A guerilla guide to surviving large bets (aka large projects)

Missing or shallow strategy?

Fill the strategy gap yourself

I like to call this “occupying the space”.

When there’s a missing or shallow strategy, develop your own coherent strategy and be okay if the Bet takes over ownership of it.
1. Develop your own coherent strategy; 2. Be okay if the Bet pretends they came up with it

Get a senior technical IC involved (early)

Responding to missing or shallow strategy, the Senior Staff+ Engineer says “WTF? No.”
Senior technical ICs tend not to accept missing/shallow product strategy

Open-ended requests?

Feature requests, not team requests

“I need everyone on team A, B, and C. Not sure what they’ll work on yet.” “We can commit to features or capabilities your need. We won’t commit to specific teams or individuals working on them.”
Commit to features or capabilities, not teams or individuals

Propose your own roadmap

This is another example of “occupying the space”.

“I need everyone on team A, B, and C. Not sure what they’ll work on yet.” “Here’s our roadmap of features and capabilities we intend to deliver. You don’t need to know which specific teams or individuals will be working on it.”
Propose a coherent roadmap to pre-empt open-ended requests

Difficult collaboration?

Actively build informal relationships

“Let’s have a regular fika.”
Informal relationships can improve formal interactions

Assign a dedicated liaison

“Who’s knowledgeable, well respected, good at developing relationships? Let’s assign them as our liaison.”
Assign the best person who’s also good at social dynamics as your dedicated liaison

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