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cwinters : management   341

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The leadership mistake you’re likely making? Being nice.
Ultimately, being nice as a leader is selfish. It doesn’t serve the team. It serves your ego. The team is looking to you to help them achieve a goal. And instead, you’re looking to have your decisions, actions, and yourself perceived as positive by them.
behavior  management  psychology  performance 
yesterday by cwinters
Everything Breaks – Rands in Repose
I wonder if it's a useful way of distinguishing peoples' outlook based on whether they believe this is true or whether they believe such things can be planned beforehand: "The primary way to discover failure is via the increasing entropy of a growing number of humans running around the building – good intentions in hand – breaking things."
culture  management  chaos 
2 days ago by cwinters
You’re Not Managing a Team of Software Engineers, You’re Managing a Team of Writers
"Control is not the right paradigm. The job is guidance, sometimes tight, sometimes loose. Sometimes the “writing” is flowing, sometimes it needs to coaxed and forced. The manager (a better word is “producer”) has to understand the creative process: what is needed? what does the work want?"
management  software  collaboration 
6 weeks ago by cwinters
Working at Netflix Sounds Like Hell
oof: 'Kill or be killed seems to be accepted as a mode of operation. One employee expressed the feeling that they live in fear of being fired every day at an executive meeting. A vice president named Karen Barragan was said to have responded: “Good, because fear drives you.” Barragan disputed the account.'
management  culture 
6 weeks ago by cwinters
Saying no.
"When folks want you to commit to more work than you believe you can deliver, your goal is to provide a compelling explanation of how your team finishes work. Finishes is particularly important, as opposed to does, because partial work has no value, and your team's defining constraints are often in the finishing stages."
management  communication  prioritization  product  teamwork 
8 weeks ago by cwinters
Introduction to systems thinking.
not in a general sense but in a manner that you can graph out to make more obvious what can or should be done
systemsthinking  management  visualization  communication 
8 weeks ago by cwinters
Notes on The Pyramid Principle.
Digging into more specifics of this principle of writing: "Bottoms up thinking is good for developing your idea, but bad for communicating it. This is why decoupling into thinking and writing is useful. (It's fine to think in writing, just don't try to reuse the thinking bits for communicating to others. Very similar to "plan to throw one away" from Fred Brooks.)"
communication  writing  presentation  management 
8 weeks ago by cwinters
The Pyramid Principle – Lessons from McKinsey – Medium
really simple rules about communicating even complex ideas, but they're counter to what we're taught in composition and other classes
presentation  writing  communication  management 
8 weeks ago by cwinters
Kara Swisher on the worst and best bosses she’s ever had.
'I’ve told this story before, but years later I ran into him, and he said, “Most people in this town stab you in the back, but you stabbed me in the front, and I appreciate that.” I said, “Anytime, you son of a bitch.” It was a great moment. I’m so glad he’s dead. Seriously, I’m glad he’s dead. He was a jackass. He deserved it.'
interview  management  journalism 
9 weeks ago by cwinters
Delegation and Time Management – Camille Fournier – Medium
"...And most importantly, it puts the initiative squarely on the shoulders of your team, which is almost always where it belongs. They aren’t going to learn how to make good decisions, set good goals, or write effective docs, if you are always there providing a safety net or taking over the hard work from them."
management  leadership 
september 2018 by cwinters
Say the Hard Thing – Rands in Repose
lots of good stuff here, but I wanted to call out this body/brain forced feedback loop: "The yelling is your brain defending its poorly informed reality, but the yelling distracts you from hearing anything. It has taken years, but the moment I hear the beginning of hard feedback, I adopt the position: crossed legs, folded hands, and head slightly tilted. This is my “I am listening” position. It reminds me to listen."
feedback  management 
june 2018 by cwinters
Have a Great Boss? Capitalize on It to Boost Your Career | Grammarly
I think it's important to remember that the relationship is in both directions: "In any great relationship, you don’t just like the person—you like yourself when you’re with him or her. This is also true of a great boss. A true leader understands how to bring out the best in each member of the team. It’s a thrill to work on that team because there’s room to learn, grow, and make the mistakes that lead to self-discovery and reinvention."
