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Your first 30 days as a manager

Your first 30 days as a manager

Topic: System Administration
Jeffrey Fredrick
Douglas Squirrel

Regardless of what department you’re in, transitioning from individual contributor to manager requires you to make one of the biggest shifts in mindset you are likely to encounter in your career. As Lindsay Holmwood points out, "Management is not a promotion. It is a career change." Your actions now affect the output of your whole team, and good performance can now significantly boost your whole organization’s output. But getting started can seem daunting when you don’t have experience to guide you. Which activities will leverage your team’s skills effectively and help them achieve their goals? And just how are you supposed to know what those goals are anyway?

In this practical, step-by-step course, experts Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick teach you the skills you need to set targets, build relationships, and give feedback to unlock your team’s potential, using the Toyota Improvement Kata as a framework: First, decide on a vision. Next, grasp the current condition. Then, define the next target condition. Finally, iterate toward your target condition, clearing obstacles as you go. You'll leave with a detailed, personalized action plan to guide you through your first month of management.

APAC friendly time.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand: - The value of building relationships within and outside the team - Why goal setting and prioritization are crucial for managers

And you’ll be able to: - Hold an effective one-on-one with a team member - Give meaningful, supportive feedback to team members - Influence people outside the team through joint design

This training course is for you because...

  • You're about to become a manager, or you recently took on a managerial role, and you need to lead and motivate your team to contribute effectively to company goals.
  • You're an individual contributor with an interest in becoming a manager, and you want to begin developing the behaviors that will make you a successful leader.
  • You're an experienced manager, and you want to help new managers in your organization grow and succeed as leaders.


  • Experience as a member of a team at work or elsewhere (volunteer organization, sports team, etc.)
  • Leadership experience (useful but not required)

Recommended preparation:

It’s Not a Promotion. It’s a Career Change.” (article)

“Strategies for Managing Your Boss” (chapter 4 in Managing Your Boss)

Get Better at One-on-One Meetings (video)

Scientific Thinking for Everybody" (chapter 1 in The Toyota Kata Practice Guide: Developing Scientific Thinking Skills for Superior Results in 20 Minutes a Day)

About your instructors

  • Jeffrey Fredrick is internationally recognized for his expertise in software development and has 25 years’ experience as a manager and leader. An early adopter and advocate of agile techniques, he has been a regular speaker, coach, and independent consultant on topics including agile software development, corporate strategy, product management and interaction design. His roles have included VP of Product at software-testing startup Agitar, founder at SaaS startup OpenAvenue, and CTO & Head of Product at recently-acquired fintech startup TIM Group. He co-organizes the CITCON international series of software conferences with hundreds of attendees on five continents.

  • Douglas Squirrel has been coding for forty years and has led software teams for twenty. He uses the power of conversations to create dramatic productivity gains in technology organisations of all sizes. Squirrel’s experience includes growing software teams as a CTO in startups from fintech to e-commerce; consulting on product improvement at over 70 organisations in the UK, US, and Europe; and coaching a wide variety of leaders in improving their conversations, aligning to business goals, and creating productive conflict. He lives in Frogholt, England, in a timber-framed cottage built in the year 1450.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Goal setting the Toyota Kata way (15 minutes) - Lecture: Why goal setting is so important; how to gather and set goals with your team and the wider organization using the four steps of the Toyota Kata; joint design for eliciting and focusing these goals

Prioritizing and measuring goals (15 minutes) - Lecture: Ways to choose appropriate goals using management by exception; how to measure your progress toward them

Understanding how to think (20 minutes) - Hands-on exercise: In small groups, set and prioritize goals using the above techniques - Q&A

Break (10 minutes)

Learning about your team through one-on-ones (15 minutes) - Lecture: How to hold effective, relationship-building one-on-ones that uncover barriers to success and reinforce the goals you discovered on your first day

Guiding your team with effective feedback (35 minutes) - Lecture: Ways to reinforce movement toward team goals with positive and negative feedback that is brief and specific and leads to action - Hands-on exercise: In small groups, hold two practice five-minute one-on-one meetings, including effective feedback as modeled in the segments - Q&A

Break (10 minutes)

High-leverage activities (15 minutes) - Lecture: How to identify and clear barriers to team success, using concepts like the Toyota Kata to structure the changes

Influencing others (35 minutes) - Lecture: How to use joint design to find common solutions with other teams, peer managers, and even your boss - Hands-on exercise: In small groups, role-play jointly designing a solution to a problem with conflicting interests among the group

Wrap-up and Q&A (10 minutes)