How do you aligned your remote and in-house dev teams? Alignment the lowest level (at the code or module level) lets you test and learn quickly what works and what needs attention. The CTO defines who owns what code based on the modules that a given location creates or maintains. Overtime the remote and in-house dev teams alignment needs to be assessed and if necessary further optimised using other remote working alignment models (delivery date, architecture or API, for example).
TeamViewer is super useful when reviewing / running / debugging code with a remote dev. Use it.
To be in control is being able to influence outcomes well in advance making the end result predictable. Not being 100% of the time in control is one of the realities of the modern CTO.
Sometimes you will be faced with issues that are outside of your control (migrating a live service which 1000s of customers use from an old supplier to the new one, for example).
A way to mitigate the unknowns is to map out outcomes and plan of action for each. At minimum set up a reliable support network (develop relationships with supliers, say). You can always scream later.
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As we move to micro SaaS apps and best tools for the job, the shadow IT grows, being a source of innovation and prototyping for future IT solutions.
However the new tools need to be considered in the context of customer data protection, security and impact to the processes.
Record apps costs and revisit usage to avoid paying for tools you stopped using.
What you spend your time on as the CTO is what your priority is. Record over a week or two what you spend your time on to find out what is import to you.
Reverse roles so that others agrue your case while you find evidence to support their view. This tactic might help avoid confirmation bias.
Test and learn. Fast. Encourage open discussion. Give your team time and space to express their ideas. Follow with fast test and learn cycle.
You plan. Design. Code v0.1. Re-plan. Code, code, code. Test. Demo. Test, test. Fix. Test. You go live.
Status quo feels safe. Today feels like yesterday. Auto-pilot is on. Change is hard. Because by changing we are risking status quo in order to gain. The pain of loss is much greater than the allure of gain. We do not feel so bad about losing out on big gains but we desperately try to avoid even small losses.
The differences in how we value risk help to explain why the derivatives, futures markets and junk bonds are worth trillions. Smart investors will buy risk from people at a discount.