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Aligning Incentives During a Feature Handoff

Christian Deonier

Engineering Manager at Airbnb

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Problem

"When presenting another group with a feature handoff, in the back of their minds, they are thinking about other priorities they are already being measured on and have deadlines for. The handoff can be tricky in the sense that they might not prioritize it as wanted."

Actions taken

"I would first come up with a long term strategy for the solutions, formulating the findings in such a result that it is a clearly demonstrable business impact. For example, if you want a tripled increase in users, then you can add this button based on the following findings we have ascertained." "The team in which you are trying to get on board with this will, of course, have their own input on where they would rather spend their time improving things." "There is most likely someone calling the shot for the product in terms of what all the teams need to do. I would then serve it up to them in a very objective way by presenting two options. For example, either having the team continue to work towards their goal or have them use this button to increase user growth."

Lessons learned

"My hunch would be that if you stayed very objective in your approach, leadership would prefer user growth or growth overall, so they would probably make the call you want. I would encourage you to have a very clear demonstrable business impact on whatever you do. If you are more concrete about where you invest your time and what will come out of it, then it becomes a lot easier to make the call." "I think that growth can have a particularly large influence, but the danger is that other teams can potentially feel like they are being driven by your team a lot. Finding a good working relationship with those teams will be very helpful because if you are trying to influence their roadmaps and what they are working on, they may feel less empowered."


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Christian Deonier

Engineering Manager at Airbnb


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