In November last year, Godel’s Agile Delivery division introduced a new company role, Team Coordinator – to support the teams and all the activities needed to provide a great service to our clients, allowing for better flexibility in different engagement models. We sat down with Head of Agile Delivery, Elena Ogneva and the first Team Coordinator at Godel, Anton Tushynski (former Talent Acquisition member) to discuss why the role was introduced and what has driven its success so far.

Why did Godel decide to introduce the new role of a Team Coordinator?

Elena: Let me take a step back and explain how we used to work before introducing a new role. As you know, we have a few different delivery models that we offer to our clients – Godel Pod, Blended Team and Managed Augmentation. While Godel Pod and Blended Team were quite clear in terms of the scope and expectations from the Agile Delivery Coordinator (ADC) role, we were also adding as part of our service offering. This was to ensure teams are set up for success, an appropriate delivery process is introduced, the delivery is stable and predictable, risks and ways out of them are known and transparent to all involved parties, and the required reporting to agreed delivery KPIs is in place. 

Managed Augmentation, however, is different as this model suggests having the majority of the development team on the client side and augmented by a few Godel team members of different expertise. A Scrum Master (it could be other ‘delivery’ roles, but let’s use that term for simplicity) has always been provided by the client and that was the point that has caused the most confusion. What do we do if the seat has been already taken by someone else? Why do the clients need an additional ‘coordinator’? How will they both share essentially the same set of activities? What if we don’t add a Godel ADC – how can we support Godel team members on the ground without being deeply involved into day-to-day teamwork and ensure Godel continues to deliver high quality service? 

In autumn 2023 these questions resulted in us introducing a new role called Team Coordinator to remove the delivery piece from the wide set of regular ADC responsibilities but put more emphasis on people and communication.

What are the responsibilities of a Team Coordinator? And what skills should the person in that position have?

Elena: If I listed everything a Team Coordinator (TC) role would cover, that would be quite an impressive long read! Let me try to make it short and sweet. 

A TC is essentially covering the people aspect at most – anything from the onboarding of new team members, their happiness on the engagement and regular feedback gathering through to team extensions and leavers.

It’s also the operational part that shouldn’t be left out, like agreeing on holiday policies, keeping internal Godel systems up to date, supporting 24/7 processing from the team side, coordinating devices set up and being the first point of contact for any non-delivery related queries.

Needless to say, there is a vital element of all teams working together – it’s team building, client visits, training – that’s all being picked up by a Team Coordinator.

What skills are required for the role? As for any representative of the Agile Delivery division, we expect a TC to be an excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills, speaking fluent English of course. It’s also essential to be flexible and ready to adapt to a changing environment and not be afraid of challenges. Great organisational skills, ability to provide structured updates to the relevant audience, prepare actions plan and ensure they are accomplished are preferred skills but not essential and can be developed.

How and why was Anton chosen for this position?

Elena: As in any Agile Software Delivery organisations we decided to fail fast. To minimise the onboarding time and reduce any risks associated with external hiring, we agreed to explore existing Godel employees that would be a potential fit for the role. The choice naturally fell on the Talent Acquisition (TA) division – as who else could be a better communicator and not be afraid of talking to lots of different IT people?

After a couple of meetings and agreements, both the Agile Delivery Division and Anton accepted the initial strategy and right now we are happy to say the plan worked.

Anton, how was the transition from TA to Team Coordinator for you? And how will you work further now – do you plan to combine these two roles?

Anton: Well, since I like new challenges and this role matches my skills, I was happy to try it. The ADC community is very cooperative and always ready to help. I could get any support if needed, so the transition went smoothly. I started working on a single project, so I had enough capacity to combine two roles. But now I have several engagements to work on, it has been decided that I will fully join the Agile Delivery division from the beginning of April.

What challenges did you encounter in a new role? What was new for you?

Anton: Many things were new for me, as it is a completely different role compared to TA. New processes, new responsibilities, new tasks, and so on – it was a new world I had to get used to.

Is there a concern that now that the new position has been introduced, the ADC role will no longer be as important?

Elena: Absolutely not. The important thing to rember is Godel has different delivery models to offer to their clients and both roles are an essential part of this variety.

Anton: There are no such concerns at all. The Agile Delivery division has many different engagements. Some of them require an ADC, and for some others, a team coordinator position would be a better option. It gives a higher level of flexibility for the division, which is great.

What are the fundamental differences between the two positions? (ADC/TC)

Elena: The easiest way to draw a line between 2 roles is to say that there are no expectations from a TC to look after Agile Delivery on an Engagement. For sure any knowledge around Agile & IT will be beneficial to the day-to-day teamwork but still, TC focuses on People & Godel operations as a priority.

Will the team coordinator work exclusively with the team or, like ADC, will also communicate with the client?

Elena: I’d say it depends on the engagement, but our assumption is that a TC will be introduced to the client supporting the feedback loops creation, comms around different operational policies, getting involved into organising team buildings and visits – so the scope for communication with the client is there for sure.

What goals can Godel achieve thanks to the new role and why is it important to have such person on the team?

Anton: I think the role is valuable for the division and the company. Every client and their needs are different, so some don’t require an ADC. But by having the TC role, we can make sure that the team feels supported and we can continue to provide a high level of service.

Elena: The foremost goal for the Agile Delivery division at Godel is to support every delivery model we offer to our clients with the best suited candidate – being that an Agile Delivery Coordinator or a Team Coordinator. 

Like all new roles, we took the time to decide how to bridge the gap and address the need to have a Godel coordinator on a team where there is no agreed scope for Delivery Management, but still have people and operational aspects to cover. For example, with Managed Augmentation, it can sometimes be a challenge for some of the team members to be embedded into a remote environment and it can take time to build trust with the client Scrum Masters and/or Engineering Managers who are looking after the team to feel safe enough to share if anything goes right or wrong. Having a Godel Team Coordinator closes this gap straight away and allows Godel team members to continue feeling safe and supported while becoming part of client delivery teams.

Thanks to the new role, we can contribute to the most important declared Godel values – people and quality. Motivated people deliver the best value.