Participation in RFCs - Deepstash

Participation in RFCs

If you see a low participation rate, you team members may be dealing with the following challenges:

  • 😵 They have too much going on.
  • 😱 They are not interested.
  • 🔨 Tools used for process management are not providing them great UX.
  • 🕰 They may need better personal time management.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

Goals of an internal RFC

We needed a way to make decisions as a team that would allow us to:

  • enable individual contributors to make decisions for systems they’re responsible for
  • allow domain experts to have input in decisions when they’re not directly involved in building a particular system
  • manage the risk of decisions made
  • include team members without it becoming design by committee
  • have a snapshot of context for the future
  • be asynchronous
  • work on multiple projects in parallel

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Making decisions in a bubble = 🤬

In the process of building our apps I received a private Slack message:

Why was the data dashboard built using React if our front-end stack is based on Ember? — a not very happy front-end engineer

  • 💀 I didn’t know we had added a new tool to our stack. 😳
  • 💀 Other team members who should’ve known about it, didn’t know either.
  • 💀 Someone made an important decision on behalf of our entire team, but the team wasn’t included in it.
  • 💀 No one, including myself, appreciated the surprise.

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You should write an RFC if you:

  • are building something from scratch. New endpoint, component, system, library, application, etc.
  • the need rewrite has crossed your mind
  • will impact more than one system or other team members.
  • would like to define a contract or interface between clients or systems.
  • are adding a new dependency.
  • are adding or replacing languages or tools to the stack
  • are in doubt of whether you should write one

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We’ve found RFCs increase visibility into who is making decisions in a system and has helped managers identify situations where trust issues are preventing ICs from making decisions.

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The newbie tag enables psychological safety

As a team, we agreed that any comment or proposal tagged with [newbie] indicated that its author was coming from a vulnerable place. Whether motivated by lack of expertise, context or confidence, this tag allowed for us to make mistakes while knowing we were in an environment of psychological safety , that was supportive of learning for both senior and junior members.

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RELATED IDEAS

Decision-making rules

Write a clear, objective set of rules to guide future decisions.

It will enable you to make a decision that is detached from the emotion of the moment.

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We’ve been doubling the amount of people in our product engineering over the past few years, and you just can’t do the same things you used to do.

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Jason Warner: So in a super blunt and rather, uh, stark sort of way, I think anyone who is a micromanager actually does not know how to do their job fully.

If you don't know how to scale yourself, your decision-making processes, whatever. You tend to micromanage because you think the only way I can get this done is "If I go do this myself."

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