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Being a service manager

Kit C-R
June 02, 2014

Being a service manager

Slide deck describing one view of what being a service manager for digital services in government is all about.

Kit C-R

June 02, 2014

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  1. Dear everyone who reads this slide deck when I'm not

    there: this is not definitive guidance – it's just my view. Please contact me if you'd like to know more or if any of it doesn't make sense. OPG
  2. My definition of a service manager is: the person with

    the highest level of accountability for an end-to- end* digital service *as in you can influence business process, legislation etc., not just software OPG
  3. My definition of a service manager's job is: to build

    an end-to-end digital service which has the best possible user experience OPG
  4. To do this, you will need (among other things) to:

    • know your users and your business • be able, and empowered, to make decisions • be a good relationship manager • understand agile principles OPG
  5. Before you start • read GDS's service manual • know

    where your budget's coming from • know who your team is OPG
  6. Big things to think about What follows is a list

    of important bits of a service manager's job. Some are things I've had to overcome in order to do my job. Others are themes I've met when coaching new service managers. If you get these things right, you should be ok. OPG
  7. The following 3 roles should, in my view, be done

    by 3 different people. This is because these roles have 3 different aims and challenge each other for the good of the project. OPG
  8. OPG Anatomy of an agile team Product owner Delivery manager

    Service manager Sole focus is the user. Lives and breathes a product backlog. Makes (almost) all functional product decisions Gets the product delivered to time and budget Manages the stakeholders Gets the budget PROTECTS THE TEAM
  9. These next roles are the other ones you'll definitely need

    to fill to get your job done. Often, more than one of these roles is done by a single person. OPG
  10. OPG Anatomy of an actual agile team Product owner Delivery

    manager Service manager user researcher - designer - developer webops - technical architect – business analyst - content designer - business expert - tester CLAS consultant/accreditor information assurance - procurement lead - ICT contact - GDS lead etc.....
  11. This team is the minimum – you'll probably need more.

    If you don't have them, find them OPG
  12. A good service manager is a good relationship manager Know

    who your stakeholders are, how they feel and how to influence them OPG
  13. OPG OPG digital Example: OPG digital's stakeholders* OPG Board Court

    of Protection SIRO, SRO, IAO *not our users – that's a different exercise External developers Legacy suppliers Hosting providers MoJ ICT MoJ digital services Wider MoJ initiatives Other departments Cabinet Office GDS Comms, Press Office
  14. Governance*/** (*getting agreement for what you're doing) (**please read Cabinet

    Office's new guidance for agile business cases) OPG
  15. Traditional governance is unsuitable for agile projects In particular, product

    decisions should not be taken by a board So you'll need new governance processes OPG
  16. Changing governance processes is hard because people find it hard

    to delegate power existing process are already there agile is new to government OPG
  17. To successfully change governance processes you'll need to: build a

    new model, then build trust in it not hide the risks of it model scenarios for your board get it agreed via the existing process OPG
  18. What we did (1) • Digital projects governed by minimum

    viable product •Board agrees scope of MVP •If the scope or cost of MVP changes, we tell the board •If these don't change, all decisions remain within the team OPG
  19. What we did (2) • Sprint reviews are part of

    governance: everyone gets to see the product every 2 weeks •Project is 100% open: everyone can see velocity •Visual management doesn't supplement project management – it is project management OPG
  20. Why this works • It means we can deliver at

    pace • Decision-making is clear •No difference between 'project management' and 'reporting': we don't duplicate information •It is risk-averse: problems are seen early OPG
  21. It's easy to forget that 'go live' is the beginning,

    not the end. To make your service sustainable you'll need a support model some money the right people an agreed plan OPG
  22. Principle of good support • Support is not 'fix on

    fail' – it means continuous improvement of services •Don't outsource quality: a large service integrator is (generally) not right for this kind of service •Everyone owns quality: you need trusted partners for this •your product team is part of your support team OPG
  23. Lots of work is going on across government on the

    best support models for digital services – please get in touch for more info. OPG
  24. My top tips for service managers 1. realise your job

    is all about relationship management 2. know your stakeholders, and keep the toughest ones closest 3. embrace change, and get other to do it too 4. map the skills you've got to hand – what are you missing? 5. know your strategy at all levels – digital, departmental and government. Do they align? OPG
  25. My top tips continued 6. take responsibility for agile and

    digital capability in your agency: it needs to be widespread for you to succeed 7. learn to deliver through people. Do you need to work on your leadership skills? 8. manage expectations about timescales, heavily 9. embrace data. If it moves, measure it 10. use your network – you're not alone OPG
  26. In short, a great service manager: has credibility and clout

    at senior levels is passionate about agile is passionate about data has (just enough) technical knowledge makes decisions, even without all the facts doesn't have a hero complex is thick-skinned and cool-headed protects their team from external influence OPG