We often ask the impossible of engineering managers: provide accurate progress reports to executives, while insulating development teams from distractions, noise, and friction.
Why it matters: Putting managers in this position is frustrating for all involved, and leads to consistently bad outcomes.
- Development teams learn to “just deal with the noise” as part of their day-to-day frustrations, we call it learned helplessness.
- Leadership concludes that product development goes slower than promised, doesn’t communicate well, and cannot be trusted for realistic strategic planning.
- Engineering managers look bad, feel bad, and end up burned out.
It doesn’t have to be this way: Gaining visibility into where and how much time is being spent allows for measurable, automated, transparent, and continuous team improvement — avoiding that learned helplessness. It’s possible.