Not long after James Everingham joined Instagram as the head of engineering, results came back from the employee satisfaction survey that’s conducted every six months. The marks were pretty good, but one problem spot caught Everingham’s eye: the low transparency score.
Transparency is a persistent, thorny problem because we’re not all on the same page about what it even means. To Everingham, transparency was about building trust with your people while giving them better data to make better decisions along the way. But for others, it was more about involvement. Everingham soon realized that boosting Instagram’s straggling transparency scores meant figuring out what a common definition was. And that wasn’t all — he quickly recognized that shedding light on the decision-making process would also become a sizable component of their efforts to solve the transparency equation. The engineering group would need to identify who was making decisions, how those decisions were made and why they were being made.
Inspired by his talk at First Round’s Founder Summit, Everingham shares here precisely how Instagram fixed its transparency dilemma as it scaled engineering from 100 to over 600 people in less than three years. He details the steps in their systematic approach and gives helpful tips for defining transparency, educating others and building a thoughtful process and framework to support it.
Author: James Everingham
Source: First Round Review
Subjects: Communication, Decision Making, Management, Organizational Behavior