Top of Mind No. 6

I’ve been thinking a lot about setting expectations and goals. I have an idea about setting expectations on how we practice software development in teams and four pillars thereof. They are, broadly: alignment/consensus, accountability/responsibility, transparency/visibility, execution. These seem like four useful touch-points for coaching individuals. More concretely: help teammates drive scope (down, mostly) by setting time expectations and iterating from there.

The other angle on my mind is using subjective measurements to evaluate changes to human systems. That is, don’t ask a person or team to change how they work and immediately hit a numeric benchmark. Instead, ask them how the change is going and rate it from 1-5, worst to best. If the desired outcome is “know what the team is up to on most days”, ask them to write a status report, but don’t specify a number to hit. Instead, use 1:1s to reflect on how the change is impacting their work, look for advantages or shortcomings to the change in process, and decide how to correct course from there.

Updates: LLMs are still promising, but not as much for leadership work. Working incrementally, still underrated.

Adam Keys @therealadam