Tech Lead Handbook
Tech Lead Handbook — Consensus vs Consent
Everyone says yes? No one says no? When you come up with a situation, which strategy you should use and when?
Consensus: everyone says yes. It is transparent and collaborative, but slow. You might need to do Nemawashi to get the border consensus. Check out consensus mechanisms in Crypto to get a better idea of why it is slow.
Consent: no one says no. It is transparent and fast, but less collaborative.
When you come up with a situation, Which strategy you should use and when?
Some scenarios from developers’ daily workflow
Ship it and iterate it later.
Immediate Action — no agreement is needed
For small bug fixing or small changes, just do it and give people a heads up.
A high level of confidence is required. The change works as expected and doesn’t break functional or non-functional requirements, it might not be perfect, but it is good enough to ship.
Ship it if no objections.
A few minutes — no one says no
For small changes, give people a heads up first before action.
You are confident in the change, but you would like to give people a chance to stop you.
Request a second pair of eyes
A few hours — someone says yes
For small or medium changes, you would like someone else to help you QA your change.
It is not uncommon for new team members or junior developers. It is also a good way to share knowledge.
A few hours or a day — someone says yes
For changes that are impacting customers, you should probably ask your Product Manager or UX Designer to review them first.
Be aware of the PM’s tight calendar and be prepared for a late response. You should probably try async (Slack, Email, Trello, Jira) over sync (Zoom, meeting).
You should always QA your changes before sending them for review. Avoid silly mistakes and save time for both parties.
A few days — someone says yes
Changes that require stakeholders’ sign-offs.
You should have passed all internal reviews and polished the change to a point where it can be shipped at any time.
No rush. Be patient.
Consent — no one says no. It will impact everyone’s day to day flow. As a bare minimum, you should get the border consent, no one says no.
No rush. Be patient.
Consensus — everyone says yes. You will need debates, challenges, and revisions to get the team engaged.
🔴 Red Flags
- Handball the duty to someone else
- Overuse extract pair of eyes to avoid responsibility and commitment
- Try to please everyone but get nothing done
- You can’t make everyone happy.
- The purpose of communication is moving people to action