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Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
5 Things I Wish I'd
Known Sooner About
Scaling Teams & Culture
Turing Fest
August 2018
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodomut/3667608102/
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
#1: DRY DOESN’T WORK FOR
HUMAN COMMUNICATION
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
“DON’T REPEAT YOURSELF” IS A NICE
PROGRAMMING PRINCIPLE
IT IS A TERRIBLE HUMAN COMMUNICATION
PRINCIPLE
YOU NEED TO REPEAT IMPORTANT THINGS
CONSISTENTLY (7 TIMES)
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/9613972159/
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TinFoilHat002.jpg
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
BE CLEAR
BE CONSISTENT
REMEMBER OTHERS STILL NEED TO HEAR
BEYOND THE POINT WHEN YOU ARE
WORRIED YOU HAVE BEEN REPETITIVE
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
REMEMBER WE DON’T JUST COMMUNICATE IN
THE PRESENT
USE ARCHITECTURAL DECISION RECORDS TO
COMMUNICATE (TO FUTURE FOLKS) WHAT YOU
WERE THINKING WHEN YOU MADE A CHOICE
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
#2: SCALING TEAMS IS
ABOUT CREATING
CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WE ALL HATE BAD BOSSES
WE DESCRIBE THEM AS
•Clueless
•Empty suits
•Pointless
•Seagulls
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://twitter.com/Caterina/status/6715084157
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Across industries,
across countries, the
best performing
teams answer certain
questions positively
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Predictors of High Performance
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right?
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who cares about my development?
7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
10. Do I have a best friend at work?
11. In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development?
12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
UNDERSTAND
MOTIVATION
• Purpose
• Autonomy
• Mastery
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
MOTIVATION =
+ PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?)
+ AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?)
+ MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?)
- ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Predictors of High Performance (remix)
PURPOSE
• Does the mission/purpose of my
company make me feel like my
work is important?
AUTONOMY
• Do I know what is expected of me
at work?
• At work, do my opinions seem to
count?
MASTERY
• Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do
my work right?
• At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do
best every day?
• Is there someone at work who cares about my
development?
• Are my co-workers committed to doing quality
work?
• In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone
about my development?
• At work, have I had opportunities to learn and
grow?
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
And What Else?
OTHER FACTORS:
• In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
• Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
• Do I have a best friend at work?
ESSENTIALLY, AM I RESPECTED & REWARDED HERE?
CAN I BE MYSELF AND SUCCEED HERE?
I CALL THIS INCLUSION.
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Predictors of High Performance (remix)
PURPOSE
• Does the mission/purpose of my company make
me feel like my work is important?
AUTONOMY
• Do I know what is expected of me at work?
• At work, do my opinions seem to count?
INCLUSION:
• In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or
praise for good work?
• Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to
care about me as a person?
• Do I have a best friend at work?
MASTERY
• Do I have the materials & equipment I
need to do my work right?
• At work, do I have the opportunity to do
what I do best every day?
• Is there someone at work who cares
about my development?
• Are my co-workers committed to doing
quality work?
• In the last 6 months, have I talked with
someone about my development?
• At work, have I had opportunities to learn
and grow?
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
SPACE TO BE AWESOME =
+ PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?)
+ AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?)
+ MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?)
+ INCLUSION (Do I BELONG HERE?)
- ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
EVERY
PERSON IS
CAPABLE
OF
VIRTUOSITY
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
#3 INFLECTION POINTS
Semper in excretum, sed altuit variunt
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
DIFFERENT THINGS COME
“FOR FREE” AT DIFFERENT
INFLECTION POINTS
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
FOCUS ON
THE RIGHT PROBLEMS
AT THE RIGHT TIME
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
#4: WITH PEOPLE,
OBSERVABILITY > TESTING
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
SOMETIMES HOWEVER WELL
WE PLAN, HOWEVER HARD
WE TRY, OUR IMPACT MAY
NOT EQUAL OUR INTENT
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
REGULARLY CHECK WHETHER
WHAT YOU INTENDED
MATCHES UP TO THE ACTUAL
IMPACT
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://speakerdeck.com/madtypist/retrospectives-look-back-to-move-forward
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIU6P9HRYzo
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://labs.spotify.com/2014/09/16/squad-health-check-model/
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://speakerdeck.com/thesambarnes/people-are-weird-im-weird-the-lead-developer-london-2015
https://vimeo.com/139910836
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
#5: CULTURE ADD
MATTERS A LOT MORE
THAN CULTURE FIT
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
https://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/8451589322/in/set-72157633230231221
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
“DO I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
DO WHAT I DO BEST EVERY DAY?”
