Monday 3-2-1 – standups, impact, small PRs💡
Hey, Luca here 👋 welcome to the Monday 3-2-1 ✨
Every Monday I will send you an email like this with 3 short ideas about engineering management, technical strategy, and good hiring.
You will also receive the regular long-form one on Thursday, like the last one:
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1) ☀️ Do you need standups?
Standups have three major goals:
They make people commit on daily goals
They make sure there are no blockers
They provide a sense of teamwork and belonging
In a remote setting, these do not necessarily require an expensive daily call.
You may have async standups every day, and real-time ones only once/twice a week when you really need them (i.e. when stronger alignment is needed). You can also use tools like StatusHero or Range to set them up easily.
As always, the best solution totally depends on your team.
Newly formed teams may need to communicate more to perform at their best. Teams who have been working together for long, on the contrary, may get rid of the call altogether.
Consider the four stages of team development by Bruce Tuckman.
Do not accept pre-made recipes, but listen to your team with an open mind. I wrote more about what worked for us in a previous article 👇
2) 🎯 Nothing unimportant is being done
As a manager you need to ensure that your team is focused on the most impactful work. If you do this well, you will usually find yourself doing fewer things, but with greater impact.
I love how Intercom’s Des Traynor summarized this in his talk at Web Summit 2021:
Always ensure all the important things are getting done, everyone is working on the most important things they can, and that nothing unimportant is getting done.
As an EM, you need to know what are the most important things for your company, and that your team is working on them. Your stakeholders should both provide and validate these. At the same time, you need to filter out everything else.
3) 🔍 Create small PRs
In many teams, the biggest offender to developers productivity is the time the code sits idle waiting for review.
We may go to incredible lengths to shave 5 mins off our CI/CD pipeline, and need to wait 15 hours for a LGTM comment.
The most reliable way to have a short review turnaround is to create small PRs.
How small? In my experience, if you break down work properly, 90% of the time you can issue PRs that are less than 200 lines of code.
You can go even further: at Google, 90% of code changes are <24 lines of code.
Small PRs improve both speed and quality:
🏎️ Speed — reviewer needs to block a smaller time to review it, so they are more likely to being able to do it sooner.
👌 Quality — fewer lines of code means the change is easier to understand, which leads to better reviews.
More on code review strategies 👇
And that’s it for today! If you liked the article, consider doing any of these:
1) ✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter — if you aren’t already, consider becoming a paid subscriber. You can learn more about the benefits of the paid plan here.
2) ❤️ Share it — Refactoring lives thanks to word of mouth. Share the article with your team or with someone to whom it might be useful!
I wish you a great week! ☀️