tl;dr question is at the bottom
I am currently working as a middle manager for a mid-market manufacturing company that has an IT department consisting of:
- 6 developers (one lead, two senior, three junior). All of these developers are essentially working under me in a matrix managed environment. I would qualify as a 7th developer since I would likely contribute as well
- 2 specialized ERP developers
- 2 junior IT Business Analysts
- 1 specialized technical manager leading our ecommerce efforts
- 1 senior DevOps engineer who works closely with development
- A network and systems team ( 5 or 6 people? ) that runs separate from development except in small crossover areas like level 3 production support
- A team of 6 developer consultants working under the eCommerce Tech Lead
- A team 2-4 developer consultants possibly working on tangential projects
I moved up in the department from junior, senior, lead, and now I'm currently a principal engineer / software engineering manager ( my title is technically different but that is my job ). I have a very deep technical background but I believe I'm very strong at communicating and selling ideas, and making pragmatic decision with low budgets.
My department doesn't run as efficiently or effectively as it should. This concern has been voice by my lead engineer, lead DevOps engineer, the eCommerce lead, and others. They feel the department lacks structure and they feel like too many people are off doing too many things. I share this belief and I feel like I see a blueprint in other companies and I see where our current personnel fit into this blueprint.
We currently use a tool to track sprints, stories, tasks, bugs, etc but our BA's don't have a strong conceptual grasp of what these concepts actual mean, and the business has no visibility into this. No story points are assigned to anything and no one tracks their time. I believe there is no adoption because the tool we use is a bloated legacy desktop application that lacks visibility and is just not convenient to use ( and doesn't integrate with any of our other tools )
We do whiteboard hiring where we run a technical whiteboard interview, a personal interview, then make a decision. The decision isn't very scientific, and our review process doesn't, in my opinion, support growth. You can continuously score 3 out of 5 in all review categories and stay employed in your current position forever.
I have a proposal that outlines a tried and true model for making our department more effective which includes
- Some modifications to our current tooling
- Some professional development for certain employees
- Some rearrangement of job duties
- A more aggressive grow or go plan
Would Software Engineering Stack Exchange be a good place to outline this topic in more detail. Basically a RFC ( request for comments )?