management  behavior 
june 2018 by cwinters
How to scale yourself: the ‘99/50/1’ framework – The Mission – Medium
useful as a guide for the types of questions to ask and level of detail to expect at different phases of a project
management  design  collaboration  projectplanning 
may 2018 by cwinters
Superfan! — Sacha Judd
Tying the "trivial" notions of our cultural attachments to making us more whole people everywhere, even at work. This is a presentation I'll come back to again and again, and one I'll probably forward 100x over.
presentation  diversity  work  management  fan 
may 2018 by cwinters
Team reviews – Marc Hedlund – Medium
Light process for reviewing your managers' teams and coming to simple consensus on performance. Also seems to be a good way to sum up activity over time.
may 2018 by cwinters
Why Impact/Effort Prioritization Doesn’t Work – Itamar Gilad – Medium
trolly headline obscures the actual message, which I think is: we need to get better at estimating so we can make better trade-offs
management  planning 
may 2018 by cwinters
We Need Fewer Product Managers – Hacker Noon
really, more product managers that focus on managing a product itself, rather than on managing all the stuff that goes into the product -- he also gives a decent (reasonable) progression to how companies grow into the role being what it is and how it can calcify over time
product  management  agile 
april 2018 by cwinters
Performance of Performance Reviews – Learning By Shipping
I like this article because it talks a lot about system effects, and the negative side-effects with so many things we do in this area even assuming good intentions. Put another way, it's "pushing the knife fight around": 'To measure performance it must be measured relative to something. Sales is the “easiest” since if you have a sales quota then your compensation is just a measure of how much you exceed quota. Such simplicity masks the knife fight that is quota settings and the process by which a comp sheet is built out, but it is still a relative measure.'
management  culture  systemsthinking 
april 2018 by cwinters | The dirty war over diversity inside Google
‘As a consequence, sometimes managers tried to restore calm by telling everyone to knock it off. Zunger says this was well-intentioned, but ultimately counterproductive. “Once an awareness of contempt is present in the room, not talking about it doesn't make it go away,” he said.’
racism  management  google  soc  sexism  diversity 
february 2018 by cwinters
A Taxonomy of Troublemakers for Those Navigating Difficult Colleagues | First Round Review
broad strokes, but the framing of Don't say/Do say is a useful way to show how phrasing can make a difference
management  soc  behavior 
january 2018 by cwinters
Complexity and Strategy – Hacker Noon
long one, but worth the read; even worth coming back to every so often
complexity  architecture  management  strategy 
december 2017 by cwinters
Typical Programmer
closer: "I think programmers should pay much more attention to listening to and working with their peers than to rituals and tools, and that we should be skeptical of too much process or methodologies that promise to magically make everyone more productive. Maybe social skills come harder to programmers than to other people (I’m not convinced that’s true), but developing those skills will certainly pay off a lot more than trying yet another development methodology."
agile  communication  management  culture 
december 2017 by cwinters
ongoing by Tim Bray · Working at Amazon
nice overview, and one I'd trust, though I suspect that the experience of capital T Tim capital B Bray might not be representative :-)
hiring  amazon  job  management  culture 
october 2017 by cwinters
Elided Branches: How do managers* get stuck?
some good descriptions of what it means to manage up, down, and sideways
october 2017 by cwinters
How to Build a Rumor – Rands in Repose
communication is hard: "This is how your rumor started. In a meeting two weeks ago, you said a controversial thing about an important topic poorly. Because you were in a hurry, you only stated half of your justification before you ran out the door. Your goal was to inspire, but for the folks who hadn’t heard your pitch before, you mostly confused them."
september 2017 by cwinters
Four Reasons Developers are Unproductive - - David Bryant Copeland's Website
nice overview of the things preventing us from doing work -- these are all about the work rather than people or process, still very valuable: "To work in an organized way, you must have some sort of plan and system for working. Although each task you work on is somewhat unique, there are high-level steps to take in order to work in an organized way."

