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The Role of Delivery Manager in an Agile Organization

An Agile delivery manager is typically a skilled person who focuses on making things happen, thus 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 create or modify processes. 

An Agile organization is good at delivering results in a short period of time. It has vast expertise in adapting to unexpected changes and knows how to embrace those changes, even in later stages of development.

In this article, I am going to share how a delivery manager can provide value to an Agile organization, as well as discuss what is out of scope for this role.

One of the most important components of an Agile team’s success is having the right amount of support from the larger organization. Teams are encouraged to be self-organized and there should be a high level of trust. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, given all these characteristics, it is essential for Agile organizations to make sure that their teams have all the support they need.

The Agile delivery manager can provide that support. 

For instance, they may add value to an organization by sparking change. If they detect that a process is slowing down a team, or that the team’s happiness index is not as high as it used to be, an Agile delivery manager can propose changes within the organization to ensure the teams are able to perform as expected.

Delivery managers are also concerned with the team’s happiness, and usually, do everything in their power to ensure there is a good atmosphere and that everyone is thriving in a good company culture. 

Agile delivery managers know that if their teams are properly motivated, they will be better prepared to face any challenge that is thrown their way. They supply this motivation by collaborating with senior management, human resources, and coaches or Agile practice leads, in order to identify areas for improvement and come up with a plan to ensure that the performance gaps are addressed and closely monitored.

Furthermore, since the delivery manager has a much broader view of the whole organization, 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.

What is out of scope for an Agile delivery manager?

A delivery manager is not a scrum master–a role that typically involves enforcing Agile best practices and methods so that teams can deliver. The delivery manager is not a product manager, either–these are the folks that primarily focus on the product itself, metrics from consumer utilization, and translating the company vision into tangible actions.

Rather, a delivery manager is responsible for ensuring that the teams have everything they need so that they can deliver.

Agile delivery managers can be incredibly valuable within an organization because, while the product manager is accountable for the deliverables, the scrum master is focused on the team’s best practices, and the teams on the actual work, the delivery manager can support them all and ensure everyone’s needs are met. This can be achieved by being a single point of contact that is constantly collaborating with human resources, accounting, staffing, and senior management to ensure that the organization is delivering as expected.

In an era where the world is technology-driven like never before, more and more organizations are finding ways to adapt faster and keep up with the latest trends. This, in turn, has changed the way we work and, even though delivery managers have been around for a long time, their role has essentially morphed into a “jack of all trades.” This is precisely why organizations should seriously consider having them on board.


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