How to implement new work processes in a tech team?

Christian McCarrick

Engineering Leader at Facebook



"When I became a manager I realized that my role had changed. I wouldn't be doing hands-on coding anymore, but I had to make sure that my team of engineers was being as efficient as possible. So, I decided to introduce new processes and tools in order to optimize the organization of workloads and with communication within the team. However, engineers are often a bit reluctant to integrate these new processes and to do things that are not coding. When I tried to implement status reports in my team, I was not totally sure that the team would be keen to integrate this new habit."

Actions taken

"So in order to better my odds of having them filling in their status reports, I looked for some very well designed tools, such as 15five or I've done this, that enabled them not to spend too much time on the reports, but which still gave me a clear view of their progress. I also communicated a lot with my team, in order to help them to understand why this process was important for the team, and how they would benefit from greater transparency on the progress of projects. I also made sure they felt that they were part of the decision, by telling them: 'Let's give it a try, if it works well, we'll keep this tool, if it doesn't we'll get rid of it.' By doing so, the implementation of status reports was a success."

Lessons learned

"When you want your team to integrate a new process into their work you shouldn't impose your ideas. If you do, you risk people not taking possession of the new process. Make sure you present the need for the new process very clearly, explain why the team will benefit from it, and make sure your team feels that their feedback is crucial in the decision-making process."

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Christian McCarrick

Engineering Leader at Facebook

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