Consensus Building: This is the way


Making technical decisions can be incredibly difficult alone, but in large projects, we often have to make these decisions with partner teams or orgs, and groups of individuals who have their own unique perspectives, personalties and experience which may diff from our own.  A common challenge we all face is how do we make collective decisions in such an environment?

Common strategies include "Disagree and Commit", by authority or seniority and via consensus building.  In this talk, I'll dive into the approach most of us probably prefer, but perhaps one of the most difficult to practice -- and nearly impossible to really master: consensus building.

To set things up, I'll try to convey a bit about Facebook's engineering culture, and how it's setup to heavily incentivize consensus building -- making nearly attempts at decisions through authority difficult, if not impossible (by design!).  From there we'll describe consensus building, what makes it so difficult, describe some common anti-patterns we've all seen or experienced, and then dive into some strategies which make it easier to build consensus with technically minded colleagues.

To finish things off, we'll examine a couple real life case studies, looking at what worked well, and some lessons learned.

Room 107
Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 15:00 to 16:00