Also, this at the end: "This is hard, perhaps harder than it should be. As an industry, we don’t have disciplines. We don’t have shared language. We don’t have standards on any level of our work. We are entirely on our own, every time, all the time, to figure out how to be productive."
programming  management  design  collaboration 
august 2017 by cwinters
Abstractivate: Hyperproductive development
"Except, I'm suspicious of this description. "We" is a plural pronoun. This depth of familiarity and comfort with a system is personal: it's usually one person. The one person who has conceived this solution, who holds in their head both the current state and where they are aiming.

If you are this person, please realize that no one else experiences this work the way you do. For other people, every change is scary, because they don't know what effect it will have."
productivity  management  programming 
august 2017 by cwinters
An Entirely Other Day: The World is UDP
"UDP people are right: TCP like me are bonkers. We maintain a tradition in the complete absence of the circumstance that allowed that tradition to form. When the land we stand on finally sinks below the relentlessly rising tide, it’s the people who have adapted, transformed, evolved who will survive. The only place for TCP people in the post-diluvian world will be on the small outcroppings of rock that poke above the endless, endless sea, and the only approach TCP people will be able to take is to pretend that the vast deep that surrounds them doesn’t exist. The world is UDP, and the people who live in it need to be as well."
collaboration  communication  internet  soc  management 
august 2017 by cwinters
Why We Argue: Style — Sandi Metz
'These "style wars" are ostensibly about formatting code, but are actually about power. In mild forms, the wars create tension and cost money. In virulent forms, they poison team morale.'
goodwriting  programming  collaboration  management 
july 2017 by cwinters
Just Do As Expected – Hacker Noon
loads of good stuff here, mostly about how a "Do as expected" philosophy can permeate a number of practices and areas
management  collaboration  programming  debugging  soc  culture 
june 2017 by cwinters
What Really Happened with Vista – Hacker Noon
Worth the read: "The contrast with the Windows team perspective as the Vista project started could not be more stark. The role of hardware innovation was to enable new software innovation rather than the role of software being to expose hardware innovation."
history  windows  software  culture  hardware  design  management 
june 2017 by cwinters
How to Run an Effective Meeting - Business Guides - The New York Times
loads of good stuff here -- most not new but worth remembering for every single time; also a really nice design
work  meetings  management  collaboration  design 
may 2017 by cwinters
Patton's sword and the future of work
Worth a yearly re-read, so many good aspects and passages. (Including the endnotes!)

I can be suspicious of articles like this that take modern ideas and retrofit them to past events, but the author has a light touch and the result winds up being a recognition that these "modern" ideas aren't modern at all. They've always been with us.
history  technology  learning  work  management 
may 2017 by cwinters
Drawing lessons from the “ Bezos Way” – Monday Note
Nice dive into the 2016 shareholders' letter from Bezos, including discussion of the "disagree and commit" strategy and pointing out how important it is to recognize misalignment vs disagreement
amazon  media  journalism  strategy  management 
may 2017 by cwinters
Factory vs. Studio – Michael Dearing – Medium
anecdotal, but this illustration is pretty interesting: "I’ve done this activity now dozens of times in different countries with vastly different participants. Every time, more or less, I see the same thing."
creativity  process  productivity  management 
april 2017 by cwinters
Tech and Culture Musings: The Three
three management lessons; one is "Being Right": "You may be smart.  You may be right.  Inevitably there will be a point in your life that you are the only right person in the room.  And being right is a booby prize.  It's useless.  Worse, if you're right then you have a holy duty to your group, to these people you're committed to helping succeed, to be persuasive, to do whatever you need to do to make sure they see it. "

