Session 4

Defining & refining processes

Building, communicating, and iterating processes

May 25, 18:00 - 21:00 BST
10am–1pm PDT / 1–4pm EDT / 6–9pm BST / 7–10pm CEST

May 26, 14:00 - 17:00 BST
6–9am PDT / 9am–12pm EDT / 2–5pm BST / 3–6pm CEST

See session details

Meet our session contributors

HOST

Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach

Help Scout

co-HOST

Pat Kua

Seasoned Technology Leader

SPEAKER & PANELIST

Sara Hicks

VP of Product Management 

Mailchimp

SPEAKER & PANELIST

Cate Huston

Engineering Director, Mobile

DuckDuckGo

SPEAKER & PANELIST

Phil Haack

Founder & CEO

Haacked LLC

Meet our session contributors

Experience all of last year's sessions

Get full access to 29 videos from the debut series in 2020. Enjoy talks and panels on coaching, difficult conversations, career vectors, and more.

Session overview

Processes have the power to unlock your team, providing needed clarity and structure, and ensuring everyone is quickly synced. But when is the time to switch from an informal workflow to a process, and how do you ensure that you capture the opinions of everyone involved? In this session you’ll hear talks on:

How to understand what makes a good process, what doesn’t, and how to align processes across departments

How to improve and evolve processes over time to ensure they stay fit for purpose

Tools for ensuring that processes don’t overweight the humans in your team

How to navigate the imperfections of process that come about from real-life situations

Hosted by 

Pat Kua

Seasoned Technology Leader

Pat has 20 years of experience in technical leadership. His personal passion is accelerating the growth and success of tech organizations and leaders. He has had many years of hands-on experience, leading, managing, and improving complex organizations and software systems as the CTO and Chief Scientist of N26 and as a Technical Principal Consultant at ThoughtWorks.

Talk

Crafting an Intentional Process

We’ve all experienced a bad process. We’ve all experienced an unnecessary and overcomplicated process. And that makes sense! Creating a good process is challenging.

This talk will explore several habits for creating an intentional process. How can you communicate and ensure a common understanding around a process? What principles and frameworks can you put in place to bring more confidence and understanding around the processes you set? Through specific examples and learnings, this talk will share habits and a common vocabulary around processes that, when used, can help teams to be more effective, motivated, cohesive, and even productive.  

Sara Hicks

VP of Product Management 

Mailchimp

Sara is the VP of Product Management at Mailchimp, where she is responsible for leading and shaping Mailchimp’s commerce strategy to help small businesses start and grow. Most recently, Sara was the co-founder and CEO of Reaction Commerce, the open source commerce engine for retailers and brands, which she successfully led from founding to acquisition by Mailchimp in April 2020. 

Talk

The Culture of Process

If we call developers “resources”, they get to call managers (us!) “overhead”. 

But managers are overhead, and bad process is a tax on efficiency (and effectiveness). When process is good, it is indistinguishable from culture. 

Let’s talk about a different mindset to process - process as a tool for creating change.  

Cate Huston

Engineering Director, Mobile

DuckDuckGo

Cate is an Engineering Director at DuckDuckGo and an Advisor at Glowforge. She previously worked at Automattic, where she led the mobile, Jetpack, and Developer Experience teams. Cate admins the New-(ish) Manager Slack and writes regularly for Quartz and LeadDev. 

Talk

The human cost of introducing process 

Building software is an inherently chaotic and complex endeavor. To control the chaos and introduce predictability, leaders often introduce processes. A natural consequence of a process is to reduce human discretion and decision making. This can be a good thing, such as when a pilot uses checklists before taking off. But adding process can also have a cost. 

And when a process is introduced, it’s important to remember that humans are the ones who implement and live with the process. So how do you introduce a process humanely? In this talk, we’ll delve into the human cost of introducing processes and how to do it well, if at all. 

Phil Haack

Founder & CEO

Haacked LLC

Phil Haack is a co-founder and CTO of A Serious Business, Inc. building serious products for serious people. We are the creators of Abbot, a friendly ChatOps platform that makes it easy to automate tasks from chat. 

Phil has over 20 years of experience in the software industry and is a co-author of GitHub for Dummies.

Panel

Imperfect processes: navigating the fuzzier parts 

Our talks covered a wide range of topics on managing processes - what a good process looks like, when to add, remove or evolve a process. It may sound clear cut, but processes are never 100% perfect and much messier in the real world.  

During this panel, we’ll focus on the fuzzier parts in the real world and show you alternative or different opinions on how to navigate this fuzziness. We’ll hear a lot more from the challenges our panellists have faced and different ways they have overcome them. 

MODERATOR

Pat Kua

Seasoned Technology Leader

PANELIST

Sara Hicks

VP of Product Management 

Mailchimp

PANELIST

Cate Huston

Engineering Director, Mobile

DuckDuckGo

PANELIST

Phil Haack

Founder & CEO

Haacked LLC

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