A weekly dose of management, process, and leadership.
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Tech Leadership Weekly

Issue 80, September 13, 2017

First Round Review
Track and Facilitate Your Engineers’ Flow States In This Simple Way

Even with effective 1:1s, it can be challenging to get to the heart of how a person is feeling about their job. Asking a person rate themselves on an X-Y graph with Challenge and Skills can provide insight into a person's mental state. A near equal mix of challenge and skill means a person is in the flow, and happy. Too much challenge without skill means someone's struggling, and needs help.  Too little challenge with high skill indicates boredom, a common reason for leaving. A simple graph can provide a startling amount of insight into a person's true feels.

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Juan Pablo Buriticá
6 Lessons I learned while implementing technical RFCs as a management tool

The RFC (Request for Comment) is a tool used in open source projects to define new features. RFCs can benefit internal projects as well. An RFC enables individual contributors to make decisions with the input of domain experts. RFCs with a short review period convey the idea, approach, and thought process within the organization. Process that enables asynchronous collaboration and visibility helps organizations make smarter decisions.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Julie Zhuo
No No No

Saying 'No' is a necessary part of achieving success. Don't use 'No' with small features that don't impact release, brainstorming, if you'd don't understand the idea, or when there are no other good options. It should only be used during focused execution. When delivering 'No', frame it in the context of the project's stated goals. Say 'No' to the idea, not the person. Use it as a teaching movement by detailing how or why you reached the decision. Saying 'No' to your boss isn't insubordinate, it's your job to question bad ideas.

Reading Time: 6 minute

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