How an Engineering Manager uses Workplace to manage projects, people, and time

by Nicola Brassington

How Facebook employees use Workplace

We often talk about how other organizations use Workplace to build connected companies. But how do we use Workplace to connect and build our own business? We meet a Workplace Engineering Manager to find out.

Being an Engineering Manager in 2019 means being multi-faceted. To succeed it takes solving briefs with communication, an open mind and systematic prowess. And as the Engineering Manager at Workplace, Dave Nolan manages a highly-productive tech team in a fast-paced environment.

“It’s important my team are happy and know what’s expected of them,” says Dave. “But coordinating with other teams, giving specific feedback on technical architecture, experiments and product features is also a big part of my role.”

When you’re tasked with supporting the growth of a next-generation mobile platform with a mission to help other organizations to connect and build meaningful communities - keeping up is key and finding fresh solutions is integral.

Global collaboration

“There's a lot going on at Facebook, the pace of change is very high, and we’re granted a lot of autonomy - that means you need to know what's going on in other teams.”

When juggling the many tech-driven conversations and projects that he oversees at Facebook, Dave uses Workplace Groups as a way of retaining a record of information.

“With Workplace Groups there’s a transparent artefact around every decision made by the team.”

- Dave Nolan, Engineering Manager, Workplace from Facebook

“The group becomes a working document - you can see conversations, revisit them, build on the fabric of information and see the narrative of what we're doing and why we're doing it. It really helps people navigate the complex and ambiguous things we're trying to solve.”

Connecting people and teams

As an Engineering Manager, Dave uses Workplace Groups for one-to-one teammate interactions. “One-to-one groups are a very powerful tool to support people on your team. They become a place where you can work together closely but asynchronously."

"Groups become a place where you can amplify what you've been talking about in a one-on-one meeting - it’s where we can share growth plans and it's another stream that helps support rapport.”

"Groups provide the sweet spot between a meeting and a chat - unless you actually give it a go, you never know what you're missing out on."

With many technical tasks often on-the-go at once how does Dave action ongoing projects without the drag of a weighted inbox?

“Working at Facebook means working with twenty-odd thousand people in a number of different time zones. The different Workplace Chat threads that I have allow any combination of people organized around a particular goal or topic to quickly communicate."

"Some chats have an operational feel to them, others have got a social feel, and then there are semi-synchronous threads for specific ad-hoc topics."

But above all else it's easy and intuitive to connect to people across the organization - even if you don't know them very well. “I can just message out to whoever I need, ping them and get the conversation going.”

Making work faster

Workplace also connects with a constantly evolving set of popular enterprise tools so Dave’s team can get work done faster.

“Our growing collection of Workplace integrations help the team share, stay current and simplify processes," Dave says. "And because Workplace is developed at Facebook, we have a whole set of integrations that make the interface between specific tasks, specific technical artefacts, and Workplace a lot more seamless."

“We think of it as an operating system. And we're investing the time to build integrations that make sense - because that is going to supercharge the experience for everyone.”

With huge thanks to Dave Nolan, Engineering Manager, Workplace

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