What are my goals?

Today one of my tasks is to state my goals for the coming year. 

I did something unusual today.  I showed my goal list to the people who work for me, and asked them for feedback.  This is an opportunity for them to say what we should be working on as a team, and what I should be doing as their manager.

I want to carry it a step further.  I want your input on my goals.  You can say what you want me to be working on over the next year, which should have a big impact on your experience with Visual Studio and with Microsoft.

Here's what I'm working with so far:

  • Drive developer satisfaction with C#

  • Drive the team to meet stated goals & deliver Whidbey

  • Track & report status & progress of the team

  • Develop a culture of energy, productivity, and learning on the team

  • Drive dogfooding prepare a roadmap for writing the C# compiler/IDE in C#


Comments (10)

  1. Matt says:

    Commitments Jay, commitments! Have you not watched the video yet?

    I sure hope your manage doesn’t post your review score in his blog!

  2. Adam says:

    To figure out the degree of decision making that can be legitimately delegated to the blogosphere which is more representative of the customer than folks inside the company but still fairly short sighted.

  3. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Adam: Can you break that up into smaller ideas? I’m so fried on avoiding reviews that I can’t parse it properly!

  4. First off. I love coming to the blog’s of your team. They are all full of good content! Thanks for taking the time to keep us curent.

    How do you plan to "Develop a culture of energy, productivity, and learning on the team"?

    I would love to hear and maybe try some of your ideas.

  5. Nicholas Allen says:

    These are all very admirable goals. Each one seems important and critical to the success of the company. I mean, it would be a bad thing if customers were rioting, with employees running out of control and bickering, and eventually rewriting VS in Java before going out of business.

    But how do you plan to measure these? It’s easy enough to have a metric for shipping a product or developing a roadmap. There’s an obvious "done" moment and you can see how far off from your target date you were and whether the users of your creation are satisfied. Let’s take though

    "Develop a culture of energy, productivity, and learning on the team"

    and try to measure it. Maybe this is related to what Jim is asking. Do UN inspectors come in and measure the team’s energy levels? Blood tests?

    What is your current level of culture and how much should it be 1 year from now to declare success? Is there even a method to figure out what a good value is going to be 1 year from now?

    How accurate of a self-reporting mechanism do you have? Obviously you’ve got some incentive to say things are going well. And it seems doubtful anyone on the team is going to look back in a year and say:

    "I am a lifeless hulk. Our communication skills have degenerated to grunts and snarls. We spend our days reading Slashdot and sending around dirty jokes."

    If everyone just has to report their energy level on a scale of 1 to 5, will it be possible to measure the progress to your goal? How do you QA your measurement process and see if it works?

  6. Nicholas Allen says:

    I’m not just trying to be flippant and bust your balls about that. I really am curious how you and your manager would assess your accomplishments for such a goal.

  7. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Don’t worry Nicholas, I’m not offended.

    I absolutely need to be clear about how I intend to accomplish these goals, and how I will measure my success.

    I don’t believe the measurements have to be scientific. If I ask my reports "Do you think we value learning on this team?" their answer good data.

    I still don’t know the answers, though. I’m still thinking about how I want do do it, and how I will measure it.

    Maybe I’ll blog some…

  8. Nicholas Allen says:

    Thanks, Jay. If you do write some more about this, I’d definitely be interested in reading it.

    Even if you don’t treat the measurements as rigorous and scientific things, I still think these more abstract goals are going to be harder to evaluate. I place a pretty high priority on learning when I work on something, but I have a hard time explaining why the amount of time I spend on learning is the right amount. It’s a bit fustrating for me to tackle such a problem because every time I come up with an answer, it’s not very long before I see a way to knock that answer down.

  9. So following in my boss’ stead of posting his commitments, i thought i’d do the same:

    reinvent value-added…

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