How to build processes and culture in the team (Part 1)

Why would you want to improve existing processes

As a Team Leader or Engineering Manager, you aim to help the teams you lead to build the most effective processes for every team activity. Teams are very different, that means that one process successfully implemented in the first team might not work in the second team. The key is to analyse teams, what is the best for the team and based on that improve existing processes individually for each team.

How to analyse existing processes in your teams

If you just started your new job as Lead in a new team, take your time to analyse existing processes, establish team's trust, prepare a roadmap and share it with your team before you start implementing.

Where to start? Follow these easy steps and you will be surprised by results. Just make sure that you had enough time to analyse before you start implementing anything. The best for your team would be if you take 1-2 month to observe, this time should be enough to execute steps from 1 to 5.

  1. Define requirements first: build teams and processes based on the company values. Culture is always important!

  2. Observe, collect ideas, analyze:

    • talk 1-1 with people from different teams and departments, casual talk, collect ideas and areas for improvement
    • establish safe feedback system 360 for everyone
    • analyze all ideas, validate issues spotted during 1-1s, look from different angles
  3. Prepare a list of issues with possible action points.

  4. Prepare a roadmap with short term and long term solutions/implementations (7/30/60/90 days) and define checkpoints. Make sure, that you plan to implement only one thing at a time and set measurements how to track successful results.

  5. Introduce results to the teams, walk through solutions with key-people in the company, get feedback feedback from them, adjust roadmap based on suggested improvements.

  6. Start executing step by step, only one change at a time, be transparent and aligned with everyone. Collect feedbacks frequently, adjust roadmap accordingly.

Some ideas might not work for everyone or this particular team, try, measure, adjust, try again.

Used sources and books to read

  1. "The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change" by Camille Fournier
  2. "Debugging Teams" by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman
  3. "Clean Agile: Back to Basics" by by Robert Cecil Martin
  4. "The Phoenix Project" by Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr
  5. Photo by Jonas Weckschmied on Unsplash