Engineering Manager: The Job of Line Management

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Tech Company Casestudy

After Engineering Director tasked them, the engineering managers swing into action.

Consideration for the team formation:

EMs know that individuals can not be perfect. But a near-perfect team can be formed considering the individual strengths, improvement areas, skills, career stage etc.

The tech leaders and members need to be assigned to the project. In early days of the project, technical leaders need to spend full time and expand the requirements. Further, they need to work out the technical aspects of the planning.

The engineering managers need to assign people who have the abilities. While doing so, the risk of existing commitments are to be balanced. When something goes wrong, the leaders can directly put the responsibility of resolving the priority on engineering manager. This EM has to bite the bullets from all sides.

For this project, the EMs pull some members from existing teams. While doing so, they still need to think about the human factors – the chemistry between members, career paths, whether the assignment can help them to prove next-level abilities etc. And, they also need to consider how moving would impact existing projects and commitments.

The tech leaders were assigned full time for short duration. They will work part time after the initial load. Also developers were added. A test lead and a test member were also identified.

More about the job of engineering manager:

The man who is the one to take the maximum pressure on the ground. One side, the technical foot soldiers constantly throw all the issues to him. Many times he has no control over the constraints. Many times the teams and projects are the subject of several experiments of the top management and rest of the organization. On the other hand, the members can be very demanding. A good developer with good hold on the code is an asset. Within no time, some developers show lot of tantrums. And EM has to coach the average ones. Some members very quickly want promotions. Need to manage their aspirations well. Then there are technical glitches, friction between members, frictions across groups, handling customer escalations etc. take a lot of energy.

Any insights you would like to add?

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