Melissa Mittelman on why GitHub added management to its workforce:
While the old times created a strong sense of camaraderie, employees didn’t know who to direct questions to, either about uncomfortable confrontations with colleagues or about their own performance. “Without even a minimal layer of management, it was difficult to have some of those conversations and to get people feeling like they understood what was expected of them, and that they were getting the support that they needed in order to do the best work,” says Avalos, who’s since been promoted to chief business officer, the only C-level position besides CEO.
Humans in a workplace seem to need at least some basic level of management, like defining general expectations, assessing performance, conflict resolution, and stewarding the company culture.
On the problem of coordination:
As GitHub has grown to about 600 employees, it says a flat organization compromised its ability to get things done. GitHub says coordination by the heads of the engineering, legal, marketing, sales, and other departments has been crucial to recent achievements, including the ability to open-source more projects than before, increase the frequency of some product updates to quarterly, and secure a major partnership this year with IBM.