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People ManagementA grizzled veterans perspective
What is People Management?●   Creating a team identity●   Recruiting recruits●   Playing team psychologist●   Planning a t...
Winning and Losing● If you win every game you are not really  challenging your team● If you lose every game you might want...
Evaluating Team Members● Create a clear and simple criteria to  measure and rank your team● Constantly measure and rank yo...
Setting Goals● Dont fool around with goals● Set V.A.G.U.E. Objectives (not S.M.A.R.T.)  ○   Vague: You don’t know exactly ...
Creating a Team Identity●   Who are we?●   What are we doing?●   Where are we doing it?●   When are we doing it?●   Why ar...
Recruiting Recruits●   Hire people who are not looking for a "job"●   Hire people who can teach you something●   Hire peop...
Playing Team Psychologist"Im not a doctor but I play one on TV."● Humans are social, hierarchical, territorial,  and oppor...
Planning a Team Strategy● What game are we playing here?● Which way is the goal?● What are the rules?● What is the other t...
Defining a Process● These are the rules of the "game"● In software development we have various  flavors of waterfall and a...
Coaching a Team● Go watch a Soccer game and see what real  coaches do● Coaches are not the "stars" of the team● Coaches do...
Managing in the Face of Reality● Work is not the most important thing in life● Work can create unintended consequences● Kn...
Other Types of Management toMaster● Meeting Management: Ensuring meetings  arent a waste of time● Time Management: Ensurin...
Questions?● There are no dumb questions● You can manage anything by asking great  questions● Socrates (at his best) asked ...
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People management

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My personal experience and lessons learned from over 20 years of managing developers, designers, product owners, testers, and all kinds of technical people. These are my personal opinions based on leading teams at Apple, DoubleClick, LimeWire, Spotify, and HuffPost.

People management

  1. 1. People ManagementA grizzled veterans perspective
  2. 2. What is People Management?● Creating a team identity● Recruiting recruits● Playing team psychologist● Planning a team strategy● Setting goals● Defining a process● Coaching a team● Evaluating team members● Winning and losing● Managing in the face of reality
  3. 3. Winning and Losing● If you win every game you are not really challenging your team● If you lose every game you might want to make some changes● Inside every win is a loss● Inside every loss is a win● Luck has a lot more to do with winning and losing than anyone cares to admit● Make sure your team knows the difference between winning and losing
  4. 4. Evaluating Team Members● Create a clear and simple criteria to measure and rank your team● Constantly measure and rank your team (in your mind)● Give feedback early and often● Give feedback in a useful form● Give feedback with a purpose● Give feedback that is honestIf you help your team members to grow they will value youmore than you can imagine
  5. 5. Setting Goals● Dont fool around with goals● Set V.A.G.U.E. Objectives (not S.M.A.R.T.) ○ Vague: You don’t know exactly what to do. The team member has to find out. You job is to point in the right direction not draw the line down the road. The answer is off-road. ○ Assay-required: Don’t measure—experiment. It’s the only path to reliable knowledge. ○ Guesstimatable: I don’t know if you can do it. I think you can but there is some risk of failure. This keeps you from feeling dead inside. ○ Unparalleled: If goals should be realistic then nothing impossible would get done: Landing on the Moon, electing black men president, creating a popular phone without a keypad. ○ Eternal: Nothing is ever finished. Keep refining, iterating, upgrading…
  6. 6. Creating a Team Identity● Who are we?● What are we doing?● Where are we doing it?● When are we doing it?● Why are we doing it?● How are we doing it?A team without a core identity has already failed.A team with a poor identity is in danger of failing.A team with a great identity turns failure into success.
  7. 7. Recruiting Recruits● Hire people who are not looking for a "job"● Hire people who can teach you something● Hire people who can teach themselves● Hire people who can teach others There are 2 kinds of people in an organization Dividers: They require lots of help and divide the productivity of organization in half. Multipliers: They dont require any help at all and multiple the productivity of the org by 10. Dividers love Multipliers, but Multipliers hate Dividers!
  8. 8. Playing Team Psychologist"Im not a doctor but I play one on TV."● Humans are social, hierarchical, territorial, and opportunistic animals● Study human behavior the way naturalists do● Most interpersonal problems can be solved by listening● A managers main job is not to be an enabler● Humor is a managers best friend
  9. 9. Planning a Team Strategy● What game are we playing here?● Which way is the goal?● What are the rules?● What is the other team doing?● Whos on first, Whats on second, I Dont Knows on third!● How much time do we have left?● How do we tell the difference between winning and losing?
  10. 10. Defining a Process● These are the rules of the "game"● In software development we have various flavors of waterfall and agile.● In manufacturing we have various flavors of total quality management.● In the Blues we have chord progressions and 12 bars● In management we have Sigma Six, MBOs, and OKRs● In the Army we have Discipline and Initiative● Become a student of all of them!
  11. 11. Coaching a Team● Go watch a Soccer game and see what real coaches do● Coaches are not the "stars" of the team● Coaches dont direct every play● Coaches do most of their work before and after the game● Coaches can be players but not team captians● Coaches are very involved emotionally● Coaches eat, sleep, and travel with the team● Coaches focus on fundimentals
  12. 12. Managing in the Face of Reality● Work is not the most important thing in life● Work can create unintended consequences● Know HR policy and the law● Know when to back off● Know when to call for backup● Know where the line between work and life is● Remember that your team members are paid to work for you and might not really think your dumb jokes are funny :)
  13. 13. Other Types of Management toMaster● Meeting Management: Ensuring meetings arent a waste of time● Time Management: Ensuring the highest priorities get done (and only those priorities)● Executive Management: Ensuring you have a great relationship with your boss without being a "yes man or woman"● Managing Managers: Ensuring you empower your managers and not managing through them
  14. 14. Questions?● There are no dumb questions● You can manage anything by asking great questions● Socrates (at his best) asked questions and did not give answers● A good question is the best kind of coaching● A good question is not a thinly veiled attack by the questioner on the questionee

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