There's just over one week remaining to grab your tickets for CTO Craft Con - there are now over 300 participants confirmed, and we've added some more amazing talks, as well as some open round-table discussions and a really exciting hallway track. If you don't already have your ticket, grab yours now!
👉 CTO Craft Con: The People One, Dec 1st - 3rd 2020, 4 - 7pm GMT
There are two new Spotlights with our speakers on the blog for you to check out this week: Lena Reinhard of CircleCI and Bhavini Soneji of Headspace both popped by to tell us about what's occupying their attentions, what they've learned about remote work over 2020, and more.
We're really excited about the event, and about a couple of very, very big announcements that will be made there...
Until next time!
Andy @ CTO Craft
VP of Product Engineering at CircleCI, Lena Reinhard, talks about being a leader in times of change and how to manage remote teams to success
VP of Engineering at Headspace, Bhavini Soneji, gives her take on leadership, learning and how empathy and connection empower remote teams.
Reads of the Week
Last year I interviewed over 100 engineers in 3 months. Before that, the same number across a larger variety of roles. This is a summary of hiring best practices for early stage startups.
I kind of think writing about engineering strategy is hard because good strategy is pretty boring, and it's kind of boring to write about. Also I think when people hear "strategy" they think "innovation" - Camille Fournier Few companies understand their engineering strategy and vision.
From our Partners
A huge, huge thanks to our partners for supporting CTO Craft Con 2020 - you’re all amazing!
🥝 🥝 If you’re interested in seeing our Partnership Opportunities, drop a reply to this email! 🥝 🥝
Culture & People
In response to a tweet on the benefits of stable teams, someone asked whether I’m against changing teams (aka re-teaming) in response to business needs. I am not. There are plenty of good reasons to re-form teams to meet organizational needs.
But is there truth to this statement? At Culture Amp, we used our newest benchmark data to challenge this myth. Our research suggests that manager-related survey questions were amongst the least predictive of people’s intentions to stay with or leave their company
I used to really hate meetings. As a developer they seem to just get into the way of doing real work. You sit in a room with other people who are probably thinking the same thing and you are itching to get back to your desk and do "real work".
People leave jobs. If you are a manager, people will leave your team, just as someday you will leave your team. When this happens it’s an opportunity, a chance to re-evaluate.
One of the essential areas of responsibility for product leaders is setting up the organizational structure of the product development department. For an overview, read my high-level article on product leadership responsibilities, or continue reading for a deep dive on org design.
Leadership & Self-management
When leaders commit to building an inclusive organization, they tend to start with the company mission, vision, values, and a promise to ensure everyone in the organization has a voice.
Every senior person in an organisation should be aware of the less glamorous - and often less-promotable - work that needs to happen to make a team successful. Managed deliberately, glue work demonstrates and builds strong technical leadership skills.
I was sitting with the CEO of a company in a traditional top-down hierarchy who was complaining that people just weren’t stepping up and taking responsibility to make the business successful. As we were talking, a “subordinate” walked in and he reminded her to do something.
Strategizing is predicated on creativity, while adopting a flexible attitude toward an infinite amount of variables. When I first entered my role as a union steward, there was no map. There was no one to tell me how to be an effective leader.
But if you genuinely want to remain indispensable, there are some things you need to work on continuously. Similar to the way a basketball player never stops working on their jump shot. As a leader, there is no “final form".
Agile, Engineering & Product
A Jobs to be Done Framework for Startups — JTBD Templates & Examples for Building Products Customers Want
In my role leading product teams as a part of Facebook's New Product Experimentation, we’re focused on that hazy “0 to 1” stage of building, where ideas are unproven and products are in their most nascent stages.
Classic frameworks like RICE, ICE, Value vs Effort, Kano, etc, are designed to weigh the value of a feature based on the impact it makes on the external customer.
You can’t apply concepts you don’t have, and this is definitely one you should want in your toolbelt. The concept comes from Don Reinertsen, who argues, “If you only quantify one thing, quantify the cost of delay” (Reinertsen, 2009).
A Sprint Planning checklist? How dare you: Agile is a mindset, not a methodology. It is a journey, not a destination. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and what else could you possibly cover with a checklist, the mother of all standardized processes?
Double-loop learning is a powerful but underused mental model for leaders. Find out the difference between single and double-loop learning.
Thank you to our Partners!
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Have an amazing week!