What Should Your Team Work On?
What should we work on?" is probably the most consequential question you need to help your team and company answer. Should we focus on: fixing bugs that are causing many support calls, building a strategic new feature, implementing a tactical solution that will help bring more customers, re-architecting systems and addressing technical debt, interviewing new engineers, onboarding new colleagues and improving documentation.
As a manager or technical lead, you can influence that decision to ensure your team provides the best experience for your customers and the best opportunity for the business. Clearly mapping your team's work to the company's goals and success will give you all the motivation and purpose needed to engage with and feel proud of your work. It will likely help your team find opportunities to learn and grow and could get you and them the next promotion too!
Management bugs: a transparent way of enabling democratic change
Have you ever struggled to make change happen democratically in your department? Have you raised issues up the flagpole only for them to disappear into the ether?
We explore an initiative called "Management Bugs" which we have rolled out across our Engineering department at Brandwatch. The idea is simple: let everyone in the department raise bugs to management in the same way that bugs are raised against our software. Doing so breaks down typical org chart barriers and allows everyone to have a voice in a non-confrontational way. Issues can be tracked, discussed and debated.
We have a look at some of the theory behind doing it, how we decided to implement it, and then share some of our learnings and what's changed in our Engineering department as a result. We hope that you'll go back and implement your own version!
Coaching Excellence: NLP Strategies for Coaches
The day-to-day activities we have as Technical Leaders and Managers frequently include 1-2-1 conversations around issue resolution, personal development and career planning. The discipline of Neuro-Linguistic Programming gives us a number of insights and techniques into understanding people’s perceptions, how they see the world and how they behave as a result. We can learn questioning techniques, to draw out the person’s understanding of themselves and their situation; we can see how to spot the negative language patterns that people use which disempower them and limit their perceived options; and we can learn reframing techniques, which will help our colleagues to challenge their perceptions and increase their choices.