You don’t need more developers
As a new Engineering Manager, you’ll probably set the challenge of improving the team’s delivery. Don’t fall trap to the common trap of assuming that nothing can be done and requesting more people to scale up the team.
There’s so much more to do!
Scaling is the easiest route but not the most effective. For managers that are not close to the team development cycle, the math is simple.
More people = higher delivery.
Following this approach will lead to:
- Low performing teams
- Low happiness levels
- Low retention
Hiring without having your processes optimized will increase the problem. Not reduce it.
Bringing more people into the problem will make them unhappy and unproductive.
Start by assuming that you have a great team! You most probably do. But for some reason, your team, working at their best is not delivering what you would expect. Why not analyze where your team is spending most of their time and optimize that process. You’ll end up with a great way of working that then, and only then, is ready to scale up.
Now, let’s break down how you can do this.
Focus on what matters. Where is your team spending idle time?
Break down your development process into columns. Review how much time a task spends on each column.
Understanding where your developers are spending idle time will let you experience what’s life like for the team.
Reducing idle team = faster development cycle + happy developers
No more hiring for the sake of hiring
You now understand where the true problem lies. Not in the number of people in the team but the inefficiencies of the process.
Changing your mindset will unlock this thought process for most problems you have. Analyze the process, assume that it can first be improved, and only then throw more people into the mix.
If you still feel the need to scale up, you will now have confidence in the effect it will produce.
Now let’s check how much time our team is waiting for the sake of waiting.
Luis Parada — A Leader’s Mindset