7 min read

🥷 Sabotage, HiPPOs, Conflict, 9-Box Grids, Work Trials, WIP Limits, After-hours Work, Goldilocks Stress: TMW #361

Hello there! It's Monday...

Congratulations, we've made it to the end of 2023 - this is the last issue of TMW until January. A massive thank you to all the contributors, sponsors and to everyone who's given us suggestions and positive feedback over the last year. And what a huge year it's been for CTO Craft...

2023 was the year we took the massively popular CTO Craft Con events out of the cloud and into the city, with not one but two sold-out conferences in London's East End. It was amazing to see so many of the community come together and enjoy the brilliant talks on Strategy and Culture - thanks for hanging out with us! We'll be doing it all over again in a bigger venue in May 2024 - check out the link below to see what's going on. This time, there'll be more chance to network and explore tech leadership topics in smaller groups. It's going to be amazing.

This year also saw the launch of Campus, the culmination of nearly 7 years of building resources and learning tools for CTOs, VPs, Heads of, Directors and other senior technology leaders. Campus already has hundreds of members enjoying the vast library of content, and we'll be rolling out new courses regularly for the foreseeable future. Also coming next year will be the Masters programmes, featuring live workshops, accreditation, exclusive speaker events and much more - watch this space.

Again, thanks to all TMW readers and CTO Craft members for your support - see you in January!

Andy @ CTO Craft

Campus by CTO Craft: The Go-to Resource for Senior Technology Leaders
Created for CTOs, by CTOs: A transformative learning community for senior technology leaders in startups and scale-ups

CTO Craft Events

CTO Craft Con: London | 8-9 May 2024
CTO Craft Con will bring together over 400 Chief Technology Officers and other senior technology leaders from the most exciting start-ups, scale-ups, unicorns, and big tech companies to elevate their engineering culture in London, May 2024
CTO Craft Mixer: Manchester
Network and learn with fellow senior tech leaders and CTO Craft members at The Old Monkey pub in Manchester.
CTO Craft Bytes: Remote Realities - What does Culture mean now?
Is Culture Dead? In this Bytes session, we delve into what Culture means and how a CTO leads a team in a remote-working world.
CTO Craft Mixer: Berlin
Join our community of CTOs and senior tech leaders for an informal meet-up in Berlin

Reads of the Week

Simple sabotage for software
How to sabotage software productivity, in the style of CIA

About our Sponsors

Thanks as always to all the amazing sponsors helping CTO Craft bring you resources like this newsletter, our events, community and more:

AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, HeadChannel, Google Cloud, Vention, Jellyfish, 101 Ways, Polly, Skiller Whale, Softwire, Sema, Uplevel, YLD

Leadership, Strategy & Business

TBM 260: The Thoughtful HIPPO
Top-down decision-making is underrated. Teams often desperately want leaders to make decisions and establish meaningful constraints. They may not want a leader to dictate the how, but they DO want someone with formal influence and authority to take a stand, take options off the table, and take responsibility. But the big challenge is that when this is needed the most is when it is hardest. Here’s why.
Metrics, Cowardice, and Mistrust
why we need better ideologies than “data driven decision making”
3 Simple Rules to Automate OKR Tracking
Making weekly check-ins lightweight, informative and less time consuming.
How we developed our Vision, Mission, and Strategy
If you don’t know where you want to go, how on earth do you know how you’ll get there? And if you don’t know, don’t expect your team to know either.

Culture, People & Teams

Conflict is not the secret sauce to building a great product — Kate Leto
Let’s start with a scenario I’m sure many of you have experienced. Meet Sue and Tom. Sue is an engineering lead on a team and Tom is the product manager. They work at an AI start-up and have recently been focused on a new piece of functionality that is going to put their company on the map… It’
The Nine-Box Grid for Talent Management
Discover how to to best support your teams’s member career.
Refactoring Feedback
One superpower every leader needs to wield effectively is super coaching. Past the buzzwords, that means providing people with timely, sincere feedback and buttressing a support system to ensure it…
Why and how we do work trials at Linear
Learn why and how Linear uses paid work trials to evaluate candidates’ skills, judgment, and fit within a startup environment.

Technology, Operations & Delivery

Mastering WIP Limits in 🙈 “Agile” Development
🚀 Navigating the Agile Workflow: A Deep Dive into WIP Limits In the fast-evolving realm of Agile development, mastering Work-In-Progress (WIP) limits is akin to unlocking a secret code for enhanced productivity and streamlined workflow. This guide delves into the nuances of WIP limits, offering a comprehensive toolkit for anyone keen to refine their Agile methodologies, from budding developers to seasoned pros.
From Project to Product Mindset: How to Make The Change | ProdPad
Transitioning from a project to product mindset can be one of the hardest things for an established company to do. Find out how to manage it.
Using lines of hope and despair for prioritisation - Neil Vass dot com
I’ve used this technique for several years since learning about it from Dr Sal Freudenberg – thank you Sal! The illustration above is from a “Taming Unicorns with Technology” workshop I ran with Katie Roberts, where we described how using this rather than MoSCoW or other techniques helped hugely with discussions and decision making. Using […]
Can You Do Scrum Without Certain Features? It Depends.
How much can you tinker with Scrum and still call it Scrum? Find out what you can change (when and how) without causing harm.

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

The surprising connection between after-hours work and decreased productivity
Slack’s Workforce Index uncovers new findings on how to structure the workday to maximize employee productivity, well-being and satisfaction
Wellness and the Holidays: Finding Balance in the Boundaries
Finding a balance is even more important during the holidays and it doesn’t have to be an unreachable moving target. There are things you…
The Goldilocks Paradox: When Stress is Just Right - Leadership Freak
Stress doesn’t kill you, what you believe does. When you think stress is bad for you - it is. When you think stress brings out your best - it does. There’s research…

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Have an amazing week!