How to Measure the Performance of a VP Engineering

“How do I measure the performance of my new VP Engineering?” asked me a CTO recently.

Yesterday I talked about measuring the performance of a CTO — here’s today’s list about measuring performance for a VP Engineering (notice the differences and similarities!):

1. Project delivery:

✓ this is a key metric (doesn’t apply to CTOs if there’s a VP Engineering present)
✓ it includes assessing the quality of the product delivered,
✓ how well it meets the requirements
✓ was it delivered on time and within budget?

In my experience most startups don’t use this enough, or not well, leaving VPs of Engineering feeling like they’re working in isolation (like between a rock and hard place between the C Suite and engineering teams!), when they get little to no meaningful, specific and actionable feedback.

In my experience 85% of VPs Engineering don’t get specific and clear feedback on their delivery and it hurts them.

They feel lost, confused and uncertain about where they add value.

If you are an engineer and have a VP Engineering — please give them feedback on what they did that worked well for the teams, and (if you feel able and safe to) what doesn’t work well and how you’d like to see it change — they’ll appreciate it.

If you are a #CEO, #CTO, #CIO, #CDO and you manage a VP Engineering, please give them specific feedback on how the timely delivery impacted the company, how it helped you retain/keep/win clients.

Most VPs Engineering thrive hearing about their impact on the business!

2. Team management:

✓ employee engagement,
✓ turnover rates,
✓ the overall culture of the engineering team
✓ this metric is also on the CTO list.

3. Cross-functional collaboration:

✓ their contribution to product strategy,
✓ alignment with other departments,
✓ customer satisfaction
✓ this metric is also on the CTO list.

4. Professional development:

✓ training and development programs (including technical training and leadership, communication skills training)

✓ professional certifications (sadly that’s how that’s measured, I’d measure the business impact of such training, rather than how many certificates were issued!! Skiller Whale for example focuses on the business impact of tech training, not certificates! Well done Hywel Carver !!)

✓ the development of new skills and capabilities.

4. Technical leadership:

✓ participation in technical decisions,
✓ their contribution to product development,
✓ the technical skills of their team
✓ this metric is also on the CTO list.

5. Innovation:

✓ development of new products,
✓ new patents
✓ other intellectual property
✓ this metric is also on the CTO list.

What would you add or remove?

Can you compare this list against how you measure your VP Engineering?

Could you tell us the differences and the reasons behind them?



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