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Banish Bad Management with Metrics that Don't Suck

Posted Dec 14, 2022 | Views 436
# ELC Annual 2022
# Leadership
# Change Management
# Communication
# DevOps
# Management
# Observability
Randall Koutnik
Software Engineer @ Jellyfish

Randall's career can be politely summed up as "interesting". He's worked everywhere, from tiny startups to Netflix to teaching introductory programming. He wrote a book on RxJS, which didn't impress his cats much. You can find his words in written form at https://rkoutnik.com/ and shorter words at https://twitter.com/rkoutnik

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Engineering leadership is uniquely difficult. The impact of a decision may only be visible months after the fact, hindering managers’ ability to learn quickly from their successes or failures. Worse, bad managers can abuse this delay to paper over issues and kick problems further down the road. What can we do about it?

Much like engineers, managers need metrics too, but not all metrics are equal. This session will break down what makes for an effective engineering management metric, providing attendees with actionable information on how to implement useful metrics in their work.

Effective metrics let us see if our work is aligned with our goals and whether we are delivering value. On the other hand, ineffective metrics mislead and confound attempts to understand your organization. Once a company is calibrated on the metrics that are most important to the business, it becomes much easier to see how decisions impact your organization. Better yet, it becomes obvious when managers are hiding behind poor decisions or abusive management styles, and it becomes clear which teams are truly aligned with the organization's goals.

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