The CTO role can be stressful due to the constant pressure to deliver results, managing a larger team than others, and the rapidly changing nature of the job as the startup grows. From coding to hiring to management, there never seems to be enough time.
Fortunately, there is a solution that can help alleviate some of the stress: automatic management.
Automatic management refers to a management style that works independently, without constant involvement from you, the CTO.
There are four main pillars to automatic management:
Engineering Culture: Developing a unique engineering culture rather than just letting it evolve on is key to automatic management. The right culture can steer developers and help them make informed decisions, reduce mistakes, and remove the need for constant performance management.
Vision and Strategy: A clear and well-articulated vision for the future can provide a direction that guides the development team. A well-crafted tech strategy means developers can make informed decisions that align with the technology vision.
Processes: Many organizations have a core process such as Scrum or Kanban in place, but introducing more processes for innovation, selecting new technologies, or onboarding new team members removes the need for constant management.
Craftsmanship: I’m a fan of craftsmanship. That you put effort into the things you’re building and are proud of the results. With craftmanship there is clean code, documentation and tests.
Unfortunately, many technical managers undervalue these factors. They don’t take the time to create a unique culture, a clear vision, don’t focus on craftmanship, or implement additional processes to auto-steer repeatable actions.
By incorporating automatic management into the CTO’s role, they can focus on the more important business needs. They can concentrate on driving the company forward instead of micro-managing developers.