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My team spends too many cycles supporting another team - How can I better draw the line here?

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Software engineer at Series B Startup2 years ago

There have been issues where another team is not executing properly, so our team needs to lend a lot of engineering cycles to help them fix their issue. This leads to us not having the resources we need to properly do our own work and us sort of owning the components that we helped the other team with as we have now made significant code changes there. Is there a way I can make this relationship between my team and this other team more balanced and less taxing on mine?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • Learn to say "No", which I totally get is easier said than done. This is a crucial skill: In any company >20 people, there are going to be situations like this where other teams can weigh your team down if you don't play the cards properly.
    • Of course, be polite when saying "No". Tell them you would love to help, but you simply don't have the cycles as your own team also has a lot of important work to do. You can also leave the door open and route them to your manager and/or TL to see if they can get the work prioritized on your team's roadmap.
    • If they can get their request approved, it probably means that their request truly is extremely high-pri for the company and you should lend some cycles to take it on at the expense of some of your team's previously scoped out work. This is still a good scenario as it should be a win-win for everyone: There is alignment on this work being so important that it messes with roadmaps a little.
    • In the end, every team is a part of the same company, but every team needs to be able to take care of itself first before helping others.