Eleanor Mollett

Eleanor Mollett

What dev stuff should delivery managers know or care about?

I've had several conversation with delivery managers in the past about how much tech or dev stuff they should know about and/or care about. Do they need to be technical, which parts of their devs work should they make the effort to understand.

I've written up a series of guides for delivery managers on dev topics, giving some basic information and suggesting how much they should know and care about each topic.

I can broadly break them down into 3 areas, which correspond nicely with how much to care:

Technologies - it can be useful to have some knowledge of what technologies you use, but more so you can answer the question when asked. You don't need to care too much and shouldn't really be involved in picking them.

Processes - things like testing and CI-CD are areas that you want to know enough about to understand why time is being spent on them. They are important to get right, and as a delivery manager it is up to you to make sure time is available to get them right, and may mean persuading your product owner to prioritise them.

Practices - things like pairing and test driven development are good dev practice. It is worth finding out what practices are being used, and why some aren't. These are the kinds of things to disccuss in ways of working sessions, and digging into in retros to make sure everyone is comfortable with how they are working. You can gently encourage good practices, and make it clear that the time will be made available to do them well.

Hopefully they are useful, and I'd appreciate any feedback on further guides to include, or differing opinions on what is important!