I want to share an experience I had recently and the emotions that followed it.
If you're not new to this blog you already know that my team is in a desparate need of working hands. As the process of recruting a new dev has been unfruitful for months and I wanted to get a person right away I turned into my own company to look for internal move.
An internal move a trickey business, borderlining ethical and personal issues, but I'm not going to discuss it now.
After talking to some managers and HR I was told there isn't anyone relevant for an internal move at the moment, and then it struck me. It was during a meeting with a new Wix manager where we discussed my struggle with working with Ukraine. He mentioned that he thinks that while I'm already invested in there, I should not scare away of getting more people there.
It took me a few days to let the thought sink in - I can get a team of web developers in Ukraine which I know that were struggling to find their place to move to my team!
The thing is I wasn't convienced myself, but started to roll it forward. I kept contmplating to find the right order of people to approach and to make sure I didn't leave any stakeholder out.
I talked to a peer manager and shared the idea. He said it sounded good.
I talked to my manager, who approved of the initative.
I discussed it with my teammmates, who were kinda shocked of the idea, but understood the potential.
Then I approached the person in charge of that Ukrainian team and talked to her briefly. It's good that I did, because she raised concerns and perspective I hadn't thought on. Yet, nothing to dramattic that I didn't foresee, so cool!
I scheduled a meeting with her, me and her manager to discuss it further. This is the first time I took precaution - although I'm in favor of free knowledge to all, this was delicate. I didn't want anyone to think I was doing something wrong - so after all the discreet conversations, once I had to schedule a meeting (which appears on people's public schedules) I had to lie a little, naming it "talking about the future".
At this stage I was already convienced myself that I had no choice. It was best for my team and the only option to make a valuable improvment.
I came prepared to the meeting, thinking of possible outcomes and responses and this proved very valuable.
At the meeting, the other two had grown skeptic regarding the way the Ukrainian team will accept this kind of change, They were afraid that it will look like lack of confidence in the team. When I heard this I played my strong card - I told them what's in it for them.. I suggested not to take over the team but let them work on a seprate, very important, project that I was meaning to handle for a long while. Hard to beleve, but it's actaully a win-win-win situation:
This would give the Ukranian team a meaningful project to work on for a few month, no dependencies and ability to play with new technologies as they wish
It will free their managers from the conflict of finding them something meanigful and dependency-free to do
It will cross a very big item from my own team's todo list, acting as stakeholders but not owners and at the same time, moves the responsibility on manitaining that complex project to some other team
It will give all of us plenty of time to learn the new structure, learning to work with each other this way.
Everyone was excited about this and it was conculded that this will be suggested to the Ukranian team very soon. Fingers crossed.
One last thing would be to discribe my feelings through this process:
I felt all alone. Had to contemplate and this of possibilities all by myself, I had to decide who to approach and in which order. What to say and what not to say. It was hard.
I was lucky enough that I had people I could share my initial idea with and get their feedback, yet, it was all on me.
Manangement decisions and political moves are hard. And exahusting. And made me feel very lonely.