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WE NEED TO STOP LEVELLING PEOPLE OUT
TO EQUAL CONSISTENT MEDIOCRITY
AND INSTEAD
FOCUS ON GETTING THE MOST OUT OF
DIFFERENCE
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WE JUST NEED A SHIFT IN
PERSPECTIVE
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WE ARE NOT
INTERCHANGEABLE
RESOURCE UNITS
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WE ARE COLOURS … OR
FLAVOURS
WE ARE BETTER IN
COMPLEMENT, IN CONCERT
WITH EACH OTHER
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
WHAT IF WE THINK OF
PEOPLE AND ROLES AS A
MATTER OF CASTING?
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
HOW DO WE ASSEMBLE A
GREAT TEAM WITH
COMPLEMENTARY ABILITIES?
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
CRAFT INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENTS
1. Am I EXPECTED here?
2. Am I RESPECTED here?
3. Can I BE MYSELF and BE SUCCESSFUL here?
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
IN SUMMARY…
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
5 Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner About Scaling Teams
1. DRY Doesn’t Work for Human Communication – repeat, consistently,
7+ times. ADRs rock.
2. Scaling Teams is About Creating the Conditions for Success –
Purpose, Autonomy, Mastery, Inclusion.
3. Inflection Points Exist – focus on the right problems at the right
times. Borrow solutions from folks facing YOUR problems.
4. With People, Observability > Testing – use tactics to check whether
you impact is matching your intent (and adjust!). Retros rock.
5. Culture ADD Matters a Lot More Than Culture FIT – cultivate
inclusion, outperform the homogenous teams Every. Damn. Day.
Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager

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5 Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner About Scaling Teams & Culture - at Turing Fest

  • 1. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner About Scaling Teams & Culture Turing Fest August 2018
  • 3. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodomut/3667608102/
  • 4. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager #1: DRY DOESN’T WORK FOR HUMAN COMMUNICATION
  • 5. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “DON’T REPEAT YOURSELF” IS A NICE PROGRAMMING PRINCIPLE IT IS A TERRIBLE HUMAN COMMUNICATION PRINCIPLE YOU NEED TO REPEAT IMPORTANT THINGS CONSISTENTLY (7 TIMES)
  • 6. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/9613972159/
  • 7. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TinFoilHat002.jpg
  • 8. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager BE CLEAR BE CONSISTENT REMEMBER OTHERS STILL NEED TO HEAR BEYOND THE POINT WHEN YOU ARE WORRIED YOU HAVE BEEN REPETITIVE
  • 9. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager REMEMBER WE DON’T JUST COMMUNICATE IN THE PRESENT USE ARCHITECTURAL DECISION RECORDS TO COMMUNICATE (TO FUTURE FOLKS) WHAT YOU WERE THINKING WHEN YOU MADE A CHOICE
  • 10. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager #2: SCALING TEAMS IS ABOUT CREATING CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS
  • 11. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ALL HATE BAD BOSSES WE DESCRIBE THEM AS •Clueless •Empty suits •Pointless •Seagulls
  • 12. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 13. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://twitter.com/Caterina/status/6715084157
  • 14. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Across industries, across countries, the best performing teams answer certain questions positively
  • 15. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance 1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? 2. Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? 3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? 5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 6. Is there someone at work who cares about my development? 7. At work, do my opinions seem to count? 8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? 9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? 10. Do I have a best friend at work? 11. In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? 12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  • 16. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 17. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager UNDERSTAND MOTIVATION • Purpose • Autonomy • Mastery
  • 18. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager MOTIVATION = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  • 19. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance (remix) PURPOSE • Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? AUTONOMY • Do I know what is expected of me at work? • At work, do my opinions seem to count? MASTERY • Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? • Is there someone at work who cares about my development? • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? • In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? • At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  • 20. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager And What Else? OTHER FACTORS: • In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? • Do I have a best friend at work? ESSENTIALLY, AM I RESPECTED & REWARDED HERE? CAN I BE MYSELF AND SUCCEED HERE? I CALL THIS INCLUSION.
