- Giving critical feedback or having difficult conversations
- Assessing whether a product is ready for launch
- Designing and executing a realistic roadmap
- Setting good goals with accountability
- Building viable new products
- Managing a team during “war time” versus “peace time”
- Defining quality
- Determining who to hire
- Understanding people’s skills, strengths, and growth trajectories
Helping people reach a common goal
- Listening and learning about people’s aspirations and frustrations.
- Mentoring and advising, generally in the form of providing frameworks rather than here’s-what-you-should-be-doing’s (which is a whole topic for another time).
- Designing better and more efficient ways for people to communicate, work, or learn.
- Context-switching often in your day-to-day.
- Playing a key role in the flow of communication (writing, sharing, meeting, presenting).
- Owning the outcome of the team’s successes and failures, even if you won’t make all the decisions yourself.
Learn from Experience, from the Experts
Earlier this year, in order to define expectations for what duties and outcomes EMs are responsible for, the EM team—along with CTO and COO—each independently contributed to the following list.
The hope is that by explicitly listing the business as usual (BAU) tasks and outcomes EMs are responsible for, it will be more transparent what EMs do with their time, and help clarify expectations for people actively executing the role. Additionally, this list should help other people throughout the company understand what they should expect from people who are engineering managers.
What tasks are each EM responsible for?
- 1:1 meetings with each engineer they support (usually every 2–4 weeks)
- Helping facilitate 360/Performance review cycles for each engineer (alternating quarterly)
- Maintaining a personal development plan (PDP) with each engineer
- Support engineers in promotions processes
- Participating in allocations discussions as it pertains to engineers you support
- Participating in hiring processes for engineers in your region (e.g., evaluating applications, conducting interviews, etc.)
- Attending EM team meetings and participating in EM meta tasks (i.e. OKRs)
- Participating in Client Services meetings in their region
- Review/update CharlieHR time off requests
- Review/approve expense requests (when applicable)
- Review and give feedback on travel requests (when needed)
- Review/approve and help plan for professional development time
- Be aware of changes to policy/technical discussions to raise with engineers
- Ensure engineers are able to get technical support needed on projects
- Addressing interpersonal issues if they arise
- Be involved in HR related issues when needed (e.g., return to work plans, performance improvement plans, etc)
- Following up with engineer’s project teams when performance issues are identified
What tasks are the EM team responsible for, but not necessarily each individual’s responsibility?
- Team OKR planning, execution, and review
- Maintaining meta processes and tools used by the EM team to collaborate and get work done
- Engagement on company-wide issues that affect engineers (e.g., operations tickets, policy discussions, strategic projects, etc.)
- Participation in the hiring team
- Participation in global Client Services issues
- Supporting engineering focused guilds
What outcomes are the EM team responsible for?
- Overall engineer well being
- Our engineering team is growing in it’s skill and capacity to do great work
- Our engineering team is consistently delivering high quality engineering for our clients and/or our own internal platform
- Engineers have a consistent person to go to for support of all types in their job
- There is a consistent system of support for all engineers at the company (policies, processes, etc.)
- Engineers are equipped with the time, resources, and knowledge, and support they need to do their job effectively
- Engineers are getting consistent feedback about how they are performing and how they can grow in their role
- Regional client services team have engineering meta support for running the regional operations of the team (i.e., sales, allocations, solving delivery challenges, etc.)
- Company leadership has a consistent person they can go to for accurate feedback about each engineer they support and to facilitate employee growth.
Company activities that EMs should be involved in but aren’t directly accountable for
- Company strategic initiatives
- HR/People strategies, grievance resolution, etc.
- Client Service business goals/planning
- Hiring strategy/processes
- Sales strategy/execution
note : not mine and nor I wanted to take credit on this points. I took this note a while ago and unfortunately didn’t put the source link.