Tech companies and startups come in many shapes, sizes, organizational formats, cultures and climates. These issues can be the source of confusion, frustration, and apprehension, particularly as relates to:
- Freelancers joining large companies and developers from large companies joining startups can both feel lost – in the bureaucracy or a decentralized format.
- Practices vary, and it’s a contentious subject, but developers are expected to multi-task – and sometimes on different projects. They may need to support and report to a few managers.
- Culturally, Americans are often lax about coffee-talk or checking Facebook during work hours. German companies are known for running a tighter ship.
- Similarly, individually and culturally, managers have different expectations, mannerisms, and levels of directness. Does a “Sally, could you do this when you get a chance?” have the same implication as, “Joe, do this.”?
An organizational chart is absolutely essential even in a flat structure. It’s nice to have a picture of each team member, their name, location, email address, what they do, and a sentence or two about them. This is important in a work-from-home or telecommuting environment, too. Plus, it should extend to include your outsourced teams, freelancers, and partners. This shows your company is organized and has regard for its people to reinforce favorable early impressions.
Who do they report to? Whether your company is large or small, bureaucratic or non-hierarchical, newcomers need to know who they report to. If they’ll be supporting multiple managers or projects, which one has priority? If they already have their hands full, how do they handle another manager giving them another task? How can they say, “No”?
How Can AI Help with Org Charts? Well, AI won’t help with org charts per se, but it can keep you informed as to whether you have a healthy ratio of junior, mid-level, and senior developers – on a per programming language or technology basis. The distribution of developer skill and experience factors heavily into software development processes and training — from pull requests to mentoring. Many teams have a shortage of senior developers — as they’re more expensive and due to the global skill shortage. However, mid-level developers can take a significant load off their shoulders through a number of ways… one being in mentoring.