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My current company is young and lacks very much structure.

I would like to discuss with my line manager, who is the CTO, some possible improvements.

Should I write an email and request an extra meeting excluding the usual one we have or should I raise the improvement subjects during the operational meeting that we have, once a week?

  • 3
    what sort of changes? what normally happens in the operational meeting? – bharal Oct 29 '18 at 7:06
  • What is your position? – Kilisi Oct 29 '18 at 10:18
  • @kilisi I'm the guy who makes everyone works smoothly when he is not here, and he is often out as he is living in New Zealand and I am in Netherlands – John Legas Oct 30 '18 at 12:49
  • You are responsible for everything but cannot implement anything new on your own? – Kilisi Oct 30 '18 at 23:01
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If you think discussion of your idea will be a quick exchange within the typical time limits for contributions during your meetings, you can do it during the meeting. The benefit of doing it during your weekly meeting is that others could have input and therefore gain buy-in. You can also ask during your meeting if it would be okay to discuss it during your meeting.

Otherwise, you could call for your own meeting.

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Asking for permission can be time consuming and frustrating, if it's my work, my field of expertise and my responsibility I just take the permission as given until told otherwise.

So if I were you I'd just start implementing small changes starting with those that palpably increase efficiency. Make sure they are thoroughly thought out changes which cannot be argued against once they're a fait accompli. Changes that involve protocols and others are a bit harder so you set the precedent first and use common sense.

Document as you go and keep superiors in the loop, but in terms of what you're doing not 'can I do this'. They'll let you know if you can't.

I've been doing this so long even at companies I'm just a consultant at that at most people just ask me if they're doing it properly, or what time I can have a meeting and train staff. Then usually feedback from training gives me more to work with for the next one as well as giving everyone a feeling that they have a hand in things.

Judgement call on whether you could apply this advice fully or partially to your particular situation. But it's an avenue worth thinking about.

  • 2
    I agree with this. Routine meetings are a terrible context for bringing up new ideas. It will blind-side people and it's common for certain personality-types in tech to not respond well to surprises where they need to make an unplanned "yes or no" decision. – teego1967 Oct 31 '18 at 13:02
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Don't wait for, or consider, meetings.

Stand up now, walk up to LineManager and say

Steve, I've realized we can automate the build process. It won't take more than a week using BuildORama. The savings would be spectacular - should we do this?

Just make it a live, hot, open issue.

Meetings, shmeetings. Email, Peemail. Just walk over and raise the issue.

the language you're looking for, actually three words, is:

"Steve, I've realized [ ]"

  1. in the rest of that first sentence state your plan (shouldn't take more than 5, 6 words)
  2. in the second sentence state how long it will take. (So, "It won't take more than [state time].") You can add something technical (no more than two words, see my example above) so it sounds technical.
  3. the third sentence is formulaic. "The savings would be spectacular - should we do this?"

That's it.

0

That depends on the scope, complexity and implication of the improvement. If it is "i suggest to add a new category in the issue tracking system to avoid a certain type of issue being ping-ponged between categories" a email of a small discussion in you weekly is enough.

If you expect a longer discussion, then dont hijack the weekly meeting with it (since it may block operational topics from being discussed).

If you expect that the manager may want to talk to other people about the topic, then briefly mention the topic in an email or during you weekly meeting, and schedule a separate meeting with an appropriate time before.

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