Session: Leading your engineering team through an unexpected product pivot
In tech, we often talk about failing fast. I want to share how my team recovered from failing really slowly: we launched a high-profile product that didn’t meet customer needs after doing a 9-month waterfall buildout. I don’t want to talk about all of the mistakes we made along the way, although I’m sure that would be a fun talk in and of itself. I want to focus on how we set ourselves up for success in the rapid pivot that followed by capitalizing on our learnings, bringing engineering to the forefront of the decision making process, and empowering those focused on technical execution. My personal journey involved finding my confidence as a technical decision maker, literally creating space for myself at the leadership table, and doing a lot of storytelling to a burnt out team, all while ushering in new normal caused by COVID-19. The end result was an incredibly smooth launch, no attrition from our staff, and most importantly, a body of work that I’m incredibly proud of.
- Meet your people where they are after going through a difficult launch
- Become a decision-making engine across many disciplines and levels
- Bring engineering to the forefront of the decision making process
- Empower the engineers on the ground through storytelling
- Rely on processes to guide your team through a constantly changing environment
Najla is currently a Senior Engineering Manager at Etsy, where she leads product teams which connect buyers to Etsy’s most invested sellers through on-site advertising. As a former Product Manager, Najla loves brainstorming big ideas while figuring out how to make them into a reality for customers. She is a big believer in growing teams with empathy, bringing people along for tough decisions, and advocating for others. In her spare time, Najla loves karaoke and sharing Lebanese food with friends.