User Manual for Jay at Work

23. May 2018 19:43 by Jay Grossman in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I thought it would be a fun exercise to write a short document about what I index on for my day job and folks I work with.

What matters most to me in a role:

  1. Adding value to the world
  2. Building a sustainable business (legit P&L)
  3. Learning personally
  4. Growing others
  5. Working with great people
 
How I think manager relationship works best (from the manger perspective):

  • You are responsible for your career progression!
  • I want to know your goals (if you can't express them succinctly, let's work on that together)
  • We are going to put in a plan to accomplish them
  • We are going to continually visit this plan to make sure:
    1. To understand the progress toward the goal
    2. Where to make adjustments as necessary (maybe the goal changes)
 
What if my goals don’t perfectly align with our team’s goals?

  • That ’s OK and somewhat expected. This will be a consideration of the plan we come up with together.
  • We’ll look into overlap and see if the team can offer opportunities for growth with current or future initiatives. 
  • If is it not a good fit, we can look for mentoring/networking opportunities from others inside or outside the org. Or even transition to another team.
 
My Style (Some things about me):

  • When possible, I gravitate to starting simple, seeing what works, and then layering on complexity. 
  • I am blunt and direct! I will ask questions when I don’t understand or agree with things. I may still ask questions when I do agree with things. I will tell you my opinion of ideas. My ambition is to validate/support my “5 priorities for the role" 
  • Consistent alignment of goals and clear success criteria for projects are important, and must be defined before we do production implementation. I am drawn to Metrics Driven Development.
  • While I will have opinions, I am open to how we get results. I am completely OK with someone proving my ideas/opinions are sub-optimal (in a timely manner, in the appropriate setting). Well thought out or super creative ideas can come from anywhere, not just exec/manager levels or subject matter experts. This is a learning opportunity for all of us!
  • Action biased! I am more concerned with getting the right results than sticking to process and being consumed with tracking JIRA tickets. 
  • As technologists, it is our first responsibility to build the things that make the business successful. I vehemently agree with this statement I read in a blog:

    "We believe that a predictable, reliable engineering team that builds the wrong thing is not a success. The engineering leader (and the engineers themselves) have to feel ownership and responsibility around what they are building, not just how they are building it."
 
Assumptions:

  • We will not love working on every project we need to get done. Yes, on call can suck (until we change things making it suck). There are some tradeoffs we will need to consider to help my goals of "Adding value to the world” and "Building a sustainable business”! I believe these are learning opportunities for us all and certainly worthwhile.
  • I prioritize the high impact, reasonable effort activities over the fringe use cases.
  • Project scope shouldn’t change magically without discussion and agreement (especially requiring agreement by the team doing the work).
  • I work a bit on the weekends and at night. This is my choice. I do not expect that you are going to work off hours. I might Slack you things, but unless the thing says URGENT, it can always wait until work begins for you on Monday.
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About the author

Jay Grossman

techie / entrepreneur that enjoys:
 1) my kids + awesome wife
 2) building software projects/products
 3) digging for gold in data sets
 4) rooting for my Boston sports teams:New England PatriotsBoston PatriotsBoston Red SoxBoston CelticsBoston Bruins

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