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Navigating the Challenges of changing priorities and deadlines of AI projects

Pratibha Shambhangoudar

Engineering leader at Target

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Navigating the Challenges of Remote Collaboration

Explore strategies and best practices for engineering leaders to effectively deliver changing features and deadlines

In a recent meeting among top-tier engineers, the topic of changing priorities and the challenges it presents was discussed. The conversation revolved around the difficulties of managing teams and understanding organizational priorities. Here are some key insights from the discussion:

Balancing Technical Expertise and Leadership Responsibilities

The engineer who recently became a manager discussed the challenges of balancing technical expertise and leadership responsibilities. They expressed curiosity about how to effectively communicate changing priorities and interact with different levels of hierarchy.

"Understanding how the organization's vision is broken down and communicated is crucial for balancing technical expertise and leadership responsibilities."

Navigating Organizational Priorities and Planning

An engineering manager shared their experience of planning work for their team and the subsequent changes in organizational priorities. They expressed concern about the team's efforts being disregarded and the need to communicate effectively with their team. They sought advice on how to address this issue and ensure alignment with organizational goals.

"Effectively communicating with the team and addressing changes in organizational priorities is essential for ensuring alignment with organizational goals."

Seeking Clarity on Organizational Goals

An engineering manager mentioned the challenge of working in a research-oriented organization where prototypes and tooling are developed. They sought guidance on how to navigate the changing priorities and communicate them to their team effectively.

"Understanding the 'why' behind organizational decisions and priorities is crucial for effectively navigating changing priorities and communicating them to the team."

Probing for Information and Building Trust

To address the challenges of understanding organizational priorities, the engineering manager was advised to align to company's "North Star" and ask probing questions to different stakeholders, not just their manager. They were encouraged to engage in informal conversations and build trust with peers and other team members. By understanding the "why" behind decisions, they could better communicate with their team and align their efforts.

Overcoming Frustration and Influencing Change

The engineer expressed frustration with the existing organizational culture and the difficulty of influencing change. They were advised to focus on building trust and gradually changing the culture over time. By engaging in conversations with peers and other teams, they could gather insights and work towards influencing change.

In conclusion, changing priorities present unique challenges for engineering leaders. By understanding the "why" behind changing priorities, overcoming communication issues, and seeking clarity on organizational priorities, leaders can effectively manage teams. Building trust, probing for information, and influencing change are essential strategies for navigating the challenges of remote collaboration.


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Pratibha Shambhangoudar

Engineering leader at Target


Engineering LeadershipLeadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementPerformance MetricsLeadership Training

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