Being Agile About Agile: Introducing Godel’s First Agile Delivery Division Manager

The Godel Agile Delivery Division continues to provide Agile Development to help teams deliver value for partners across numerous industries. A key milestone in the division was introducing its first division manager, Darya Voitava-Sialitskaya. Having been with Godel for over 8 years fulfilling different roles, Darya will use her valuable experience to take on an exciting opportunity to shape the role and bring continued success to the division. We spoke to Darya about the importance of agile delivery within a team and how she’ll make her mark as the first division manager in Agile Delivery.

What is your background at Godel?

I’ve been at Godel for more than 8 years where I initially joined as a QA. In a short space of time, I became what was at the time called a Project Manager. I also gained a PSM 1 certification to become a Scrum Master. I began doing the Project Manager role in several engagements and then I began working in what is now one of Godel’s biggest engagements. At the time we never thought it would scale to what it has today.

A few years ago, the Delivery Manager role was introduced to Godel as more of our engagements began growing and we were taking on new client projects with multiple streams of work, so I began doing the Delivery Manager role. As well as this, I was already involved in the Talent Management, Talent Acquisition and Education functions within the Agile Delivery division. At the end of last year, I moved away from working for client engagements and became Head of Internal Products. That was a really insightful and positive experience for me. Recently I decided to take on a new opportunity and was delighted to become Godel’s first Agile Delivery Division Manager.

Why is agile delivery crucial to project delivery?

I believe there is a misconception that within a technology team that developers and other ‘hands on’ people are crucial to the success of the project and management is seen as something less important. But I would disagree with that.

There are three things that make agile delivery crucial to an engagement’s success overall. Those are the processes that are fit for purpose, taking care of people and thirdly, ensuring we are really bringing value to the client.

If we look at this from a process perspective when organising a team, I feel like a good process can actually promote positive behaviour. We are all people, and we all make mistakes. We all have days when we are in a good mood, a bad mood, have lots of motivation or lack the impulse. If we organise the process the way we promote positive behaviour, it will result in good teamwork and will allow people to collaborate effectively and produce the highest quality results following the same goals. You can have a really talented team of people, but if you do not organise their work in the right way, then the team might not be delivering the best results they could.

I feel agile delivery is crucial in how you organise the team’s work. In addition to setting up processes for the team, what an Agile Delivery Coordinator will do is ensure there is a connection and well understanding of the business values and the values we bring to the client.

As Agile Delivery Division Manager, what are your priorities?

Being the first Division Manager within Agile Delivery, I haven’t got a clear structured view of my responsibilities and activities for this role. We are taking examples from other divisions within Godel and of course, we are being agile about what will be my long-term priorities for this role.

I am starting with the first step of my journey in this role which is picking up governance for a number of engagements. This means I will be an Agile Delivery representative within those governance groups taking care of ADC resourcing and resolving any issues.

My focus right now is to pick up those engagements governance and get acquainted with the client’s business and what it is we do within their engagements. When I feel like I have achieved that, myself and Godel’s Head of Agile Delivery, Elena Ogneva, will plan the next steps. What I am most looking forward to is bringing that added value to our division.

What do you value about the Godel Culture?

There should be a reason why you stay in a company for more than 8 years. I see that people, quality and empowerment are not just a beautiful set of words but real company values at Godel. From a people perspective, I’m so proud to have an opportunity to work together with such talented and extraordinary people, one of those is definitely Elena Ogneva who actually promoted me and is a role model and motivation for me personally. For so many years I have seen a lot of cases where the company believed in their talent by promoting and empowering people even if they didn’t fully believe in themselves.

What I also feel is that we’re always trying to deliver quality service first, rather than just to earn money. It’s no secret if you provide a quality service, then your revenue will be there. If you’re doing a good job and you’ve been recommended to other clients, it’s easier to scale and get new clients and expand existing ones.

In my experience, you find that management roles are normally a combination of formal and informal leadership. I think great managers should be a combination of both, but this can actually cause a conflict of interest. An informal leader is someone who takes care of a group of people who considers them a leader and puts this group’s interests as the highest priority. Whereas a formal leader is empowered by the company and should see company values and goals as the highest priority. Godel’s company values are aligned with people’s needs and that’s the reason why company values really matter a lot to me and why I’m still here.

I’m grateful to the company for giving me this new opportunity and grateful to all the great people I learn from every day.