I’m currently an (agile) delivery manager at Defra (recently of the Environment agency, moved over to Defra by TUPE).
I’m using this post to just collect some things that have helped me over the last few years as I learned the role and the EA and Defra learned with with me (its not always been smooth sailing but I have been fortunate to work with very good and inspiring people!)
As a bit of background: I came into this role from a quality/testing career, I was never the most technical of test people but I did like to get people talking and also make sure requirements were understood by everyone (less testing effort if things are right / understood and didn’t need changes 😉 ), I’d also done things to simplify processes and reports “only doing what is needed” so I think the move into scrum-master and then delivery manager was pretty logical for me!
I’ll start with linking some things on the web that helped me around the role:
I was lucky enough to work with Emily when communities of practice were being first setup in the Environment agency and she certainly helped me think a lot about what is valuable, what to challenge and why to do things.
This post examines the role and is really good to get you thinking about the role, make sure to read the comments!
Also if you get a chance, speak with Emily or go to one of her talks, she knows her stuff!
I dont know Steve Bruce but I liked this as it examines and talks about the reality of what he had to do and whilst it wasn’t directly applicable to me, posts like this one did help with context. I’ve read a few other similar ones from DWP and other government blogs so worth have a search on those for what is latest.
A key part of the role is knowledge of and around agile and whilst I’ve done scrum master training and the GDS academy (both useful) I like the simplicity of the agile manifesto’s 4 values.
Just like a good team has a vision and goal that they use to keep them focused on the right things. I view the manifesto as part of mine, its something to keep me and my team focused. It also leads me to something else I’ve found useful which is Youtube…
This is an example of one of the videos that I like:
A great and inspiring talk from Dan North on some possible tweaks to the manifesto and it’s one of many many TED, GOTO and other “people related” talks available that I have used to help me think about things.
People related? Yep. I like a lot of things that talk about people as for me they are the most important part of the delivery manager role, so knowledge of coaching, mentoring and anything else useful to help people is great to get more info on.
On the subject of people.. I have to mention Twitter, about a year ago I just didn’t get it.. But after attending the Agile in the city Bristol 2016 conference I thought I better try it:
Its been really useful to me to discover things, to link and discuss things with people and also a source of inspiration (I’ve made an effort to follow people that I feel have interesting things to say rather than just a lot to say!). Its also an easy way to keep track of people met at events etc that feels less formal than say linkedin.
There are other things that have been useful, but I think thats a good start..
(especially for a first proper blog post!)