Throughout the tumultuous year of 2020, three themes emerged as central among the priorities of engineering and technical leadership: Visibility, Productivity, and Resource Allocation. In an effort to better understand these three key themes, the Jellyfish Data Science team analyzed the work of about 9,000 engineers, and surveyed hundreds of engineering leaders. The result is the 2021 State of Engineering Management.
Engineering teams are dedicating more time to innovation than they have in years past. The average engineering team spent 44% of its time and resources on roadmap or new feature development, up from 36% in 2019.
Lack of visibility is a persistent problem among engineering leadership. Engineering and technical leaders underestimate the amount of time their teams end up spending on unplanned work by 81%, and many cite visibility as their number one concern.
Teams and leaders using Engineering Management Platforms fare better. They dedicate 25% more time to innovation and spend 18% less time on customer support bugs and issues.
Engineering leaders cited productivity as a top challenge of 2020 amid COVID-19 and universal remote work. Productivity increased on average by about 10%, but the type of work being done has shifted dramatically.