Is this the right problem?

I sometimes joke that one half of my job is approving things, the other half is asking questions. Of course, asking any question isn’t all that hard, asking the right question is a skill. However, there are a few tricks. There are a couple of questions that prove valuable over and over. Let’s do someContinue reading “Is this the right problem?”

A Seat at the Table

Or: How to fight the hierarchy of disappointment Chances are that in your company, once it hits a certain size, the hierarchy of disappointment makes an appearance — and, not to be hyperbolic about it, it is slowly killing your company. “What the hell is the hierarchy of disappointment!?” At the top of this hierarchy is the Business. In the Business we identifyContinue reading “A Seat at the Table”

Time to Value: The One Metric to Optimize

Re:Invent happened two weeks ago, and usual there was a lot of good content there. One talk I would recommend to this audience is “Innovation at speed” by Adrian Crockford, which gives some insight into various aspects of cloud-enabled innovation, but also explains a bit how AWS is structured internally. However, the key message is about the Time toContinue reading “Time to Value: The One Metric to Optimize”

Engineering Manager Essential Reads (2019)

“I’d like to become an engineering manager one day, what books should I read?” — Anonymous I have three recommendations, and they’re ordered on purpose:  The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier This is the book to start with. It’s the book I wish existed when IContinue reading “Engineering Manager Essential Reads (2019)”

What does success look like?

This happens too often: Employee has an idea for a new initiative (e.g. feature, workshop, hackathon, event storming session, newsletter, offsite, recurring meeting). Manager: “That’s great, we support initiatives, let’s do it!” Initiative happens; people participate; success is declared: “Initiative happened, lots of people participated, it was a success!” Was it, though? It’s quite oftenContinue reading “What does success look like?”

Books that Changed Everything: “Thank You for Arguing”

There are a couple of books that I reread, every year or few years. I reread them, because they contain ideas that have had a huge impact on me. An impact either on my thinking, life and work philosophy, or ways to get things done. As I write this, I’m on my way back fromContinue reading “Books that Changed Everything: “Thank You for Arguing””

The Making Of: My Most Brilliant Ideas

The dump-engage-merge cycle It’s rare, but sometimes I struggle to find a good solution to a problem. However, I found a very simple technique to help me in such situations, and it’s very straightforward to execute. I usually apply it during 1:1s, but if you don’t have direct reports, I suppose you can do itContinue reading “The Making Of: My Most Brilliant Ideas”