How Homie uses performance insights to grow and challenge its teams.
It wasn’t long after the company’s founding that Mike Trionfo, CTO of Homie, recognized that he would need to increasingly hire more engineers to keep up with the platform’s explosive growth. He knew that he had a high-performing team, but was concerned that they might lose momentum at scale. Trionfo and his team wanted to ensure that as they continue to grow, they retained their values: accountability, transparency and being challenged.
"We wanted new hires to come into an environment where the culture is defined, and the expectations are clear," Trionfo recalls. "We wanted to scale that growth-oriented mindset."
At the same time, the engineering team was having discussions about ways they could improve. They didn’t feel like their processes were as good as they could be. They weren’t coming to work and getting as much out of their days as they wanted to. "We knew in our guts that there was more we could be doing," Trionfo says. "It was obvious to me at that point that if we wanted to level-up as a team, and be able to scale effectively, we needed data that would show us how we were doing."
“Pluralsight Flow increases my ability to make confident decisions about performance, and it allows me to do so much more quickly."
Mike Trionfo, CTO at Homie Inc.
In the past, Trionfo had tried other ways of tracking engineering progress, like sprint Fibonacci sequences and burn down. "Nothing we tried, even when the whole team would buy into the idea, became anything of real value to us," Trionfo recalls. "So once I became confident that Pluralsight Flow was the right tool—that it would not only track performance but was also a system that would drive positive behavior as a whole, I shared it with my team. And off we went."
The engineering team set goals across four metrics: Active Days, Commits per Day, Impact and Quality. "It’s three parts leading indicators from Flow, and one part data from our production environment that says 'this is how well you’re doing with your customers,'" Trionfo explains.
The key benefits of Flow powered by GitPrime for Homie Inc.
Increase in Coding Days per Week
Increase in Commits per Day
Increase in Impact to Codebase
“Flow gives us a clear understanding of what’s going on in engineering, and how we can get better."
Mike Trionfo, CTO at Homie Inc.
Results and next steps
Trionfo has seen three positive trends since he began using concrete metrics to establish expectations and goals around performance:
Trionfo and his managers find clear and immediate coaching opportunities. "It’s easy for me to see how we’re performing on an individual and team level. It’s clear to see who’s stuck and who’s not, and then dig in to figure out what’s going on," Trionfo says. "I’ve trained my managers to use the tool to show the team what best practices look like, and coach them towards those."
Homie’s engineering has been able to force out problems in their processes. Trionfo holds tight on the team’s four goals, no matter what problems they’re working on. "If there’s some reason why we think we can’t meet a goal, we look at how we can fix the underlying problem—what’s preventing us from meeting those goals? Are we waiting on others? Are we getting poor product specs?," Trionfo explains. It forces any problems in the team’s processes to bubble up, so they can quickly become aware of those issues and resolve them.
Trionfo can talk about engineering performance in a way that makes sense to others in executive meetings. "When I present to executives or to the team, and use data to explain our performance, it really puts it into perspective. Externally, engineering starts to make sense," Trionfo explains. "And when I present the data to the team, they either get this renewed understanding of, 'oh, that makes sense,' or 'we need to fix this.' Or, it gives us a validated reason to celebrate."
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