largely working with managers of managers, and it's gotten much more challenging to define direction for the growing organization. Let's explore that a bit.