Track: Building High Performing Teams

Location: Churchill, G flr.

Day of week: Tuesday

There are many discussions outlining the secret sauce of high-performing teams, some obvious and some less so. Learn how to debug a team that isn't working well; what it's like to be part of a high performing team (spoiler: not always brilliant); and how to nail the essential ingredients of high performing teams such as trust and delegation.

Track Host: Sally Goble

Senior Engineering Manager @Deliveroo

Sally has been working in software development for more than ten years. She is currently a senior engineering manager at Deliveroo, working on helping solve many of the problems that occur when rapidly scaling an organisation. Over the past year this has included creating a comprehensive technical onboarding programme for engineers, and developing a new career framework. Before that she worked at the Guardian in the tech team for many years. She is a regular speaker at conferences.

10:35am - 11:25am

My Team Is High Performing But Everyone Hates Us

Being part of a high performing team is supposed to be great. Everyone’s working together, perfectly aligned and in tune with each other, delivering what the stakeholders wants, in a company that appreciates them. 

Except it’s not always like that.

This is a story about being part of a high performing team. It’s a view from the inside, about the highs and the lows and why being part of a high performing team is great, but it’s rarely the utopia that blog posts and books will have you believe. 

I’ll focus on:

  • Why being part of a high performing team can be fragile and something to be treasured
  • How you can’t be good at everything and being part of a high performing team is all about compromises
  • Areas that can be challenging when leading or being a part of a high performing team; building a diverse team for example
  • Ways in which I have dealt with culture clashes, strong personalities, and conflict
  • Putting the wins of the team above your own personal wins, and why this can be harder in a high performing team
  • Why other high performing teams may not be as good as they look from the outside, and why comparing yourself to that view of perfection may not be healthy
  • Keeping things stimulating and engaging when you hit the big deadline that you’ve been working towards
  • Why you should focus on your sponsors, and how to avoid your high performing team from being one person’s pet project
  • What to look out for when scaling high performing teams, and how to keep everyone caring when teams grow
  • How the team changes when leaders change, and what you can do to ensure a new leader continues to build a culture of great teamwork 

In the end, we all want to be part of a team where we have fun, feel supported and are able to do our best, Is it a high performing team that we’re looking for, or it is just good teamwork? Hopefully, my experiences will help you to answer this question, and play your part in making your team great.

Stephen Janaway, Technology leader @BloomandWild

11:50am - 12:40pm

How to Debug Your Team

What do you do when software is slow? You debug it. What do you do when your team is slow? Same thing! In this talk, I will tell stories about how I debugged teams at three companies - Stride, Bauer Xcel & Meetup, and the surprising & unintentional consequences of not giving teams what they need to be successful: Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose & Safety. Attendees will leave with practical examples of how to diagnose & change their teams.

Lisa van Gelder, Senior VP Engineering at Spring Health, former VP Engineering at Meetup

1:40pm - 2:30pm

Trust, the Secret Ingredient in High Performing Team

Building a high performing team had always been a hot topic in the software world. Have you ever wondered how you can play a part in it?    

Trust is one of the few key ingredients in a high performance team, In fact, the most effective way to build trust with your peers, and managers, comes from you, a member of the team.     

This talk will outline the “What, Who, How, and Why”, a practical strategy on cultivating trust in your team. Combining the art and science on building trust, the goal is to inspire everyone to view their team in a new light, and helping each other in achieving more.

Jaycee Cheong, Site Reliability Engineer @immersivelabsuk

2:55pm - 3:45pm

How to Supercharge a Team With Delegation

Delegation is often overlooked as some boring management concept or the process of just telling someone what to do. However, it's much more than that. Getting delegation right can supercharge your team's productivity, increase autonomy and help people learn new skills.

In this talk, we'll have a look at the concept of delegation and show you can use it to effectively delegate tasks as an individual contributor and a manager in a way that improves your whole team in the long term. We'll then see how delegation ties into learning and mentorship by calling upon learning theory from the classroom. We'll also spend some time learning how not to delegate by exploring some common antipatterns: stealing back control, fire and forget, and hoarding tasks for yourself.  Finally, the bigger the task that you delegate, the bigger the panic you'll have about it getting done properly. We'll turn to the ancient Stoics for some advice on how to reduce your control without increasing your blood pressure.

James Stanier, VP Engineering @Brandwatch

4:10pm - 5:00pm

The Good the Bad the Ugly: Making Teams Perform Better

A case study on how a team of engineers and data scientists worked together for a year and became high performing by embracing change, improving day to day practices, breaking the walls between disciplines and overcoming many communication (and other!) challenges together.

Victoria Puscas, Engineering Manager - Pricing / Logistics Algorithms @Deliveroo

5:25pm - 6:15pm

Optimise for Time

Time is the most precious commodity we have. One thing all great teams have in common is how they make use of theirs in their pursuit of excellence. This talk is about how to use time in a way that enables teams to improve by discussing some practical advice for how to get the most out of your time but also putting forward some principles to develop your own approaches.

Andy Walker, Founder at Kraken Industries


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