In the week before I officially started in my role as Director of Delivery, I typed, “How to be a director” and “What is a director” into Google. Yes, seriously.
I was disappointed to find that the results were all about movie directors. I tried other variations, adding words like “corporate” and “agency”, but came up empty. Searches for “Director of Delivery” gave me a handful of job descriptions, each of them quite different. Unlike the role of Project Manager, for which there are full volumes written, whole websites dedicated and certifying courses available, no such direction exists for directors in tech.
With only a draft job description and a lot of enthusiasm, I jumped in and started doing what I do best: identifying the high priority problems that needed to be solved, and building a team to solve them with (and making everything else up as I go).
Not long after that, I got into a heated discussion with a colleague. They had asked me to do something that I didn’t think was good use of my time, and I said, “I’m not here to put out fires. I’m here to get to the root causes of issues and prevent fires from starting. If I’m still putting out fires in a years’ time, it means I will have failed.”
Almost two years and several team configurations later, I was still putting out fires.
I still don’t know what a Director of Delivery does, and I’d wager that if you asked a few different people what they think, you’d get a few different answers.
In the coming weeks and months I’ll share a lot of what I’ve learned over these last six years with Human Made. My time there has now come to an end. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m feeling proud of how far I’ve come, grateful to all of the people I’ve worked with and learned from, and excited for what’s next.
(The above pic is me conquering a giant rock in Southern Utah last summer.)