Leading in a tech downturn can be challenging for you and for your teams. Applying the steps, tools, and frameworks shared in this workshop will help you change the way you think and operate.
After years of high growth and a focus on scale, we’ve been seeing a retraction in the tech industry at large. Many companies changed strategy, cut budgets, restructured, and laid off employees, while still maintaining ambitious goals. Leadership teams have been focusing much more on their engineering departments’ performance, productivity, and efficiency - while still wanting to achieve ambitious goals and avoiding to sacrifice quality: “Doing more, with less”.
Engineering leaders’ roles have been shifting alongside: After years focused on hiring, growing teams and scaling operations, teams and their leaders are now facing increased scrutiny when it comes to engineering teams’ performance. Increasingly, leaders hear questions like “how productive is your team?”, “what returns are we expecting from this investment?”, and are expected to achieve their goals with lower budgets and smaller teams.
Many engineering leaders got into this line of work to build great, high-performing teams, not wrangle spreadsheets - and many of leaders never received formal business training, making it harder to navigate these changed expectations. This new operational mode is a fundamentally different way of building and running teams than what many leaders have been focusing on in the last years. At the same time, many leaders are deeply invested in their teams’ well-being, and wonder how to build great teams and motivate employees in a time like this.
Managing in a downturn like this one is challenging. And as an engineering leader, the responsibility lies on your shoulders to guide your team through these challenges successfully. In a time like this, you need to radically change the way that you and your team operate and consider not only whether you’re achieving your goals in the desired quality (effectiveness), but also how you’re doing so (efficiency): What people, budget, time, and engineering approaches can you use to achieve your plans at as low a cost as possible?
So how can you be an effective leader when the industry, your company’s strategy, and the demands towards your role have changed? What steps can you take to increase efficiency while maintaining quality, a respectful and humane working environment, and helping your company achieve its goals? How can you utilise metrics, tech, and collaboration with your team members to get better results? And how do you motivate your team(s) during a time of uncertainty like this one?
Leading in a tech downturn can be challenging for you and for your teams. Applying the steps, tools, and frameworks shared in this workshop will help you change the way you think and operate. By using real situations and questions from attendees, we’ll delve into common issues leaders may face and how to combat them. You will take away concrete steps to increase efficiency on your team(s), do more with less, and be the leader that your business and your team needs during this time of uncertainty.
What will you learn?
- Foundations & principles for leadership during times of economic scrutiny
- Adapting your role and operational mode
- Creating & maintaining alignment with accountability by taking your team(s) along for the journey
- Identifying and addressing improvement opportunities to increase team efficiency and productivity
- Managing for high visibility
- Strategies and tactics for continuously improving together with your team
Who should attend?
This workshop is aimed at all engineering leaders who are looking to help their teams be more in their organisations. It will be particularly useful for any leaders who are in organisations with high degrees of ambiguity (e.g. teams operating in agile environments, fast-growing organisations, start-ups, large organisations undergoing transformation).
Some job titles that may attend include:
- Tech Lead
- Engineering Manager
- Senior Engineering Manager
- Staff Engineer
- Senior Staff Engineer
- Head of Engineering
- Director of Engineering
Agenda: Workshop Schedule overview
Foundations & principles
Adapting your role and operational mode
Creating & maintaining alignment with accountability by taking your team(s) along for the journey
Identifying and addressing improvement opportunities to increase team efficiency and productivity
Managing for high visibility
Strategies and tactics for continuously improving together with your team
About your host
Lena Reinhard is an engineering leadership coach, mentor, and organisational advisor supporting technology leaders in growing themselves, their teams, and companies. As an experienced executive leader, she has dedicated her career to helping leaders and their organizations excel in times of high change and challenging markets. Her experience includes several leadership roles in NGOs, bootstrapped companies, as well as in VC-funded startups and corporations. In previous roles, Lena served as VP Engineering with CircleCI and Travis CI, and a SaaS startup co-founder & CEO. She has a business background working in finance, including during the 2008 financial crisis, and brings a unique perspective on systems of technology, business, and people. Find her writing on leadership and more about her work at lenareinhard.com.