Phrasing your impact in promotion packets
I see a lot of engineers struggle with phrasing their impact in promotion packets. I think the same problem could manifest itself in 1:1 when managing up, but that’s out of scope for this post.
Here’s the usual way I’ve coached others to phrase their impact (to great success in Staff+ promotions):
- State the project/initiative name
- State the business impact (dollars, key company metrics). Tip: you can source this from product managers or business analysts.
- State your role (and/or your accountabilities if that’s not clear from the role name)
- State the number of teams involved (particularly important for Staff+ promotions)
Here are some examples:
- I was the architect (accountable for all technical decisions) on the X company bet from 2020 to 2022 — bringing in $Y million dollars in high margin revenue. This effort spanned 6+ teams across the A, B, and C organizations.
- I led the architectural thinking for the X project that is slated to increase music consumption by 3% by the year 2023. I co-authored an RFC that spanned the systems of 3 teams and is set to start execution later this year.
- I built the X debugging portal, used by 5+ teams to aid in monitoring and troubleshooting booked campaigns. This tool has helped teams reduce their time to incident resolution from 6 hours to 5 minutes on average.
- I was the lead facilitator for a working group that spanned all 5 teams in my area — helping us devise and deliver a number of key initiatives: increasing the migration to Y by 15%, introducing tech debt into team sprints, sponsoring the Z working group to investigate a storage layer to support 10,000 campaigns by Q2 of 2023.
Best of luck!