What is a User Manual?

 

If you are not familiar with the concept of "Human User Manual", then please read this blog post first.  

 

User Manual - Humans like machines need user manuals

 

Chandramouli's User Manual 
 
What are some honest, unfiltered things about me?

 

I deeply care about customers, work, and the impact we create.  I have spent most of my professional life working with entrepreneurs and highly agile teams.   I believe in ownership, accountability and getting the job done.  I love solving problems and creating customer impact.  I have very little patience for sitting too long without making a decision -- In my world, most of the learning happens on the field, and I like to course correct.  I do not hesitate to roll up my sleeve if situations demand. 

 

My mission statement is “Build products that can positively impact a million lives.”  Tenets of my belief system are listed below

 

  1. Work = Identity: Not just a job

  2. Member First: I deeply care

  3. Iteration leads to perfection: Start, learn, do and refine

  4. Honest and trustworthy

  5. Hard work and perseverance

  6. Continuous learning

  7. Ownership and accountability

  8. Hire for potential

  9. Be the best or keep trying (Not in Get rich or die trying)

 

What drives me nuts?

 

I resent hierarchy and slow process of decision making.  I hate words like “Above my pay grade” “Management decision” “Not part of my job description” etc.  I go nuts when individuals/teams emphasize too much on process and not the outcome. 

 

What are my quirks?

 

I move quickly and have decent mindshare for the process, but I highly value having details addressed.   For similar reasons, I am great at starting projects and taking it to version .5, 1 and 2.  Making something incrementally better with disproportionate effort (Perfection) doesn’t come naturally to me.  I most often seek help from my team to complement this skill. 

 

How can people earn an extra gold star with me?

 

I admire individuals who have ideas, vision and are passionate about business, technology, products, etc.  I love when team members think about improvement ideas proactively (across any workstream) and make an effort to share it with me.

 

What qualities do I particularly value in people who work with me?

 

I like team members who are very customer-centric, hardworking, passionate and ambitious about work.  I like brainstorming, ideation, and healthy debate about things that matter. 

 

What are some things that people might misunderstand about me that I should clarify?

 

There are three things about me which I would like to clarify

 

  1. My approach towards processes - I like change and will implement systems/processes that help in delivering product/service faster, better and cheaper. 

  2. Short email – I write very minimal emails and most times my emails are to the point (Even to members).  I conserve my time/energy by focusing on the most important points.  This has everything to do with my communication style and nothing about others

  3. Intensity – I may seem very intense and most times avoid small talk.   This reflects the need to focus on the job at hand. 

 

The next set of questions are focused on how I interact with others:

 

How do I coach people to do their best work and develop their talents?

 

I coach people at two levels:

 

  1. Day to Day work – I tend to give clear instructions at the task level and guide my team when we are doing it for the first time.  I will think through V1 of a solution and coach people to implement/use that as a starting point

  2. Career Level – I talk to team members about their three-year goals once every 9 to 12 months.  I provide guidance on development areas, resources and help them visualize a path to get to the goal.  These discussions tend to be philosophical.

 

What’s the best way to communicate with me?

 

I am available on emails 14 hours a day.  I empty my inbox every day and mark emails as “read/unread” in outlook.    Marking emails urgent will get my attention immediately.  Also, I don’t mind taking phone calls on my cell phone if the matter is urgent

 

What’s the best way to convince me to do something?

 

I tend to choose initiatives that show impact/results iteratively.  If you can help me answer “How this initiative/effort will make everything else easier or unnecessary” then I will most often adopt/approve it immediately.

 

How do I like to give feedback?
 

I take the time to observe and formulate my comments.  Typically, I provide my feedback during the review process (Twice a year).  If it's activity related feedback, then I will have a quick conversation/write an email to communicate the same and will not wait for the review process.

 

How do I like to get feedback?

 

I would like to get constructive feedback which is targeted and personalized on a situation/observation.  The best way to give me feedback is to talk to me about it in-person.