The ‘30-60-90 Day Plan’ for New Managers
CTO & CPO at Itsapark
"There are many hurdles to overcome when onboarding an engineering manager, especially when hiring a manager who will be leading an already existing team. However, there is a strategy that I find effective in overcoming this problem. In fact, it can and should be applied to the onboarding of any new manager to a team."
"Challenge the new engineering manager to come up with a 30-60-90 day plan. What are they going to do in 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days? Have them actually write it down. This ensures that they are thinking about things that need to be done, owning the process, and keeping them on track with what they have planned. Then go through it with them. Bounce ideas back and forth and give them feedback on it until you can both agree on its contents. Be sure it includes a system of goals and measures."
"The manager should plan to get to know the team members, the architecture, get context around what the team is building, as well as the company strategy and mission. This is when the new manager should be spending time with the team and building trust. There are no shortcuts around this initial stage."
"The manager should plan on making some small changes."
"This lengthier plan should include larger changes."
- "As a hiring manager, you probably already know what issues need to be solved. Having the new manager create a 30-60-90- day plan ensures that he/she, too, has found these same problems. It gives you an opportunity to make sure that they have done their investigation well enough and that they are coming up with their own solutions to solve them."
- "It's also good to see if they have found any other issues that you may have missed. The beauty of hiring somebody into this specific role is that they are devoted to this particular area. They tend to go deeper into the topic instead of someone who is spread out across multiple areas."
- "The more junior-level person you hire for the position of engineering manager, the more coaching they will need. You will have to give them more suggestions and guide them a bit more. This doesn't mean that they are not capable. Instead, I have found that putting pressure on them to come up with their own solutions helps them grow. Then you can give them feedback. Be aware, though, that feedback is only beneficial if they come up with their own answers first."
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