In this past month, Engineering started implementing a new self-organised structure so we can reduce context switch, move faster and deliver with higher quality.
They’re called Units and they’re basically a fractal redesign of the engineering team.
Units move faster because they’re assigned only one project, therefore the context is always up-to-date and fresh.
Units know all their stakeholders, every engineer knows exactly when and with who they should be pairing to solve their problems.
Units are also easier to steer, a small meeting is enough for syncing.
To be optimised, this small team needs engaged engineers that are self sufficient. A centralised responsible figure is also necessary to abstract external contact and provide a space where engineers can focus on pushing forward.
Enters the Engineer Leader, who is responsible for the implementation and keeping in sync with the Product Team and other external stakeholders. What we changed here is that now we require that the Engineer Leader must be a Senior Engineer.
Why a Senior Engineer?
Senior Engineers are not entities that can deliver everything by themselves, that’s a contractor.
Senior Engineer is capable of leading and be responsible for a team of engineers, they guarantee code quality and smooth implementation.
They should also know the current architecture and be well suited for planning a roadmap of implementation based on specs.
Leading the Unit
The Engineer Leader is already in context with the Project, so it is its responsibility to convert the product spec into a roadmap of issues.
After having the proper roadmap, a set of engineers are assigned to the unit making it possible for estimation and deadline calculation.
After the deadline is given to the implementation and things starts to roll out, the leader is responsible for keeping the unit in sync and making sure the project is delivered with quality on time.
Where’s the VPoE?
This is a fractal design which means the VPoE is responsible for:
— Keep in context with units;
— Scale units with available engineers;
— Tweaking and making sure the system works;
— Making sure units will delivery before the deadline.