Practice Lead – DevOps

Reading Berkshire IT Job Pro UK

Product Delivery is a journey not a one off-event. It needs to be nurtured and grown by enthusiastic and talented people who innovate and collaborate ensuring the products and organisation continue to evolve.   

Thames Water is actively establishing a digital engineering function that will continue to create, enhance, and support digital products driving our business objectives and realising business value at pace. A strong emphasis is placed on meeting the needs of the user, driving adoption and benefits realisation.  

We use agile principles and a range of technologies to create products our consumers enjoy using and that add value with confidence at pace. Key to this is extensive use of test automation, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment pipelines and gateless release process to make daily incremental change a reality.  

This is a unique opportunity to take on the challenge of flipping the traditional utility perception on its head by being instrumental in product driven rapid delivery and championing the cultural change that supports this way of working.  

You will be part of a team making a positive difference to the community and the environment. At Thames Water, sustainability means doing the right thing for people, for the performance of our business and for the natural environment.  

Whether you’re just starting out, or you have been in the industry for a few years, this is a team where we value and need your pioneering and innovative mindset and drive to help us create award-winning digital experiences.
About the Role: 

The Development Practice Lead is a management and agile professional managing the recruitment, development and line management of members of agile delivery teams working on digital products. The role will work closely with the Head of Development and will be responsible for practitioners within the Delivery teams.  
The role is a senior position that will pioneer new ways of working within the technology department and will promote and enable a shift to Rapid Delivery across the organisation.  

As the Development Practice Lead you will assist practitioners in following best practice disciplines in the agile processes and governance within the Delivery teams developing key relationships within the business and the IT organisation. You will guide and coach the teams working closely with the Product Owners and Delivery Leads on a continual basis in the use of agile practices and recommend improvements and assist in changes to best practice. You will also actively encourage the initiation, where required, and continued success of the Communities of Practice and Collaboration Tribes across the organisation. 

Development and training, in various forms, will be a huge focus for Thames Water as we continue to build capability.  As the Development Practice Lead, you will be a focal point for this within Digital Development. ​A key element of this role will be helping to coach and mentor colleagues in this way of working.  

You will work to support each Product Development team and will coordinate the on-boarding of new team members for new product demand while maintaining line management of staff already engaged on work in progress.  
As Development Practice Lead, you will:     

Be responsible for the recruitment of permanent Thames Water Development employees:​  
Development Practice Leads will work with HR and the Recruitment Partners to manage a robust recruitment process which will attract and foster top technical talent for Thames Water.​  
Work with HR and Recruitment Partners to build a sustainable talent pipeline.​  
Take the lead on recruitment with the intention to reduce the reliance on contractors and move to a position where the majority of people working within development are Thames Water employees.​  
Work with recruiters and partners to ensure that the delivery teams are fully resourced.​  
Manage the environment ensuring it continues to meet the needs of those working within in​ it  
Work with wider Thames Water to promote the Product Owner role and source candidates  
Provide line management of employees within Development 
Encourage and coach members of the Development organisation to practice the core principles of collaboration, prioritisation, team accountability, and visibility 
Champion new ways of working outside the Digital group for example setting up cross functional teams and making work visible.​ 
Facilitate Communities of Practice until they are established, productive, hierarchy-free and self-organising  
People Development – assist in personal development planning with your team, advising on potential career pathways, training and mentoring opportunities, both internally within Development and more widely. 
Governance support​ – ensure that the product teams comply with the governance process and calendar.   
Encourage ideation showcasing and ensure that it is appropriately supported. 
Empower the Product Delivery teams to self-organize 
Foster a culture of Continuous Improvement within the teams and wider delivery function 
Be responsible to continually embedding appropriate culture and behaviours in line with Agile methodology. 
Manage the product portfolio, including budget  To be successful you will have the following skills and experience:  

Demonstrable experience line managing people, ideally in a Digital Development organisation  
Experience of introducing agile techniques into organisations and maintaining traction and continuous improvement 
Stakeholder engagement – able to build relationships and use expertise to influence and shape Thames plans and strategies. 
Demonstrable experience of coaching and mentoring at all levels across the organisation 
Commercial/financial skills including budget management. 
Good skills and knowledge of digital leadership, facilitation, situational awareness, conflict resolution, continual improvement, empowerment, and increasing transparency  
Digital delivery – has a track record working in Agile Development or has shown career progress in this area. 
Knowledge and/or experience with widely successful Agile techniques: User Stories, BDD, TDD, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Pairing, Automated Testing, Agile Games  The following qualifications are desirable, but not essential: 

Bachelor’s Degree
Agile Certifications – coaching, SCRUM, scalingWhat's in it for you?

Our competitive salary package includes a bonus of up to 20%, car allowance, an excellent contributory pension, 26 days holiday per year increasing to 30 with length of service and a wider benefits scheme.

This includes, season ticket loans, voucher scheme giving you money off in major retail outlets, loyalty awards for continuous service plus much more, including our refer-a-friend bonus, where you can receive up to £1,000 for helping someone get a permanent position within the company.

We're also proud to be here for our local community, offering all of our teams two days paid volunteer leave a year, as well as proudly supporting a lot of local events and charities.

About us

Thames Water is the UK's largest water and wastewater company. We make a daily difference to millions of customers by supplying 2.7 billion litres of world-class water to around 10 million homes.

As our world changes, the need to take care of our most precious resource is greater than ever, both locally and globally. That's why, at Thames Water, every one of our actions, big and small, matters every day. Water is essential to daily life, and that means our business is always open. We're passionate about providing world-class tap water, now and for the future.

We're also turning waste into power, self-generating 20% of the energy we use and in turn, doing our bit for the planet. We're reducing plastic waste by celebrating our tap water and rolling out an ambitious water fountain project. We're using our voice to lobby for change and partnering with WaterAid to provide clean water to the world's poorest communities.

Together, we're building a better future for our customers, our region and our planet.
Thames Water is a unique, rewarding and diverse place to work. If you join our team, you'll enjoy fast-tracked career opportunities, flexible working arrangements and unparalleled benefits. We're also proud to be an equal opportunity employer, Stonewall Diversity Champion and Disability Confident Leader, welcoming individuals from all walks of life and leading the way with an award-winning mental health and wellbeing strategy

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