This is the first in an ongoing series of blog posts from Todd Weeks, Sr. Director of Operations for the Microsoft.com Operations Team.
One of perhaps the easier things to do in order to manage a highly efficient operations team is to set very clear, well defined goals for individuals that across the team ties into an overarching goal for the entire team. Well, that is the easy part.
As a management team for the Microsoft.com operations team, we have always taken the approach with our engineers that it is just as important “How” you do your job as “What” the outcome is that you produce. Where the wheels usually fall off with that approach is when your reward and incentive systems for your employees only focuses on the deliverables and not the methods they used to achieve those deliverables.
One of the themes my team manages to is “Innovation and Impact”. Simply stated, we expect you to have great ideas and achieve the goals you have as an individual. But to be great, it is how your ideas are re-usable and can help make others more efficient that really counts. As Engineers, we have the ability to help make ourselves better and our teammates better. But we also have the ability to impact how Development creates their applications so they are more supportable, we can impact Test to make sure all the right failure cases are being checked, and we can impact Product Management to make sure all the right planning is in place so when it comes time to ship and manage, the infrastructure is there to do it.
The philosophy of don’t just do your job great, do it so it helps make others great too is something I am really proud to see throughout my team. It is the philosophy we tie our rewards systems to as well. The more you can positively impact others with your work, the more reward you will see. And because of this we have seen a team that works very well together, and just as importantly, works to build a healthy relationship with all of the other organizations we interact with as well.