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Managing to delegate as the company grows

Scaling Team
Dev Processes
Delegate
Productivity
Convincing
Team Processes
Health / Stress / Burn-Out
Performance

6 December, 2017

Nicolas De Nayer
Nicolas De Nayer

VP Engineering at Doctolib

Nicolas helped his company’s founders to delegate and give more responsibility to their developers, and thus to reduce the pressure on their shoulders.

Problem

Before I arrived at Doctolib the company was facing several technical issues. The tech founders were extremely good developers and controlled every step of product development. As a part of this, they had the ownership over all pushes to production. However, this had a harmful effect on the developers, as they knew that they had a safety net, as their mistakes would be ultimately overhauled by the founders.

Actions taken

When I arrived, I decided to tackle this situation by giving more responsibility to the developers. I did one task at the time. First, I started to participate in the pushes with the founders and reassured them of my capacity to do so. Then, I took the ownership of the push to prod. After that, I invited developers to participate with me on this task. Together, we built a checklist to reassure them for when they would be doing it on their own. Finally, we decided to give responsibility for the push to a different person each day of the week. We even let a product owner push the application to production when usually only engineers did this.

Lessons learned

Because of the approach the founders had been taking, they were unable to take on more responsibilities, resulting in them being overloaded. By explaining to the founders that they had to delegate tasks and reassuring them of this delegation and explaining to developers that a push to production was not a dangerous and uncontrolled operation, so they felt empowered the company was able to run more efficiently.

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