The other two are also excellent
engineering  leadership  management 
april 2017 by cwinters
Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones (Google Cloud Next '17) - YouTube
great description by Simon Wardley on Wardley Maps and their importance
visualization  strategy  management  biz 
march 2017 by cwinters
Things to Figure Out as a New Manager: Part 1, Your Schedule | Accidentally in Code
"Unless you’re some kind of monster, you’ll probably spend a lot of time feeling terrible and uncertain, too." Loads of good stuff. (Part 1 of 5 [at least for now], read the whole series)
engineering  management  career  soc  collaboration 
march 2017 by cwinters
How To Ask for the Truth
"When things go wrong on a team I manage, one of the first things I always ask myself is “what questions could I have asked to find this out earlier?” and then I start asking those questions more regularly."
management  collaboration  gettingbetter 
february 2017 by cwinters | Culture is the behavior you reward and punish
"It ends up being asymmetrical: it takes unanimity to establish a positive norm in your culture, but it only takes a little inconsistency to lose it."
management  leadership  soc  culture  collaboration 
february 2017 by cwinters
ongoing by Tim Bray · Geek Career Paths
A personal paragraph about working (or not working) in different roles, at different types of companies.
career  management 
february 2017 by cwinters
Culture and the Games People Play
Presentation from Roy Rapoport on how incentives and actual empowerment can be a really powerful force among an organization, and about how the wrong kinds of incentives can be super corrosive; kinda gets into the "what makes Netflix special" idea
management  psychology  netflix  collaboration  soc 
february 2017 by cwinters
Company Growth: Why everything breaks at 25 employees
"why everything breaks" is dramatic, but useful advice on what to focus on (communication, repeat yourself, think about what your implicit culture is, recognize individual contributions)
management  communication 
january 2017 by cwinters
Elided Branches: How Do Individual Contributors Get Stuck? A Primer
great list; also lol on: "Individual contributors often get sidetracked by...

7. Excessive testing (rare)
8. Excessive automation (rare)"
management  productivity  programming  soc 
january 2017 by cwinters
Management in ten tweets – Medium
also worth mentioning is the AMA on the rands-management slack from Marc on 4-Nov-2016
november 2016 by cwinters
Forgotten Questions of Change | esther derby associates, inc.
"A handful of questions that could lead to more effective action, but seldom get asked..."
management  development  change  innovation  agile 
october 2016 by cwinters
How to Recruit – Rands in Repose
combine this with Wanted; timely for me right now :-)

"For Discover, Understand, and Delight there are critical leadership skills you need to learn and refine. In Discover, it’s understanding the power of persistent serendipitous networking, in Understanding it’s both understanding how to tell the tale of your company as well as being able to understand the tale of the candidate. Finally, in Delight, it’s the ability to discern what is the best way to delight this candidate at a time when their worry and risk aversion is the strongest."
hiring  management  career 
september 2016 by cwinters
Elided Branches: The Virtue of Hubris and The Value of Complaining
'Does your company have a practice of telling people to "bring solutions, not complaints?" That is at best hiding problems, not avoiding them. It is unrealistic to expect people to be able to solve every problem they see in front of them. I mean, can you do that, really? It is hard enough to expect your executives to be able to do this, believe me, I know. Your team is going to see problems that they will not know how to solve, and to tell them to keep that to themselves until they figure out the solution is a great way to avoid dealing with real issues.'
management  leadership  collaboration  failure 
august 2016 by cwinters
Making a Sandwich: Effective Feedback Techniques
add this to the pile of great Dan North presentations I should listen to again every six months...
management  feedback  collaboration 
august 2016 by cwinters
A Manager’s FAQ — ReadThink (by HubSpot)
"Start with the premise that your employee did his best. Then the question becomes why would a smart and capable employee who did his best screw up?

You cannot be a good manager without a deep curiosity for this question. Weak managers assume employees took shortcuts, were being lazy, or are just dumb. This is rarely the case."
management  culture  soc 
august 2016 by cwinters
The Management Myth - The Atlantic
"When a congressman asked him if his methods were open to misuse, Taylor replied, No. If management has the right state of mind, his methods will always lead to the correct result. Unfortunately, Taylor was right about that. Taylorism, like much of management theory to come, is at its core a collection of quasi-religious dicta on the virtue of being good at what you do, ensconced in a protective bubble of parables (otherwise known as case studies)."
history  management 
july 2016 by cwinters
The Conjoined Triangles of Senior-Level Development - The Frontside
goes a good distance toward answering "What is a Senior Software Developer?"
career  hiring  management  leadership 
july 2016 by cwinters
The Journal by Kevin Rose: Jason Fried - Product Hunt
Interview with Jason Fried about how Basecamp works, how they build products, and how they keep their folks happy
interview  management  design  product  productivity  innovation 
june 2016 by cwinters
The Curse of Culture – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Great read, and deep lessons as to what's important. This quote early on gives an idea:

