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Practical Engineering Management mission is to make great ideas happen through empowered engineering leadership. Read more about it here.

To maximize the level of support PEM can give you, here is the list of subjects to cover with premium articles. As a subscriber, you can decide which of them you would like to get next.

Subjects:

  • Starting Strong | First 100 Days as a Leader

  • Maximizing Impact | Engineering Leadership in a Startup

  • Maximizing Impact | Expanding Your Organizational Influence

  • Maximizing Impact | Building a Career Ladder

  • Leading the Change | Building a Long-Term Strategy, Step by Step

  • Example Transformation: QA Culture and Shift-Left

  • Example Transformation: User-Centric Engineering Team

You can vote on the next subject at the bottom of this page.

If you are interested in any particular point and don't want to wait for the content to come, you can also contact me on mirek@practicalengineering.management to work on it 1:1.


Subjects to cover - problems and challenges

Starting Strong | First 100 Days as a Leader

Problems and Challenges:

  • You start as a fresh leader and everything is new to you.

  • You don't know yet what is important or urgent.

  • You have too many things to handle at once, so you need to prioritize and decide.

  • There are high hopes and expectations from your team, for you as a fresh leader.

  • You have limited time for your first wins and achievements.

  • You need to build your network of support.

Maximizing Impact | Engineering Leadership in a Startup

Problems and Challenges:

  • You experience a "moving fast and breaking things" culture.

  • Your organization offers limited support for leadership roles: few or no tools, frameworks, processes.

  • You face unclear expectations for your role as a leader.

  • Your direct reports have wide responsibilities, often crossing departments (e.g., engineers doing some UX work).

  • Your organization have limited time to find product-market fit.

  • You navigate team through startup chaos and uncertainty.

  • You deal with the challenge of old guards vs new guards, making it hard to introduce change.

Maximizing Impact | Expanding Your Organizational Influence

Problems and Challenges:

  • You are a new leader and don't have much credibility within the organization.

  • You see solutions or low-hanging fruits but no one listens to you.

  • You have very little control over the domain you are supposed to own.

  • You want to be more autonomous in doing your job so you can succeed.

Maximizing Impact | Building a Career Ladder

Problems and Challenges:

  • Your organization doesn’t provide a framework for managing expectations for individuals.

  • You constantly face requests for pay raises and bonuses without clear indicators of high performance.

  • You observe subjective performance assessments that are not aligned across leaders and teams.

  • Individuals within your organization cannot easily to track their progress over time.

  • There is low job satisfaction and a lack of understanding of the meaning of individuals' work.

Leading the Change | Building a Long-Term Strategy, Step by Step

Problems and Challenges:

  • You own a particular piece (e.g., tech stack, platform, product), and are expected to come up with long term plan for it.

  • It's unclear to you what the real strategy is and how to build one with a maximum chance of success.

  • You struggle to focus on the right things over an extended time.

  • Once you have a strategy, it's unclear to you how to make it real and connect it to day-to-day actions.

Example Transformation: QA Culture and Shift-Left

Problems and Challenges:

  • You need to optimize your SDLC process to match elite organizations from DORA metrics.

  • You still do classic Quality Assurance - engineers write code, testers test it.

  • You have code freezes and launch only 1-2 times per month or less often, leading to a low time to market.

  • You have few automations and a lot of manual tests. Your testing pyramid is upside down - very little unit/integration tests, a lot of end-to-end tests.

  • Software engineers don’t own the quality or don’t write any tests.

  • The overall quality of your software is questionable.

Example Transformation: User-Centric Engineering Team

Problems and Challenges:

  • You work in a feature-factory manner: you get requirements and write code without much thought about expected outcomes.

  • You lack user feedback or product/business data driving the development.

  • You face a lack of accountability within the engineering team: code is developed, but ownership is unclear.

  • Product Managers within your organization are expected to fully manage the product, including preparing a list of requirements for software engineers.


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