What exactly is the delivery manager's job?..

A question that I received a few times already and struggled to answer.

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Once someone asked me so what is the delivery manager's job then? What do you do all day? And all I remember is mumbling something up about tickets and coordinating tasks and all that crap. Seems like ages ago when my manager told me that he is leaving I need to say I was in shock for quite a while. That was highly unexpected and I thought that that is it, end of the world and era basically. It was spinning all sorts of thoughts in my head and all I wanted to figure out is how do I get all his knowledge now in my head so when he leaves things can stay as it is. You know what? It is impossible.

When I realized that then I calm down and carried on doing my day to day job. What is it? I can tell you one thing. There is absolutely no way that any job description ever got it right. It's not about knowing how to code, test, manage people and have all agile knowledge ever possible. It's about how much are you willing to learn when you are taking on this job. It's about being supportive, not only in what people do but how they want to do it and approach it. It's about being there for people when they, in general, don’t feel very motivated. It's about giving space for the development team to make mistakes and learn from it together. It's about making business people understand why some things are not going as expected. It's about being everywhere and at any time and help people find answers that they are missing. It's not about reading a book and applying blindly what you know. It's about trying things, failing and learning.

The passion that Sam Lewis has its amazing and I hope I had enough time to learn it and take it away. It is a passion for what you do every day. It is passion in how you approach problems and what do you do next. There is no way everything will stay the same as it was. That spirit will be gone, but I hope we all took something good out of it that we can use in our day to day jobs.

The delivery managers job is to take care of the processes, improving flow, making sure business is aware of what development teams are working on and how is it going, making sure people are aware of what is coming next, people have opportunity to talk about the past and observe what went well and not so well, to be open to feedback even if its not something you want to hear, to act on that feedback and to make everyone comfortable, clear, improve communication, culture, and approach to our day to day tasks. It is many things in one, but it's not all factual, there are a lot of emotions involved when you are in this role because not always everything can go well and the same direction, there are ups and downs and somehow delivery manager is the person to take that all feedback on. It is a difficult job because it's not every day the same thing that you do, you don’t come 9–5 and pack pictures all day. Every day is completely different, with different problems and different expectations and challenges. I like this job because of that. I was a person who had a strict routine and would never be comfortable with something unexpected and now I don’t know how it would feel to come in and do exactly the same thing every single day.

Delivery managers job is to work in a very uncertain environment every single day and make the best out of it, go home and think that you’ve done everything you could to help everyone in your organization.

Agile Delivery Manager, Certified Kanban professional. Passionate about people and ways to improve system.

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