Process, methodology and culture – how to avoid the process trap

Mikeal Rogers’ perspective about processes and methodologies.

If you build a culture that values critical thinking over process you’ll end up with better and more exciting products.

Every process begins with a problem. Understanding the problem is more important than solving it. You gain a deep understanding of the problem through critical thinking. A process begins to develop to solve the problem. Your results when implementing the process will have a lot do with the culture you inject them into. Taking the process a startup might use and implementing it across a larger organization will not only encounter a lot of resistance but the participants will have different motivations and share a very different culture among the organization.


Engineering Management Playbook by Yishan Wong

This is one of the best playbooks I have read about Engineering Management.

Thank you Yishan Wong (ex-facebook director engineering). It covers all aspects of operational product engineering. i.e. Recruiting engineers, technical leaders.

He also gives uncommon wisdom on encouraging talent, process and tools implementation and a healthy technology company.

A lot of these principles are also applicable to outsourced product development (OPD) vendors.

Composure: Key Trait for a Product Development Team

Being a good product development team is all about good execution. Sure, you need the necessary vision, the technical prowess, design, creativity and managerial skills. Apart from the necessary technical skills, a good product team needs ability to remain calm and composed in the face of challenges. One of the least discussed traits of a successful product team is ‘Composure’. How one responds to key pressure points will decide how your product turns out to be. Well managed, good product teams respond to pressures with cool head, prioritize correctly.

The product team has to make sound decisions everyday, have to prioritize, identify the most important features for a release and deliver high quality product release as per plan. In this context, A good leader makes a BIG difference. He/she plays a key role in helping the team by maintaining ‘positive’ pressure – the pressure to get things done. Getting it done with excellent quality, with consistent focus. The leader insulates team from unwanted distractions, de-prioritizes least important features. He/she negotiates with product management by keeping a tab on the situation.

In the long run, better products are built by teams that execute well with composure which in turn makes it easy for all stakeholders to deliver ‘customer delight’.