Manager Expectations

I’m still figuring out what being a manager means, but it’s pretty apparent so far that having clear expectations is extremely important. I’m publishing this post both so that I can share what some of my expectations are with people that work with me, and so you can tell me what you’d like to know, what you disagree with, or what I left out, so ask away in the comments!

For some context, I’m a Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce Pardot. These comments are my own and not in any way official Salesforce communication or policy. I’m hiring, go peruse my LinkedIn profile, etc. For more details on me and how I’ve gotten where I am, there is a brief biography a click away.

So hello! Maybe you work with me, here is some of what you can expect from me:

  • My calendar reflects truth, grab time whenever you want with a meeting invite.
  • As long as it’s in an e-mail, it will not fall through the cracks.
  • Our weekly 1:1 will happen, and it’s about your agenda. This time is for you and I won’t come with an agenda, but sometimes I’ll have a thing or two I want to talk about if your list is short.
  • I’ll share important notes privately with you, and when it comes time for a review/raise/promotion/warning/PIP, nothing will be a surprise.
  • I don’t micromanage and I’m going to assume that you are getting your work done and that you have enough to do.
  • This isn’t a democracy, I make decisions based on the input of the people around me, but it’s my decision and not a vote. I’d prefer you propose a decision that I can simply say ‘thumbsup’ to than for me to have to pick.
  • I’m more interested in your long term career success than whether a particular feature goes out today or tomorrow.
  • You can talk to me about anything and I’ll keep it private between us.

Call me out on any of these (or anything else) that I am not doing.

Here is what I expect from you (all of which you can also expect of me):

  • Get things done. That is why we are all here. Some people will get more done than other people which is fine, but if you’re not able to get done what you think you should be able to get done, talk to me so we can figure it out.
  • Work with your team. Share things with them, learn things from them, ask questions, answer questions. No amount of work you can do on your own is better than working together with the team so that everyone is successful.
  • I need to be able to find out what you are working on without having to bug you, and because we try to break down work into things that can be accomplished in a day or so, this should be on a ~daily grainularity. JIRA should reflect what things you are working on and if 3 work days go by without a comment on an ‘in progress’ ticket or some committed code or updated documentation, you’re probably doing it wrong. This doesn’t mean wasting time commenting on a ticket every hour or logging your time, but it does mean doing work and having something to show for it.
  • When you are working, I need to be able to communicate with you or know why I can’t. This means blocking out time as ‘busy’ on your calendar when you are unreachable, staying logged into Hipchat when you are ‘at work’, replying to e-mails in a reasonable (a day or two?) amount of time. This doesn’t mean working any particular hours or schedule, but I do need to know when you’re working and we need to be able to communicate.
  • Be on time and start meetings on time, say either yes or no to meeting invitations and show up to the ones you say yes to.
  • Own your inbox. If I send you something asking for a reply or asking you to do something, I’m counting on you and don’t want to have to follow up or remind you. Sometimes I’ll assume things are taken care of so if you lose it in your inbox, we all lose.
  • If you don’t understand something, see something that doesn’t seem right, or don’t agree with something (e.g. being asked to do a story/meeting/process), speak up!

This is probably a bit too wordy in some places and a bit incomplete in other places, so let me know what you think. I’ll update this post or do a new one if it’s appropriate.

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