I failed to give legitimacy to new hires
6 December, 2017
Last year, when my team was composed of around 30 engineers, we started a reorganization that was aimed at improving the engineer's productivity. We staffed it with two new hires, one of whom had relevant experience in this area, who were put in charge of catalyzing the team's efficiency, mostly through the implementation of tools and processes. The new hires started working on the implementation of pipeline automation, which we planned to use internally. They were very determined to implement an efficient solution, but their communication with the engineers was clumsy. Even though they talked to them, their work wasn't acknowledged by the engineers.
Six months later, the adoption of the automations they had developed by the rest of the team were minimal and not without friction. I understood that I had not chosen the right people for this task. I designated an engineer from the existing team who was very well thought of by his peers. He rebooted the approach and is currently starting the design process for the new automations with full cooperation and empowerment from the engineering team.
I underestimated the importance of the staffing decision on this project, and the people in charge lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the engineers. Looking back, I realize that as a manager, it was my job to compensate for this. I should have been more explicit with the rest of the team about their mission and should have insisted on the fact that their job was strategic for our organization and required the buy-in of the whole team.
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