Stage Appropriate Processes with Don Neufeld

Spotify LogoApple Podcast Listen BadgeWatch on YouTube image
June 20, 2023

Who do we look to as we try to implement stage-appropriate processes within our tech company? Is it the Googles and LinkedIns for their HR and staff incentive policies, or is there a better way to 'right size' our process challenges?

Don Neufeld is the VPE Coach (Vice President Engineering), who offers leadership and performance coaching for VPEs, CTOs, and other engineering leaders. 

What makes Don so effective is that he's been there as a startup engineering leader himself, from founder to IPO stage – including CTO of Medium and VP Eng. at both ClassPass and Chartboost.

Today Don is offering insight into first understanding your WHY as a small company and not just following in the process footsteps of tech giants. It's about the fine line between being proactive as a tech leader and doing something when it's actually needed.

It’s also about asking if your process is better, worse, or the same as before, and making relative judgments instead of comparing yourself with companies that aren't at the same stage as you. 

What is your 'risk list,' and how are you, as a tech leader, understanding the financial implications of your business as you burn cash to get to market? Growth at all costs may well be undermining your efficiency process, and the new world doesn't look like the old one, so it's important to have a holistic understanding of your business. 

Don's insights may help you solve the right problems for your tech business at the right time – saving you time and money further down the line. Please join us. 

"A stage-appropriate process is the right process for you – not some abstract, correct, best process. Especially in engineering. This can be really challenging because engineers want to do things the right way, and so the idea of having an optimal or best process is very attractive." - Don Neufeld

In This Episode:

  • How do we define the optimal process for our organization?
  • Anticipating the pain points in our processes (without solving the wrong problems)
  • Looking at similar-sized companies for policy and process comparables
  • What access do you have to a community of your technical peers? 
  • How do we know if we've overshot it with our processes? 
  • When should you be proactive as a tech leader – and when reactive?
  • The value of maintaining a 'risk list' 
  • When to reevaluate your processes if you're restructuring or downsizing
  • What is the most common mistake startups make?

Let's collaborate.