Engineering | Internal training for new managers

Poste / Role
Tech | Engineering
Type de ressource / Resource Type
🇫🇷 / 🇺🇸

In an informal survey, David Loftesness, Twitter’s former Director of Engineering, found that only one out of every 15 engineering managers received formal management training before becoming a manager. When asked which methods had been most helpful for learning to manage effectively, nearly 75% reported “trial and error,” half cited feedback from direct reports, and 40% said observing peer managers.

To help leaders ramp up new managers in their time, I’m sharing the below program from Monica Giambitto, Engineering Manager at Freeletics.

1/ Set up weekly 1:1s workshop-like with the new manager on the following topics:

  • Role and difference from being an IC
  • Glue Work
  • Managing Up/Across + First Team
  • Main Responsibilities
  • People Development
  • Taking Decisions
  • Enabling Team by Giving Clarity (strategy, values)
  • People Management & Development Deep Dive
  • Managing vs Coaching
  • 1:1s & Staff Meetings
  • Delegation
  • Feedback, Performance, Career Plan
  • Hiring & Staffing
  • Performance of the team
  • Metrics & Productivity
  • Mood & Relationships
  • Staffing & Development
  • Management Philosophy & Style
  • Decision-making Frameworks (for prioritisation & risk de-escalation)
  • Taking Care of Your Growth & Well Being

2/ Have the new manager set up 1:1s with new reports so that they alternate with those with the manager

3/ Pair the new manager with another manager (a mentor), so they attend the same meetings & team ceremonies:

  • Before the meetings: spend time with them to review documents & resources, provide insights in decision-making, answer questions they might not be comfortable asking in public.
  • After the meetings or at the end of the day: review the new manager’s behaviour.
  • Help them build the habit of having a journal/notes to reflect.
  • Phase 1: the mentor manager is still in the driving seat
  • Phase 2: the mentor manager stays silent in public; it’s the new manager that speaks. Communication might happen behind the scenes via private chat. The manager actively redirects questions to the new manager.

4/ Provide the new manager with templates and tools for reviews, handoffs, goal settings. Do dry runs with them.

5/ Help them find their pillars & values to give them a compass to make decisions.

6/ Ask questions instead of giving advice immediately (coaching).

7/ Network them in the organisation by putting them in contact with others (draw a map of their connections in the org chart, find gaps).

8/ Select three books, three podcasts, a few articles to start building their library.

9/ Build a map of mentors and people the person can ask help to.

I hope this curriculum will inspire you to do a similar one internally!