"The implications of this definition are profound: culture is not something that begets success, rather, it is a product of it. All companies start with the espoused beliefs and values of their founder(s), but until those beliefs and values are proven correct and successful they are open to debate and change. If, though, they lead to real sustained success, then those values and beliefs slip from the conscious to the unconscious, and it is this transformation that allows companies to maintain the “secret sauce” that drove their initial success even as they scale. The founder no longer needs to espouse his or her beliefs and values to the 10,000th employee; every single person already in the company will do just that, in every decision they make, big or small."
apple  microsoft  management  culture  soc  google 
may 2016 by cwinters
Speed as a Habit | First Round Review
He talks more about this from the management perspective than the software development one - "If, by way of habit, you consistently begin every decision-making process by considering how much time and effort that decision is worth, who needs to have input, and when you’ll have an answer, you'll have developed the first important muscle for speed."
management  collaboration 
april 2016 by cwinters
7 BigCo Anti-patterns — white collars doing it wrong — Medium
"6. Pay people to ignore them — BigCo’s love hiring new employees, paying them well, and then rarely listening to them. Instead, you hire outsiders and consultants who say similar things, but are listened to. In fact, the first task of any good management consultant team is to go interview all those bright, but ignored, employees you have and ask them what they’d do."
management  collaboration  biz 
april 2016 by cwinters - The effects of markets on discrimination is more nuanced than you think
"Differential treatment of women and minorities isn’t limited to hiring and blogging. I’ve lost track of the number of times a woman has offhandedly mentioned to me that some guy assumed she was a recruiter, a front-end dev, a wife, a girlfriend, or a UX consultant. It happens everywhere. At conferences. At parties full of devs. At work. Everywhere. Not only has that never happened to me, the opposite regularly happens to me – if I’m hanging out with physics or math grad students, people assume I’m a fellow grad student"
hiring  management  econ  sexism 
march 2016 by cwinters
Rise of The Docker Pattern – James Governor's Monkchips
"Docker is on an exceedingly well-funded mission to transform itself from developer favourite to Cloud Native production environment of choice for the enterprise, moving from Open Container format to “single virtual computer” of choice. The transition though from developer-led to enterprise production grade takes time. We’ve seen this before, from MySQL to Mongo to Spring… or for those with rather longer memories think the early versions of Oracle. Automation, backup, compliance, logging, monitoring, networking, scheduling, storage management, orchestration, security, and basic engineering solidity don’t happen overnight."
docker  architecture  collaboration  change  management  sysadmin  devops 
march 2016 by cwinters
Thinking about Radical Candor |
"Managers often get into trouble when they are in the ruinous empathy quadrant — this is when you care about a person personally but you’re not willing to challenge them directly. There are lots of reasons not to challenge people directly, many of them really well-intentioned. In fact, timing is everything. I believe it can be OK to wait on challenging someone directly if the timing for delivering negative feedback isn’t right. "
management  leadership  feedback 
february 2016 by cwinters
Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss | First Round Review
'If you think this all sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. Radical candor requires you to undo the “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all” training that’s been beaten into your head since you learned how to talk. This is *hard*.'
management  leadership  feedback 
february 2016 by cwinters
Heilmeier Questions
"As director of ARPA in the 1970’s George H. Heilmeier developed a set of questions that he expected every proposal for a new research program to answer.  He referred to them as the "Heilmeier Catechism".  These questions still survive at DARPA and provide high level guidance for what information a proposal should provide.  It's important to answer these questions for any individual research project, both for yourself and for communicating to others what you hope to accomplish."
research  development  management  motivation 
february 2016 by cwinters
Startup Interviewing is Fucked
"A huge problem with all this is that it creates a power dynamic that virtually all but assures that people who are bad at technical interviews will fail."
hiring  interview  management 
february 2016 by cwinters
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