What is an Agile Delivery Manager?
An Agile Delivery Manager (ADM) is a skilled person who focuses on making things happen, responsible for ensuring their teams have everything they need to succeed. They are great at managing stakeholders and are responsible for coordinating across multiple departments to remove any impediments. They also perform data analysis, usually based on metrics, to suggest hypotheses to create or modify processes.
If they detect that a process is slowing down a team, an ADM can propose changes to ensure the teams are able to perform to the highest level. An ADM is willing to do everything in their power to ensure there is a good atmosphere and that everyone is thriving in a good company culture.
Furthermore, since the delivery manager has a much broader view of the whole organisation, they are expert communicators who know how to address different audiences across multiple departments and stakeholders, with an overarching goal in mind of leading their teams to success and continuous improvement.
Principal Agile Coach, Ashley Stockton, tells us:
“For me, the prime focus of an ADM (Scrum Master) is to try and improve the working lives of your team members. By engendering a happy team, you create the environment for everyone to flourish and do their best work. DVLA give you all the tools and training to put you in the best position to be able to do this.”
Let’s focus on the people management side of it…
As well as the technical aspects of the role, you will also be expected to manage agile teams daily or as required. You will assist in team development while holding teams accountable for their commitments, removing impediments to their work and mentoring and developing team members.
What skills should an ADM possess?
This role involves extensive interaction with stakeholders. Strong analytical, organisational and presentation skills are essential, combined with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, in order to manage expectations and issues effectively and maintain a high level of customer trust and confidence.
You will have the skills and ability to promote empowerment of the team, ensuring each team member is fully engaged and making a meaningful contribution, whilst encouraging a sustainable pace with high levels of quality for the team.
What experience do I need to become an ADM?
To be a successful ADM, you will need to demonstrate experience as a Scrum Master along with line management skills in a client-facing team. You will successfully implement software development projects using agile methodologies, helping develop complex products in a high-tech development environment with cross functional teams.
A key part of your role will be collaborating with the developers on the programme. You will require a sufficient level of technical background to provide highly credible leadership to teams and to evaluate complex risks and issues accurately and objectively.
DDat Skills Snapshot
The table below shows the skills required at each level:
|Skill||Associate ADM||ADM||Senior ADM||Principal|
|1||Agile and Lean Practices||Working||Practitioner||Expert||Expert|
|2||Communication Skills (Agile)||Working||Practitioner||Expert||Expert|
|4||Maintaining Delivery Momentum||Working||Practitioner||Expert||Expert|
|5||Making the Process Work||Working||Expert||Expert||Expert|
|7||Team Dynamics and Collaboration||Awareness||Working||Practitioner||Expert|
What do you like most about your job?
“I like the autonomy of the role, you can make it your own. There is lots of room for progression, excellent training opportunities to develop your skillset and the community around the Agile Delivery Manager role is great.”
Jozef Knuckey, Associate Agile Delivery Manager
What does a typical day look like?
“As an Agile Delivery Manager in DVLA’s IT Service Creation department, every day is different. The role involves being a Scrum Master as well as line manager for the team. As Scrum Master, I organise and facilitate stand ups, refinement sessions, sprint reviews, retrospectives, and sprint planning ceremonies. I am a ‘servant leader’ to the team, ensuring that any blockers or impediments to the team’s work are resolved and removed as soon as possible. Due to the varied nature of the work our IT and cloud squads undertake at the agency, every day brings different challenges and opportunities to learn. As well as this, I am involved in agile coaching and training, this involves sharing agile knowledge with teams within and outside the agency. It is the variety in my role which I enjoy the most and no two days are ever the same. This provides me with opportunities to grow, learn and develop.”
Helen Jones, Agile Delivery Manager