Motivating Teams: The CAST framework

Context

Good engineers want to know why they are building a feature or working on a project. As a leader, it’s likely that you have more context around the need for what your team is working on than they do; it’s your job to clearly communicate this understanding.

Accountability

Accountability, in this context, means ownership of objectives. Make specific people clearly responsible for accomplishing a goal. It is often useful to state explicitly in a public setting who, specifically, is accountable for achieving an objective.

Success Criteria

As a wise cat once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Setting clear, measurable goals for your team is your job as a leader.

Timeline

Clearly set timelines for a project are an essential part of team motivation. In some cases, this means establishing a hard deadline for when the project should be shipped to production; in others, you establish dates only for the first few iterative milestones of the project. The second approach is especially useful when there are important implementation or other details whose complexity cannot be reliably estimated at the outset of the project.

  1. Setting Context
  2. Maintaining Accountability
  3. Defining clear, measurable Success criteria
  4. Setting a Timeline

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Current: Hippo Insurance. Previous: Google Assistant, Trulia/Zillow, EA, startups. Engineering leadership and navigating ambiguity. Create, learn, repeat.

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Abhijeet Vijayakar

Abhijeet Vijayakar

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Current: Hippo Insurance. Previous: Google Assistant, Trulia/Zillow, EA, startups. Engineering leadership and navigating ambiguity. Create, learn, repeat.