Each client has their own story and unique challenges. In order to share problems, find solutions together, and keep teams from being siloed, engineering managers will converge once a week in a peer-level meeting.
The "Engineering Managers" Team
Leaders who are strong team players understand that the people who report to them are not their first team. Instead, their first team is their peers across the company. This first-team focus helps them make decisions that consider the needs of the company as a whole before focusing on the needs of their team.
Camille Fournier. “The Manager's Path”.
While life as an engineer is deeply rooted in getting feedback from your peers, being an engineering manager you'll risk feeling a sense of loneliness. The peer-level meeting will act as a support group in which you can share your management problems and gather feedback on the solutions you're planning to employ. In such a setting, any recurring solutions or problems will also have a chance of being recognized as a pattern and addressed as a company.
It will also increase your sense of belonging to the "Engineering Managers" team, knowing each other better, both personally and professionally. Giving everyone better insight into other teams creates a fertile ground for shared, bottom-up, solutions.
The meeting usually lasts from half an hour to a hour, and is held weekly. The agenda is not set, but anyone can bring up a topic. These usually include:
- a current challenge faced by a team;
- a request for more insight on how another team solves a particular problem;
- brainstorming on how to improve the process or which tool to adopt.
A journal is then updated by one of the engineering managers reporting the date, participants, and the main topics or solutions that were discussed.