• Rich Lewis

Delivery should be seen, and not heard

Updated: Jul 15, 2019

Whaaat! Controversial, delivery is a key leadership role. Skip this post, it's clearly rubbish.


Well, maybe. Who calls the shots in your space? Product Owners, Technical Leads or Delivery people? There may be others involved, of course, especially c-suite level, but usually one or all of those folks will influence your day.


I often get told, it's leadership that counts.


A delivery lead was handing me his reigns, sat down with me during our "handover" and said with conviction;


Just turning up is 99% of what's expected of you.

Er, yuck, no thanks. I'd rather not turn up.


Incidentally, as it turned out it was a very short handover, that really was all that they did.


In fact, that's exactly what I chose not to do, and strangely, the world continued to turn. How baffling? Turning up was my reason for being apparently. I could get involved in every little argument, every decision could have my name across it, I was missing out all that joy, ahem.


Then it occurred to me. Turning up can be one of the worst things you can do. Sometimes, simply not being there creates a stronger, more productive, self-sufficient team. In fact, most times.


The Product Owner and the Technical Lead are calling the what, the why and the how, delivery can at least scientifically provide the when. I find the best way to do this is a visualisation based on actual performance data, and not speculation. It really focuses conversations, which is another thing I like.

a data-driven product timeline, multiple teams with a common goal

So in my view, which can be unpopular in delivery circles, delivery should be seen by producing data and visualisations to empower better decisions, but doesn't really have a say in features, tech stack or anything outside of delivery.


Delivery should be seen, and not heard.


There are obvious exceptions, such as coaching, relationship building, networking etc. But these are only exceptions.


I see so many delivery people that fill their time with little one to one meetings every day. They unnecessarily remove people from their productive team environment, to coach them on lean agile practices and such, which to me, has already missed the point.


If you would like to benefit from a more data-driven delivery approach, less leadership, more guidance, please get in touch. We would love to help you.


seenandnotheard@arewethereyet.work


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