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Scaling Teams

Book Description

Leading a fast-growing team is a uniquely challenging experience. Startups with a hot product often double or triple in size quickly—a recipe for chaos if company leaders aren’t prepared for the pitfalls of hyper-growth. If you’re leading a startup or a new team between 10 and 150 people, this guide provides a practical approach to managing your way through these challenges. Each section covers essential strategies and tactics for managing growth, starting with a single team and exploring typical scaling points as the team grows in size and complexity.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    1. Who Should Read This Book?
    2. Why We Wrote This Book
    3. The Context for Growth
      1. Hiring: One Option Among Many
    4. Structure
    5. How to Read This Book
    6. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Scaling Hiring: Growing the Team
    1. Hiring to Scale
      1. Key Principles
      2. Hiring for Diversity
    2. The Hiring Process
      1. Finding People
      2. Applications
      3. Sourcing
    3. Building an Employer Brand
      1. Engineering/Product/Design Blog
      2. Meetups
      3. Speaking at Conferences
      4. Open Source Contributions
    4. Conclusion
    5. Additional Resources
  3. 2. Scaling Hiring: Interviews and Hiring Decisions
    1. Interviewing
      1. Screening a Candidate’s CV
      2. The Initial Screen
      3. Practical Challenge
      4. Interview Structure
      5. How to Hire Managers
    2. Making a Hiring Decision
      1. Fully Accountable Hiring Manager
      2. High-Ranking Hiring Manager
      3. Consensus
      4. Hiring Committee
      5. Bar Raisers
    3. Choosing a Process That Works for You
      1. How to Gather and Discuss Feedback
      2. Addressing Diversity
      3. Reference Checks
    4. Conclusion
    5. Additional Resources
  4. 3. Scaling Hiring: How to Close, On-Board, and Beyond
    1. Making an Offer
      1. Closing
    2. Acqui-Hires
      1. Acqui-Hire Anti-Patterns
      2. Making an Acqui-Hire the Right Way
    3. Evaluating Your Hiring Process
    4. On-Boarding
      1. Improvised On-Boarding
      2. Team Rotation
      3. On-Boarding Program
      4. Mentor Program
    5. Off-boarding
      1. Regretted Versus Non-Regretted Attrition
    6. Conclusion
    7. Additional Resources
  5. 4. People Management: Getting Started
    1. Understanding People Management
      1. From Ad Hoc to Formal
      2. When to Formalize People Management
      3. Managing People Without Managers
    2. Introducing Formal People Management to a Team
      1. Know What You Want to Do and Prepare Your Team
      2. Communicate and Deploy the Plan
    3. Developing New Managers
      1. Identifying Management Potential
      2. Surviving the Management Transition
      3. Performance Assessment and the Go/No-Go Decision
    4. Hiring Managers Externally
      1. Interviewing Managers
      2. Making a Hiring Decision
      3. On-Boarding Managers
    5. Conclusion
    6. Additional Resources
  6. 5. People Management at Scale
    1. Magnifying Your Managers
      1. Improving Management Skills
      2. Encouraging Collaboration and Community
      3. Assessing Manager Performance
      4. Handling Underperforming Managers
    2. Happiness During Hyper-Growth
      1. Preparing for Growth
      2. Agency and Empowerment
      3. Promoting Work–Life Balance
      4. Building an Inclusive Workplace
      5. Building an Environment of Continuous Learning
      6. Career Development
    3. Additional Resources
    4. Conclusion
  7. 6. Scaling the Organization: Design Principles
    1. Motivation and Organization
    2. Planning from the Start
      1. Problems While Growing
      2. Goals While Growing
    3. Organizational Design Principles
      1. Implementing the Principles
      2. Create Delivery Teams
      3. Embrace Autonomy
      4. Establish Purpose and Measure Success
    4. Lessons Learned from Other Companies
    5. Conclusion
    6. Additional Resources
  8. 7. Scaling the Organization: Delivery Teams
    1. Four Ways to Create Delivery Teams
      1. Optimize for Platforms
      2. Optimize for Features
      3. Optimize for Company Goals
      4. Optimize for Customers
    2. Embrace Value Stream Mapping
    3. Expanding from One Team to Two
      1. The Original Team
      2. The First Split
    4. Economies of Scale Between Delivery Teams
    5. Removing Dependencies
      1. Measure Average Cycle Time
      2. Use Value Stream Mapping in Retrospectives
      3. Asking Specific Questions in Retrospectives
    6. Conclusion
    7. Additional Resources
  9. 8. Scaling the Organization: Reporting Structure
    1. Initial Reporting Structure
      1. What Is a Good Number of Reports?
      2. Four Ways to Organize Reporting Structure
      3. Combining Multiple Approaches
      4. Which Approach Is Right for You?
    2. The Next Level
      1. What It Looks Like
    3. Conclusion
  10. 9. Scaling Culture
    1. What Is Culture?
      1. Core Values
      2. Cultural Practices
      3. Culture Statements
      4. Values Versus Culture
    2. When to Define Core Values and Team Culture
    3. Why Do Core Values and Team Culture Matter?
    4. Discovering and Describing Values and Culture
      1. Well-Defined Culture Statements
        1. Discovering values, defining culture
    5. Scaling Challenges for Culture
      1. Hiring, Values, and Culture
      2. On-boarding and Culture
      3. Leadership and Culture
      4. Warnings Signs for Scaling Culture
    6. Building a Culture That Scales
      1. Continuous Learning and Improvement
      2. Trust and Safety
      3. Diversity and Inclusion
    7. Evolving Team Culture
      1. Reasons for Culture Change
      2. Implementing cultural change
      3. Resolving Culture Clash
    8. Measuring Culture: Information Flow
    9. Conclusion
  11. 10. Scaling Communication: The Complexity of Scale and Distance
    1. What Breaks When You Grow?
    2. The Complexity of Scale and Distance
      1. Tools Explosion
      2. Meeting Explosion
      3. Email Explosion
    3. Conclusion
    4. Additional Resources
  12. 11. Scaling Communication: Communicating at Scale
    1. Communication Design
      1. Step 1: Define What Employees Need to Know
      2. Step 2: Select the Communication Channel
      3. Step 3: Implement Your Strategy
      4. Other Forms of Communication
      5. Multiple Offices
    2. Communicating Change
      1. Step 1: Choose an Appropriate Change
      2. Step 2: Plan the Change
      3. Step 3: Test It with a Small Group
      4. Step 4: Share It
      5. Step 5: Implement the First Version
      6. Moving Forward
    3. Conclusion
    4. Additional Resources
  13. 12. Scaling Your Team
    1. Building Blocks of a Scalable Team
    2. Why You Need a Scaling Plan
    3. Scaling Essentials
    4. Warning Signs: Early Stage
    5. Warning Signs: Later Stage
    6. An Example Scaling Plan
      1. Company A
    7. Conclusion
  14. Index