How founders sabotage engineering delivery… without any malice

Too many founders make THIS ONE mistake that sabotages engineering delivery and leadership… and the CTO is usually silent!

It’s usually a CEO or COO or some co-founder, who goes directly to an engineer (or a specific group of engineers) with a pet project and asks them to drop everything and work on this now!

They cut across everyone and everything — the CTO or VP Engineering is not informed and the founder basically ignores all processes, rules or hierarchies involved, undermining any engineering leadership or plans.

This often delays engineering delivery but it’s not engineering’s fault — a co-founder came along with one of their ideas, very excited, says to the engineer/s:

“It would be very cool if we did X. I need you to do this XYZ thing/s for me now.”

The engineer usually doesn’t have the skills, courage or awareness to manage upwards by saying something like:

“Has this been put on the roadmap? Why not? What is the business case for doing this now, above everything else we have to do?”

The engineer/s often just assume that because it is a founder or co-founder asking them to do this, they just have to do it.

But what the engineer should do is ask their manager if they have approval to work on this.

Pass it back up to their manager, rather than just doing what someone with no planning and no proper channels is asking them to do.

In these situations, the co-founder keeps taking engineering resource and sabotages engineering delivery, without any recognition or acknowledgement that this is taking time and expertise away from engineering delivery.

Why do co-founders sabotage their own companies like this?

#cto #ceo #coo #founder #startup #reengineeringleadership



Adelina Chalmers a.k.a The Geek Whisperer

Helps Engineers who are Leaders (CEO/ CTO/ VP) get buy-in from their peers/teams/investors by transforming Communication techniques into Algorithms