What does a delivery manager at FutureGov actually do? There’s no such thing as a typical day, or a straightforward answer to this question. So this week I’ve decided to bring you along and show you how no two days are the same in the life of a FutureGov delivery manager, and that’s the way we think it should be.
I’m Lianne, I’ve been a Delivery Manager at FutureGov for 11 months and I really love what I do. I haven’t always been a delivery manager. Until a year ago I didn’t know the role existed. My background includes roles that used people skills, organisation, attention to detail, management of others and delivering to a desired outcome with a deadline whilst keeping an eye on the bigger picture.
It’s often hard to describe what I do. Hopefully, by following my week you can get a feel for the kind of skills delivery managers need, and the huge range of tasks we do to help deliver projects that make a real difference.
An early start catching the train to London to work in Camden. This week, we’re also kicking-off the second phase of a project with Rochdale Borough Council’s Homelessness and Housing Allocations Service, so I spend the train journey to London mapping out sprints for the project.
Having worked with Rochdale recently, I reflected on the project and drafted a plan building on what we learnt. With the shape of the project plan, I reviewed the scope and drafted sprint goals, breaking the first sprint goal into draft tasks that I think will form the backlog. This gives us a starting point for the team to discuss in our first sprint planning session next week.
I’m also working with Camden Council, helping residents get into good work. Today, I head to the home of a resident with Bella, one of our senior service designers. We visit two residents, interviewing them about their experience of finances, employment, parenthood and benefits. Bella asks the questions and I take verbatim notes.
The interviews are emotional. It brings home how important this work is and how critical it is to bring the resident voice into service design. We then go to a cafe for a hot chocolate and a debrief.
After the interviews, I head to my hotel to help with the final report for Trafford Borough Council. We’ve been working together over the last few months to complete a Digital Maturity Assessment of the whole council and design a three-year roadmap to modernise services. We’re in the final few weeks, playing back the roadmap to the leadership team on Wednesday, so we’re making sure everything is pitch perfect!
Now, it’s time to grab a pizza, read my book and reflect on what I heard today from the residents who were so honest and open.
Today, I’m in for a full day at Camden Council. Picking up a bag of snacks, I head into their offices.
We start the day with a team check-in, giving us time to come together, share progress and flag blockers. With Camden, we have four work streams looking at employment services in the borough. These check-ins get us aligned on common themes and break down potential silos.
Today is sprint planning day. First, we have an all group ‘project strategy session’ to share, you guessed it, progress and strategy across all four workstreams, identifying overlaps and keeping us aligned. After the strategy session I get out my massive bag of snacks, because no one can think properly if they’re peckish, and I gather the first workstream team together for sprint planning.
My role during sprint planning is to ask the right questions for clarity and shared understanding, and to make sure the workload is spread evenly. The wellbeing of my teams is my top priority, so empathy whilst planning is super important. We go through Trello together, agreeing goals and delegating tasks. After the first workstream, it’s time to sprint plan with the second, third and fourth… phew!
Post-sprint planning, I have a greater understanding of the demands on the team and what they’ll achieve. At this point, I check-in with our project sponsor. There’s a members meeting next week, so we plan what should be on the agenda, which artefacts will be ready and how we can best get input to shape the project.
We have synthesis in the afternoon, which is where everyone who’s been involved in the research comes together to share their findings and look for common themes across all seven of the residents we’re interviewing. It’s a tough, emotional session but it’s fantastic to see the voice of the resident being brought into the room to help shape the public services of the future.
It was a full day and now it’s time to hop on a train back to Sheffield. Maybe I’ll pick up a #traingin.
It’s project kick-off day in Rochdale. At their offices, I finalise the deck and get prepped with the team. We worked on a discovery with the Homelessness & Housing Allocations team here a few months ago and this phase is about prototyping solutions. It’s a big brain power meeting, so obviously we have a big bag of baked goods to power us through.
We’re always finding the balance between working on complex problems and finding the fun in our days. With new team members with us today, we take time getting to know each other. Jan, our senior service designer, had a small injury so we played a warm-hearted game of “what happened to Jan’s face?”. It was a great ice breaker with lots of laughs.
The rest of the day was spent getting into the details of the project. It was great to hear about the 15 potential prototype areas. We had lots of interesting discussions about who to involve, where we could build on existing work and where we can have the greatest impact.
Thursday = Team Day
I’m back in London to spend time with the FutureGov team, have a flu jab (thank you FG) and attend the monthly team meeting. It’s all hands on deck and always a buzzing day.
The morning starts with stand-ups for a few projects. I join the Trafford stand-up remotely to see how the presentation to leadership went and pick up any actions ahead of our final show & tell next week. Next, I’ve got the Basildon stand-up on the comfy grey sofas in our studio. We’re working with Basildon on their strategy and exemplar project in waste services. I haven’t been on site with Basildon this week, so it’s nice to check-in and see how the prototyping and final report is going.
I have a few coffee meetings booked with colleagues today to catch up, give and receive feedback. It took getting used to, but I really love the self-reflection and opportunity to connect with friends.
In the afternoon, I met with the inclusion and diversity workgroup, looking at what we can do to make FutureGov even more inclusive. We had a really positive session and we’re in the process of planning our discovery, which will give us clear action areas and changes to prototype in the new year.
Finishing the day, the team meeting is our monthly opportunity to get together and share updates. We had a whistle-stop tour of wins, new projects, events and work we’ve been doing across adoption, adult social care & Parkinsons. There was just enough time for me to grab a slice of cake before heading back home on the train.
Today I worked from home. I spent the morning checking-in with two project directors I’m working with, Emma & Katee. As a delivery manager, we work as a duo with project directors to deliver the work for our clients.
Project directors are the “what” and delivery managers the “how”. We use our time together to talk about the direction of the work, opportunities, challenges and any blockers we can solve together. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to have a strong relationship with your PD and I definitely wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them.
The afternoon is spent working across my four projects tidying up logistics, checking-in with project teams and anticipating what I can do to help the team.
I finish my week the same way most FutureGovers do, by sending a GIF related to the weekend to my fellow comrades. It’s been another week well spent.
It’s an exhilarating time to join FutureGov and we have several job opportunities across all areas of our business. Are you our next FutureGover?
A week in the life of a FutureGov delivery manager was originally published in FutureGov on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.