  • 21. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance (remix) PURPOSE • Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? AUTONOMY • Do I know what is expected of me at work? • At work, do my opinions seem to count? INCLUSION: • In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? • Do I have a best friend at work? MASTERY • Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? • Is there someone at work who cares about my development? • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? • In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? • At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  • 22. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SPACE TO BE AWESOME = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) + INCLUSION (Do I BELONG HERE?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  • 23. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager EVERY PERSON IS CAPABLE OF VIRTUOSITY
  • 24. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager #3 INFLECTION POINTS Semper in excretum, sed altuit variunt
  • 25. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager DIFFERENT THINGS COME “FOR FREE” AT DIFFERENT INFLECTION POINTS
  • 26. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 27. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 28. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager FOCUS ON THE RIGHT PROBLEMS AT THE RIGHT TIME
  • 29. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager #4: WITH PEOPLE, OBSERVABILITY > TESTING
  • 30. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SOMETIMES HOWEVER WELL WE PLAN, HOWEVER HARD WE TRY, OUR IMPACT MAY NOT EQUAL OUR INTENT
  • 31. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager REGULARLY CHECK WHETHER WHAT YOU INTENDED MATCHES UP TO THE ACTUAL IMPACT
  • 32. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://speakerdeck.com/madtypist/retrospectives-look-back-to-move-forward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIU6P9HRYzo
  • 33. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://labs.spotify.com/2014/09/16/squad-health-check-model/
  • 34. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://speakerdeck.com/thesambarnes/people-are-weird-im-weird-the-lead-developer-london-2015 https://vimeo.com/139910836
  • 35. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager #5: CULTURE ADD MATTERS A LOT MORE THAN CULTURE FIT
  • 36. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/8451589322/in/set-72157633230231221
  • 37. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “DO I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO WHAT I DO BEST EVERY DAY?”
  • 38. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE NEED TO STOP LEVELLING PEOPLE OUT TO EQUAL CONSISTENT MEDIOCRITY AND INSTEAD FOCUS ON GETTING THE MOST OUT OF DIFFERENCE
  • 39. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE JUST NEED A SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE
  • 40. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 41. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE RESOURCE UNITS
  • 42. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ARE COLOURS … OR FLAVOURS WE ARE BETTER IN COMPLEMENT, IN CONCERT WITH EACH OTHER
  • 43. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 44. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WHAT IF WE THINK OF PEOPLE AND ROLES AS A MATTER OF CASTING?
  • 45. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager HOW DO WE ASSEMBLE A GREAT TEAM WITH COMPLEMENTARY ABILITIES?
  • 46. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  • 47. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CRAFT INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENTS 1. Am I EXPECTED here? 2. Am I RESPECTED here? 3. Can I BE MYSELF and BE SUCCESSFUL here?
  • 48. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager IN SUMMARY…
  • 49. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner About Scaling Teams 1. DRY Doesn’t Work for Human Communication – repeat, consistently, 7+ times. ADRs rock. 2. Scaling Teams is About Creating the Conditions for Success – Purpose, Autonomy, Mastery, Inclusion. 3. Inflection Points Exist – focus on the right problems at the right times. Borrow solutions from folks facing YOUR problems. 4. With People, Observability > Testing – use tactics to check whether you impact is matching your intent (and adjust!). Retros rock. 5. Culture ADD Matters a Lot More Than Culture FIT – cultivate inclusion, outperform the homogenous teams Every. Damn. Day.
  • 50. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager

Editor's Notes

  1. This isn’t scary at all … WHELP
  2. They were consistently recognized as one of the best places to work, and produced more leaders of companies than almost any other company
  3. Sometimes it’s just about helping people realise they don’t know what they don’t know
  4. The only thing that under-informed engineers produce more of than code is conspiracy theories
  5. They were consistently recognized as one of the best places to work, and produced more leaders of companies than almost any other company
  6. If you record context, then it’s possible in future for people revisiting the decision, or puzzled by the design, to start by going “Are the same things true now as were true at the time this decision was made?”
  7. Great, now I’m drowning in questions to ask myself all the time! Thanks Meri!!
  8. Different ones are easier and harder at different inflection points – it’s not hard to keep 10 people aligned around a clear purpose It is incredibly hard to keep 150+ people aligned around a shared purpose AND to enable autonomy
  9. Under 10 people, everyone knows everything, for free! Over 10 people, suddenly people get confused or lost or get the wrong end of the stick Over 50 people, you need to have career paths for people to understand their place in the group, how they can grow their careers. Specialisms emerge. Efficiencies happen in having people become more expert in certain areas Over 100, most people don’t know most other people – they struggle to trust each other’s intent Over 150, Dunbar number – most people literally cannot hold that many relationships up / know that many people
  10. Sometimes we get too focused on the problems that are on the far horizon Often because those might be more comfortable for us to solve – they feel less real, urgent, sticky, challenging – or maybe we just know more about how to solve THOSE problems
  11. As your organization grows you encounter different problems – each new fishbowl has a new set of watchouts
  12. Under 10 people, everyone knows everything, for free! Over 10 people, suddenly people get confused or lost or get the wrong end of the stick Over 50 people, you need to have career paths for people to understand their place in the group, how they can grow their careers. Specialisms emerge. Efficiencies happen in having people become more expert in certain areas Over 100, most people don’t know most other people – they struggle to trust each other’s intent Over 150, Dunbar number – most people literally cannot hold that many relationships up / know that many people