I recently joined the DWP Digital Service Protection team as an Agile Delivery Manager.
I come from a design background working in digital agencies and I soon realised that the element of the design process that made me tick, was the thought process behind it: why people do what they do. This ultimately led me into a production role. I like to think I’m framework agnostic in my approach. Agile values and principles guide me to deliver more effectively and frequently.
Why did I choose DWP Digital?
Over the last 3 years I worked with an NHS trust where I was exposed to the GOV.UK and NHS service manuals. I loved the simplicity and thought process behind them. It’s my view that good design doesn’t always have to be ‘pretty’ it just needs to be effective.
I ran discovery workshops that gave me the opportunity to consider the project from new perspectives, particularly for different user groups, like disabled users and vulnerable young adults. I found the research and considerations we made as a team very rewarding, so I started looking for job opportunities in companies doing similar work and was successful applying for the role I’m now in.
- To deliver at scale
My previous experience was delivering as part of a small agency team. Although I worked with 2 or 3 development teams at any one time, the agency only consisted of 20 staff members. Moving to DWP Digital has given me the opportunity to experience working with teams delivering on a much larger scale. I’m looking forward to working on projects where the impact and risks associated with working on DWP platforms and systems will be a whole lot bigger.
- To have a sense of giving back
In my previous role, it was very important that I was aware of the commercial value of my work. Although it was rewarding to make changes that added value to a client’s bottom line, I got the most enjoyment delivering public sector projects. I want my work to be meaningful and feel that what I’ve delivered has worth over and above its commercial value.
Whilst working with the NHS trust, my team made small changes to how key information was presented and accessed – ultimately making the user journey less stressful for patients. It gave me a real sense of pride, that these changes, even the small ones, were making a difference to users in a positive way.
- To build on my experience
I reached a point in my career where I felt I needed to expand my experience. I wanted the opportunity to work with and engage with other delivery managers who have different experiences to my own.
I’m keen to learn and challenge my current understanding, especially around agile development. DWP Digital offers me this opportunity through its community of delivery practitioners. So far I’ve found the community to be extremely welcoming and supportive, always there to offer advice and help where they can.
Working for DWP Digital has also opened up opportunities alongside my day-to-day role. I’m networking with delivery managers within other areas of the Civil Service and government to understand their challenges and how we can learn from each other. It really is a team effort.
Working in the new ‘normal’
A lot has changed over the last 6 weeks due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I’ve never been a big fan of working from home as I thrive in face-to-face environments. But now working at home is a necessity, not a choice and it’s become the new ‘normal’ for many of us including me.
I would have expected the lack of tools or connectivity to be a big issue but in actual fact, it’s been the juggle. I have a toddler so it’s definitely been a challenge to balance work and life and keep those plates spinning. Luckily I’m able to work flexibly, and although the days are long I’m able to fit both the role of ‘mummy’ and ‘delivery manager’ into each day.
The DWP Digital community has really come together to make things work for everyone. It’s crucial at this time when DWP Digital is supporting frontline colleagues who are dealing with the surge in Universal Credit claims. It really feels like there is a great community spirit with many going that extra mile to support and advise.
Although I’m not 100% sold on remote working all of the time, I can see the benefits and opportunities it has opened up.
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