Monday, Nov 04 2019

How You Can Become a Great Engineering Manager

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How You Can Become a Great Engineering Manager

Engineering managers are in a somewhat unique position. Along with the ability to lead a team, they still need a solid technical understanding, ensuring they can plan for the nuances of the development process and plan accordingly. They are frequently tasked with aligning business requirements with reality, as well as communicating critical decisions to stakeholders who may not be as tech-savvy.

Ultimately, being an engineering manager means taking on a challenging role that is often viewed as vital for a company’s success. If you want to make sure that you are exceptional in the position, here are some tips that can help you shine.

Trust Your Team

Since most engineering managers were once individual contributors, it’s easy to slip into an unproductive mindset. You may believe that you are the best person to handle every task, causing you to overburden yourself since you aren’t effectively delegating. Even if you do delegate, you might tend to micromanage, fearing your team won’t handle the work properly.

In any of those cases, you are hindering the capabilities of your team. Not only are you overworking yourself, but you’re sending the message that you don’t trust your employees. That harms morale, leading to reduced productivity overall.

Learn to have faith in what your team brings to the table. Give them a task, clearly, articulate your expectations, and then empower them with a bit of autonomy. By giving them the space to excel, you’ll typically see them rise to the occasion.


Adopt a Business Mindset

As an engineer, you probably spent much of your career, focusing on a technical perspective. You could focus on the tech aspects of an initiative or solution, at times with little concern regarding you’re your proposed approach impacts the organization beyond your area of expertise.

However, once you become an engineering manager, you need to shift your mindset. You are now responsible for considering the viewpoint of the company as a whole, including how your decisions impact profitability and across-the-board productivity. Along with understanding KPIs, you need to take the pain points other departments experience into account, using empathy and business acumen to present paths that serve the greater good. By doing so, you can position yourself as a company leader and not just a technical-level manager.


Shield Your Team from Unnecessary Distractions

Most engineers despise interruptions. Workplace distractions and unnecessary meetings disrupt the flow of their work, hindering productivity and preventing them from making progress as quickly as they are actually able.

As an engineering manager, it should be your mission to shield your team from unneeded interruptions. Limit meetings to only what is necessary and make sure that only employees who genuinely need to be present are invited. Make sure stakeholders reach out to the main point of contact for a project when they need to discuss a question or concern that only a decision-maker can properly address. Give your team access to quiet, heads-down spaces when they need to complete detail-oriented tasks and let them block out time on their calendars for that work, making them appear unavailable to those who may otherwise stop by for a chat. By doing so, you are protecting your engineering team’s ability to work in peace, increasing efficiency, and the quality of their outputs.


Speak to The Armada Group and See How Our Expertise Can Benefit You

If you would like to learn more about how you can be a great engineering manager, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact usto speak with a member of our talented staff today and see how our management expertise can benefit you.