I changed jobs in March, 2017. It was a tough decision. I went into the job with some very specific goals to accomplish.
Accessibility & Inclusion
I started attending Lighthouse Labs and doing some organizational advocacy. It was difficult presenting in an engineering role because I wasn’t able to develop strong design and product allies on my team. I made some presentations, but any success came from seeding ideas to other teams and helping support others.
A/B & Split Testing
A/B testing progress, like accessibility, was hampered by the absence of champions on the design and product front. Having made some presentations, identified some opportunities, and demoed the ease and possibilities, it was difficult to champion from an engineering role. A few months into 2018 we’ve now run some successful tests.
Ops / Kaizen
The new job had already defined some values (“No blame postmortems”) but I wanted to introduce some more practices. For example, collecting “3 things that would have prevented, 3 things that would have detected faster, 3 things that would have helped to fix faster”, risk inventories, and service level objectives. There moving forward pretty well.
One of the last things I championed at my last job was the adoption of engineer career ladders. At my new job, I also pushed heavily on this again. The entire organization adopted them and we got salary bands too. I dunno how much credit I can take, but I sure mentioned it a lot and there it was.
I opened the new job by running a 90 minute timeline activity that I’ve referred to multiple times over the past year. Also I’ve run several full-time planning sessions and gotten feedback that they’re very productive and satisifying. It’s easy to forget that practices that seem formulaic to myself like magic to other people who don’t know the process. I’ve since gotten several people to attend Technology of Participation trainings.
Growth was the biggest bummer. The most exciting part of the new job was the emphasis, during interviews, in growing usage by 100x. Many of my personal goals came out my expectation that the primary challenges would be reorganizing operations around these business goals. Unfortunately (like my last job, oddly), growth became a trailing indicator rather than a leading and aligning goal. This manifests as a lot of wasted efforts because people are pulling in different directions and optimizing for individual (or role-based) throughput rather than whole-team throughput. For a brief moment we had a clear growth plan which I championed, but once we hit the first milestone, it was set aside rather than built upon.