Two Weeks Into New Management Position

Two weeks into the new app dev manager with a new organization. After moving through this transition a few times I can pass on the following advice:

  • Start your one-on-ones or continue the existing ones.
  • Spend a lot of time talking and walking around. Your brand new, and you need to get out and start getting a sense of the people and the organization.
  • Gather your project and application portfolio. At this point the acronyms and lingo are still confusing, but you have to get a sense of where your projects are and whether any of them are struggling.
  • Stay organized. You’re on a nasty learning curve for the first few months and the last thing you want to do is let your email, physical inbox, and voicemail start overflowing. (GTD works for me here.)
  • Enjoy the surprises. Every organization has it’s own way of doing things and at least once a day for the first few weeks you’ll have some underlying assumptions shattered. In an earlier job in my career I remember picking my jaw off the floor about one week in. One of the developers on Project X Phase II explained Project X Phase I had never been deployed to production. Some unrelated projects had been rebranded as Project X Phase I so the team could declare victory on delivering phase I.
  • Don’t make big changes those first few weeks. You don’t have the data yet.