Enhancing our delivery function: SCRUM training, Agile Coaching, PM Academy

Learn about the internal initiatives we have in place to enhance our Delivery function and empower teams as our agency grows.

After an extended period of growth across the agency that’s seen us take on new projects, clients and team members, ensuring we have a robust Delivery function has become more crucial than ever.

Our Project Management team are responsible for driving client projects forward, ensuring all teams and stakeholders are aligned on a shared end goal. They’re the backbone of the agency, overseeing all resourcing, planning, and processes to make sure that we consistently meet — and exceed — the expectations of our clients. 

We’re constantly looking at how we can equip our Delivery team with the tools they need to succeed and deliver the best possible outcomes. We’re also committed to the personal and professional development of the individuals that make up these teams. 

Here are some of the initiatives that we currently have in place.

Certified ScrumMaster training for all Project Managers

All our Project Managers (PMs) are ScrumMaster certified — from our Junior PMs to those who are leading our teams. They learn the methodologies and values of the Scrum framework and gain an understanding of team accountabilities, events, and artifacts as well as how to guide their teams to apply Scrum.

Although we don’t require all new hires to have completed SCRUM training before joining, we make it a priority to arrange ASAP when they’re onboard. This helps ensure that a consistent approach to project delivery can be implemented across our client squads. 

What is scrum methodology?

Scrum is a set of values, principles, and practices that seeks to enable cross-functional teams to deliver products and services in short cycles. It promotes innovation, continuous improvement, regular feedback and rapid adaptation to change, allowing digital projects to move from idea to delivery at pace. We use Scrum Alliance as our preferred training provider. 

It’s an Agile framework that breaks down large scale projects into smaller, manageable chunks that can be achieved in a short period of time. The term “scrum” comes from a 1986 Harvard Business Review article featuring an analogy comparing high-performing, cross-functional teams to the scrum formation used by rugby teams. Though it has its roots in software development, today scrum refers to a lightweight framework that is used across many industries to deliver complex projects, products, and services. 

Three people with their back to the camera pointing to a whiteboard with notes on

A newly created Delivery Director role 

In Autumn 2021, in response to continued growth and new business wins, we recruited Joanne Reid into the newly created role of Delivery Director. Joanne brought with her a wealth of experience in digital project management from successful global agencies. 

Her primary role here at Graphite is to elevate our delivery function — aligning to client needs, building a resilient team, and supporting the agency’s growth strategy whilst fostering future leaders and innovators. She oversees all resource management and training for our project management teams.

Only 4 months in, the positive impact of this new role has been felt not only within the delivery team, but across the entire agency. As a first major project, Joanne has focused on improving efficiencies by bringing in new processes for effectively tracking time. This has been essential for ensuring people have the time available to focus on their own personal development, as well as things such as CSR initiatives. 

Read Jo’s top tips on maximising efficiency here

Launching our internal ‘PM Academy’ 

We’ve recently launched our new internal ‘PM Academy’. It will help ensure the continued professional development of all our project managers, allowing them to constantly evolve their skills and share knowledge and best practices within the team. 

Led by our Delivery Director and Senior PMs, the initiative involves the creation of a new ‘online hub’ to access training resources, as well as practical sessions including one-to-one training sessions, workshops and mentoring. 

There is more to Project Management than just theory or ‘paper shuffling’, especially when you work in the ever-evolving digital space. Our PM Academy allows Project Managers from all levels to continuously learn from each others’ diverse experiences and knowledge as well as areas that are not normally thought of in this profession. Our resources span from personal development, emotional intelligence, problem-solving games, confidence building and much more.   

Joanne, our Delivery Director, said “The goal for me is to build a learning and growth culture within delivery as we continue to grow and achieve great things together within Graphite. The more we know about the world around us in Delivery, the more we can make proactive projections of how the project should run before it even starts!” 

Agile Coaching training 

Our more experienced PMs have the chance to undertake Agile Coaching training. An ‘agile coach’ helps organisations, teams, and individuals adopt agile practices and methods while embedding agile values and mindsets. They seek to foster more effective, transparent, and cohesive teams, enabling better outcomes for clients.

What is Agile methodology? 

​​Similar to SCRUM, Agile methodology is a way to manage a project by breaking it up into several manageable phases. It involves constant collaboration across teams and stakeholders and continuous improvement at every stage. 

Agile coaches oversee the development of agile teams to ensure effective outcomes across all projects. This training helps our PMs in developing the skills and knowledge to understand the differences between various aspects of servant leadership, and when best to apply them. When managing teams, it’s useful for understanding how best to help the individuals and groups within them — either with hands-on support, or in finding their own solutions and enabling growth in their field. 

Our Senior Project Manager, Leslie, said of her recent Agile Coaching Training experience, “It was thoroughly enjoyable training. It had a great balance of teaching theory, followed by practicing implementation to ensure we fully understood what was being taught. Not only did I learn about coaching and the value of it, but I also learned additional facilitation and agile skills to bring into the team.” 
 

We’re committed to investing in our teams and constantly looking for ways to improve to most effectively deliver projects for our clients and offer our team members a rewarding, meaningful employee experience. 

Find out more about who we are and what we do, or get in touch if you’d like to discuss working together, or if you’re looking for your next role in digital Project Management.