A high level overview for engineering managers
Recently I was reviewing my drives and found a document I had created as a 90-day plan when I was joining Workfront about 5 years ago as Engineering Manager of an existing team. Looking back I can confirm it worked well so I think it makes sense to share it here as it may help those looking to start managing an existing team. have been
I have divided my 90 days plan into 3 parts of 30 days each. My first focus was to connect with people and make sure I started building connections and trust. The second focus was on understanding the product, the business and the customers. And the final focus was on the understanding of existing processes, systems, communication channels etc. The above picture represents a heatmap of my focus over time.
Before making this plan, I got a chance to interact with the team people and understand something about the team. Actually it was an interview with the team where they were making sure that I am a good candidate to be the engineering manager of their team. During the interview I was very attentive to details and the questions the team members were asking and I was able to make the following observations:
- The team is technically very strong and confident that they can solve any problem
- Worried about not having time to invest in modern technologies and do interesting things for them
- He needed an “ambassador” who would help take the pressure off him and ensure he could focus.
- There were more active people, and I got a sense of who had more leadership/authority.
Having this information I came up with the following plan.
Look – Ask – Listen – Learn
My first course of action in this aspect was to reach out to my hiring manager and understand their onboarding plan. An important part for me was to confirm that my opinion of the team was correct. I wanted to sit down with my manager and talk to each of the engineers who would report to me in order to better understand them.
As I’ve already identified the engineers who had more leadership/authority, my second focus was to make sure my guess was correct as it was really important to me to make sure I was in touch with those people as soon as possible Build trust quickly And make sure they know I’m here to improve their leadership, not reduce their role on the team.
I was planning to engage very closely with the Product Manager of the team. I wanted to understand the market we were competing in, the needs of our customers, and the upcoming features we had to offer.
Talking to peers and making sure I understood all the cross-functional dependencies was another important focus for me.
And lastly understanding the culture of the team/company to ensure that I adapt my leadership style accordingly.
Learn – Understand the tasks – Take ownership
I was planning to dedicate this time to my accelerated learning. Focus on understanding the organization structure, processes, dependencies etc. Sync with teammates to align expectations.
It was important to learn the product and the market and understand the customer pain we were solving. and review the backlog of architecture and technical debt along with expected features.
This had to happen quickly for me as my main goal for this second part was to identify deliverables that I could take ownership of and gain confidence in myself as well as show the team that I could help Am.
Learn – Understand processes – Resolve issues
The focus of the last 30 days of my planning was on understanding how projects are launched, what is the strategic planning of the product, how to plan the budget, etc. Understand resource management, performance management, promotion cycles and best practices for awarding rewards. artist.
At this stage, I should have identified the issues and used all the learned knowledge to score quick wins by solving issues that are important to the team so that the team starts trusting me. I also had to show the product manager and my peers that I was a good partner to deal with.