Showing posts from November, 2023

Communicating Paid Time Off and Coverage Plans

As an engineering manager, I often ask people to take at least a week off every quarter depending on the PTO (Paid Time Off) policy at their workplace. This comes up to 4 weeks or 20 business days in a workplace with unlimited PTO which is pretty good for US-based companies, where the standard is usually 2 weeks or 10 business days of PTO.  It’s also important to me to communicate to my teammates and people across the organization that I will be out of office and they can reach out to others in that situation. “How we vacation” is a section that I like to add in my Team Charter which is a document that contains all the rules of engagement on a team - how we do retrospectives and team meetings, how often we meet, how we take time off, how we track metrics, our scope of work, and so on. 🌴 Paid Time Off Here are some of the places I update at my workplace if I am going to be out on vacation for a few days: Slack status Company Time Off calendar My work calendar My Google workspace or Ou

Team Charter and Norms: Working together

In my previous blog post , I wrote about setting up a Team Charter and Team Norms on a team. In this post, I elaborate on some of the rules of engagement that teams I have worked on have generally used. Most software development teams that I have worked on have used some sort of Agile practices like the Scrum framework where cross-functional teams use iterative and incremental processes to improve their software delivery process. I have always used Agile in a way that works best for my team and the company’s culture at that time.  🧱 Team Structure I have had to occasionally run Scrum meetings as an Engineering leader since I have been on teams without dedicated Scrum Facilitators or Product Owners. Each Scrum team usually includes an Engineering Manager, Scrum Facilitator or Project Manager, Product Manager and Developers. In the absence of dedicated Project Managers or if there is leadership interest on the team, I make the Scrum lead role rotational so that every person on the team

Team Charter and Norms

A Team Charter in the context of a software engineering team is a team document that lists their goals, objectives, scope of work, and rules of engagement. This is a working agreement between all members of the team on how the team collaborates and communicates, and how they hold each other accountable while working towards common goals. Here are some areas I like to cover in a team’s Team Charter. This can be at the team level or the organization level.  Goals: This is a one-line sentence that explains the goal(s) of this team.  Objectives: This section links to the team or organization's objectives, key performance indicators (KPI) or Objectives and Key Results (OKR) which can be quarterly, semi-annual or annual. Organization Chart and Team Structure: This helps people know where they are in the organization and what teams and people they interact with regularly. Helpful Resources: This links to the team’s Request For Comment or Technical Design Documents, Slack channels, meeting