Delivery management principles at dxw

Having diverse teams provides collective strength to approach difficult problems

At dxw we have a set of company wide values that inform how we behave and approach our work. Earlier this year, we decided to create a set of principles for each profession that describes how colleagues doing different kinds of work live up to our collective values.

As a team of delivery leads we’ve co-created a set of principles for delivery management at dxw. Over the last few months we’ve been using these to guide how we work with colleagues and clients, so I wanted to share what they are and what they mean to us.

Delivery leads work with multidisciplinary teams to help them self-organise, continuously improve, and remove obstacles to successful delivery. Delivery leads help teams reflect on, and improve, how they work, based on what they learn. They also keep teams informed, focused and make sure they’re meeting users’ needs.

Our delivery management principles

Maintain diplomacy

We encourage calmness and patience, make sure all voices are heard in a fair way and we’re always proactive to get stuff done. Having diverse teams provides collective strength to approach difficult problems and do some of our best work. However, bringing together lots of individual opinions and building consensus requires tact and sensitivity.

dxw works in multidisciplinary teams which means our teams include many different roles and team members who may come from different organisations. A primary goal for a delivery lead is to bring together a team, regardless of shape or size, to help that team focus and deliver value together.

Demonstrate leadership

We have the autonomy to lead and to say no. We’re responsible for empowering delivery teams to do great things and we coach others to get the best from them. At dxw, leadership is about creating space for a group of talented individuals to work together as a team. It’s not about being the most knowledgeable or most senior. Through strong communication and by putting a framework around the work teams do, delivery leads allow their teams to grow in confidence and collaborate better.

Show strength and resilience

We protect the team so they can focus by removing blockers and distractions. We also provide context to help them see the bigger picture. This can be demanding and tiring at times so the dxw delivery team meets regularly to provide peer support and share stories. Emily Webber talks about the value of communities of practice and how they help break down silos and make organisations better. They also provide safe spaces for testing new ideas.

Enable, empower, and encourage

We create space for the team to deliver and individuals to thrive. We build up trust with the team, our clients, and our stakeholders to support decision making and progress and we’re always supportive and demonstrate positivity, with a focus on delivery.

Delivery leads often set the tone for team behaviours and how it feels to be a member of that team. The success of the team depends on lots of factors but if a delivery lead creates a positive, can-do culture where everyone is able to reach their full potential then it’s much more likely to succeed.

Prioritise learning and improving

We actively learn from what we do and make sure that learning feeds back into what we do next. We stand by our ability to facilitate communication and constructive conversation. This is about being nimble in our approach as well as creating an agile, inclusive environment where teams can thrive. It’s also about individual delivery leads making time to gather feedback, read, watch videos, attend meet-ups, and continue to grow professionally and contribute to the growth of the delivery lead profession and dxw.

These principles live in the dxw playbook, which is a live document that can be updated by anyone at dxw. Working to these principles allows us to acknowledge the different styles, strengths, and experience levels that we have in our delivery lead team. At the same time it helps us be consistent so we can set clear expectations within our teams and ensure quality in our work.

As John said in his original post introducing profession principles:

Our principles are all living expressions of how we work together. So we’ll encourage communities to continually review and update them as we learn and grow and change