Your hiring funnel.

August 1, 2018. Filed under management 127hiring 9

Most companies believe they are constrained by funding, product market fit or hiring. Books have been written about each of those, and this will be a foray into hiring. In particular, it'll be a look at how to use the fundamental hiring diagnostic tool: the hiring funnel.

Scaling consistency.

July 30, 2018. Filed under management 127

In small organizations, it's easy for folks to be aware of what others are doing and to recollect how you've previously approached similar problems. This hive mind and memory creates a consistency to decision making that correlates strongly with quality. The subtle slide into inconsistency is often one of the most challenging aspects of evolving from a small team into a much larger one.

Book recommendations.

July 24, 2018. Filed under management 127review 13book 12

Folks occasionally ask me to recommend books to help them in their professional career.I can usually think of a couple recommendations in the moment, but always feel like I'm forgetting far more good book than I'm recommending. In the hope of providing a better answer going forward, I've written up some of the general purpose, leadership and management books I've read.

Succession planning.

July 23, 2018. Filed under management 127

Two or three years into a role, you may find that your personal rate of learning has trailed off. You know your team well, the industry particulars are no longer quite as intimidating, the mystery of getting things done at your company solved. This can be a sign to start looking for your next role, but it's also a great opportunity to build experience with succession planning.

Identify your controls.

July 21, 2018. Filed under management 127

When I transitioned from supporting teams directly to instead partnering their managers, I struggled to remain effective without understanding their day to day work. My first instincts were to retain the same fidelity of context over a much wider area, and for the folks working with me this was probably indistinguishable from micromanagement. Maybe it even _was_ micromanagement.

Opportunity & Membership.

July 17, 2018. Filed under management 127inclusion 4

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.

Sizing engineering teams.

July 14, 2018. Filed under management 127

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. Filed under management 127inclusion 4

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. Filed under management 127leadership 3

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.

Guiding broad change with metrics.

July 6, 2018. Filed under management 127metrics 5leadership 3

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.