Tech Manager Weekly by CTO Craft - Issue #144
Hello, and Happy Holidays! Hope everything is peaceful and happy for you and yours over the festive break (assuming you're getting one!)
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Very best wishes to you and yours!
Reads of the Week
Operations and Internal Communication Strategies For Effective CEOs (and CTOs!)
Most of us are wired to believe that if we say something, those who hear us will just naturally execute it exactly as we had envisioned it in the first place. If only managing people were that easy. In reality, just because you said, doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.
Andy says: "OK, this is an amazing resource that can apply for CTOs and tech leaders just as easily as CEOs, with some adjustment. If leading through context rather than control is something you're building toward, take a look"
Software engineering practices to improve management
Full talk title: Using software engineering practices to improve engineering management As a new manager, your changed responsibility is not to build features, but to build systems to support the people building the features.
Culture & People
Designing Engineer Onboarding at Affinity
This summer, our team added four new engineers, growing our existing engineering team by 36% to a total of 16! As their start dates approached this summer, we knew we needed to clarify our onboarding process to ensure each engineer had an effective start to their career at Affinity.
Empathizing with Engineers
Most aspiring product managers and new product managers understand the fundamental importance of engineering. However, I find that they typically bring the wrong lens to the conversation.
The one-on-one meeting template for your end of the year review
With December upon us (already!), many managers have been asking me if I have a one-on-one meeting template for their end-of-the year review with a direct report.
A Distributed Meeting Primer
As a leader who primarily values team health, I place great value on the weekly 1:1 because it’s where I assess health. It’s my highest bandwidth meeting, and historically the slight to significant lag omnipresent in video conferencing impeded that bandwidth. It stilted the conversation.
5 workplace and HR trends to watch in 2020
This is an article where, with the support of Senior People Science Analyst Vivian Woo, I have looked at trends in workplace culture and analyzed them against nearly one million Culture Amp data points across over one thousand companies.
Leadership & Self-management
What makes a good goal?
I’ve always loved the tweet, but I only recently noticed the paper he cites in the thread. It’s called “ The Art of Problem Discovery: Adaptive Thinking for Innovation and Growth “, by Brian Mathews.
Project Portfolio Problems Masquerade as Project Problems
“Everything is late. No one's synchronized. I can't tell where the projects are.” This client might need more people. He definitely needs to manage the organizational WIP (Work in Progress) with many fewer projects.
Mastering New Leadership Styles
“The best leaders master multiple leadership styles”, blithely comments some post on leadership. OK, including one written by me. But how? Many leaders are overly reliant on a style and this can hold them back.
Valuable Leadership Trust: Leaders Are You Spending Yours Wisely?
Leaders, you commonly read about what builds valuable leadership trust. In today’s world it includes courage, competence, vision, integrity, emotional intelligence, and treating others with respect and dignity. However, you read less about how you spend the valuable leadership trust you earn.
Agile, Engineering & Product
The notion of technical debt is not well understood, so let’s start there. Agile is all about fast feedback loops—hours or, at most, a couple days. Deliberately lengthening your feedback loop in pursuit of the chimera of perfection destroys your agility. The cost of that delay is a real cost.
How I learned to stop worrying and love the Mob
So, you’re leading an engineering team and want to have some tips about how to do mob programming effectively. Or, you’re already mobbing, but have run into some trouble spots. Or for whatever reason you just want to compare notes.
Sprint Retrospective Anti-Patterns
What event could better embody Scrum’s principle of empiricism than the Sprint Retrospective? I assume all peers agree that even the simplest retrospective—if only held regularly—is far more useful than having a fancy one once in a while, not to mention having none at all.
Spotify Rhythm – how we get aligned
Here are the slides from my talk about Spotify Rhythm at Agila Sverige. The talk is about Spotify’s current approach to getting aligned as a company.
The Silent Worker- Unlocking introverted employees (PDF)
Our research shows that almost two-thirds of introverts believing that they have ideas that would benefit the wider organisation. At the same time, however, over half of introverts also believe their organisation doesn’t care about their opinions
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