Structuring New Teams

Sudha Ponnaganti

Director Of Engineering at Red Hat



"When you come in to a new company, you might be faced with establishing a new organization for the first time or reorganizing existing teams to start a new organization to meet the goals of the business."

Actions taken

  • Meet with the leadership and the company's stakeholders to establish a charter and mission for the organization.
  • Understand pain points from them so you have some idea on where to put focus.
  • Even if you are working in Engineering, interview all the stakeholders to understand the need for a new organization.
  • Also important to understand the architecture of the product (or portfolio) and how it is designed, so you can logically align the new organization with the product portfolio.
  • Additionally, understand the company org structure which will help to structure the new team.
  • Once you understand the product portfolio and company org structure, you should be able to structure your team with perfect alignment.
  • Using knowledge you have gained about resources and tasks that need to be done, you can establish your charter and mission for the team and structure the team on who is best fit for handling the projects.
  • Focus on the top three things you would like to accomplish with deadlines.
  • While doing this, it is important to be transparent and communicate these plans to stakeholders so everyone is on the same page.
  • Important to outline charter and mission for the team, prioritized goals that you would like to handle, success metrics for the goals, baseline on where the team is currently.
  • Frequent updates and achievements in proper format (demos, presentations, newsletter, etc.) would help teams to understand how the new org is doing.
  • When working towards your goals, always evaluate and solicit feedback, so that you are moving in the right direction and in alignment with business goals.

Lessons learned

"Sometimes the organization itself is unsure of what it wants, so you can use your previous experience and perspective to provide insights into what is required and what the best fit for the business. Establish the org and solicit feedback and make the team part of decision making so they are also empowered to create the new organization."

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Sudha Ponnaganti

Director Of Engineering at Red Hat

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyEngineering ManagementLeadership TrainingFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill DevelopmentTeam & Project Management

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