In a prior post, I shared an approach I use for visualizing a team’s roadmap. Visual roadmaps have proven extremely useful for alignment, both within the team as well as with partners and customers. It’s a simple way to answer the question, “what are we going to work on”? But I have found that it lacked insight into the evolution of the products themselves, and how they were evolving.
December is often a time for reflection. We look back on the year and reflect on what we've accomplished. I am no exception. As I look back on 2019, there are a few things that stand out.
A few years back, I took over an engineering team that was failing to meet the needs of their customers. One of the many complaints leveled was that the team did not effectively communicate their plans. It became apparent to me that I needed to find a way to share the work the team planned to do over the short and long term. I began searching for examples that were simple and effective. This is when I began experimenting with visual roadmaps.
In a previous post, I shared my approach to visualizing and understanding the culture of an organization. Assuming you agree with my approach to understanding culture, you might find yourself asking the question, "Great! How do I get started?" In my experience, I tend to look for an organization's cultural artifacts as a starting point for understanding their culture. So what are cultural artifacts and why are they useful?
It wasn’t an easy decision, voluntarily choosing to leave Netflix after 4 and a half years. It was a decision I mulled over for months. I mulled over this decision because Netflix is the MOST AMAZING place I’ve ever worked. I know that I will compare all future employers to the Netflix culture and the experiences I've had here. I am forever grateful for being able to experience Netflix for as long as I did. For this, I give thanks.
As an engineering manager at Netflix, I spend most of my time in meetings and one-on-ones. During these meetings, I collect a lot of information that’s valuable to the members of my engineering team. When my team was only four people, disseminating information was easy. It usually involved a quick hallway chat or was covered during a regular one-on-one. But late last year my team doubled in size. With the larger team, I struggled to keep everybody informed in a timely way. It became obvious that I wasn’t effectively scaling team communication and I needed to make a change.
Older posts are available in the archive.