Leadership is simply the ability of an individual to coalesce the efforts of other individuals toward achieving common goals. It boils down to looking after your people and ensuring that, from top to bottom, everyone feels part of the team.
— Frederick W. Smith
As you have seen in the Introductory Series, I am a big fan of starting from first principles and that often starts from trying to understand the objective. So what is your objective in managing Engineers?
I personally believe that that question needs to be moved up a level to become, “What is the objective of Engineering?” If you recall from this post, we determined that:
The primary purpose of Engineering is to efficiently create valuable functionality for Customers.
So, based on that, it would follow that the objective of managing Engineers is to figure out how to coordinate a group of individuals to create valuable functionality most efficiently.
In fact, in my opinion, the most important aspect of managing a group of Engineers is simple and two-fold:
- Make sure that you understand that the primary objective of Engineering is the efficient delivery of valuable business functionality, and
- Make sure that each member of your team understands the same.
There is a lot more to managing Engineers than these two things , but my assertion is that if these two items are not achieved, then nothing else matters.
The next articles in this series will talk about other aspects of managing technical teams, but please don’t underestimate the importance of what I just said.
This post is based on or excerpted from the upcoming book “De-Engineering the Corporation” by Darryl Ricker
 Way, way, way more :).