Pushing through Friction


Things are broken. The deployment pipeline is painfully slow. Your engineering team has doubled in the last year and there’s a lack of sufficient process and management. You git blame a file that’s used everywhere but nobody understands it; the person who wrote it left the company five years ago.

As a senior-level engineering leader, experience tells you things could be better. You see the gaps. If only the company adopted policy A or dumped technology B, everyone would benefit. But there’s so much inertia. The company has always used B. You are frustrated. Can you actually make a difference?

Yes. You are encountering organizational friction, and learning to identify, accept and push through friction is a key skill of engineering leaders. In this talk, Dan will talk about why organizational friction occurs and how to mitigate it. The ability to push through friction will distinguish you throughout your career.


The talk was recorded at SREcon19 EMEA in Dublin, Ireland in October 2019.