How working at the Centre for Digital Public Services has opened my eyes

Finding and starting a new job doesn’t need to be a difficult experience if you are offered the right support says Poppy Evans, our Associate Delivery Manager

8 December 2022

I was actively seeking a new opportunity when I was approached on LinkedIn by a recruiter on behalf of the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS). 

Getting to know CDPS 

I must confess that I didn’t know about CDPS when they first approached me, even though I had worked in local government. However, I was interested so I took the time to research who they were, what they had done, and what they were doing.  

I was given the job profile to read for an Associate Delivery Manager. It spoke about working in an agile way. I thought to myself that I already work in an Agile way. Didn’t I already work from home? 

My goals 

I had previously worked as a business admin apprentice for my local council and had progressed to being an officer. However, I was keen to develop my experience and skillset further through management training, particularly in project management. 

I could see myself in this new role. The job profile described an environment where I could get this training as well as support to achieve this goal. This persuaded me to go for it. 

CDPS works virtually, so can hire staff from various parts of Wales and beyond. By changing roles, I also hoped to experience more diversity in roles, skillsets and even cultures. 

What followed exceeded my expectations. 


The recruitment process was incredibly efficient and refreshing. 

This is down to the individuals who recruit at CDPS. But it is also down to things they do, such as giving interviewees a list of the questions that they will be asked in the interview. This should become normal practice when conducting interviews. 

Before starting my role, I had an idea of what to expect because I had kindly been contacted by my line manager ahead of time to explain how things would go. 

Starting my role 

On day 1, I realised that I did not work in an Agile way. I hadn’t understood the true nature of Agile. 

Fortunately, as an associate delivery manager, there is plenty of training available. 

Learning about CDPS 

There was a very well-constructed onboarding programme. It gave me the essential information I needed to start here and understand how things work. A key part of this is Agile working. 

It quickly became clear to me that we are still a young organisation. Even as a new member of staff, others in the organisation listen to my opinions and value them. It feels exciting to contribute to how we develop. 

Getting to know colleagues 

All our staff work from home. I was concerned that developing connections and building rapport with my colleagues would be a challenge. This is something that I had achieved in my previous role within an office environment before being sent home to work due to the pandemic and restrictions.  

My concerns were instantly put to rest as the teams here have a well-established virtual community. This encourages people to work together consistently using platforms such as Slack.  

Some of these channels are interest orientated which is a terrific way to get to know my colleagues.  

I enjoy taking part in our food channel where we often share recipes and ideas. We even have a monthly lunch club now.  

Daily check-ins 

We also let each other know how we feel and what we’re working on every day.  

This helps me learn about projects that are happening. It allows the community to ask for and receive feedback and guidance or highlight things that are blocking progress.  

Working in the open 

We produce weeknotes for our project work and a staff newsletter. This allows us to keep up to date with each other’s work share progress and highlight things that block progress. 

Transparency and working in the open are at the heart of what we do. 

Learning from a mentor 

As well as having training goals, I was partnered with my mentor who is supporting my development.  

This has played a key role in learning agile working in practice. My mentor and I were able to start delivering a new project to review and improve the CDPS website.  

It is often the case that when learning something new you will often adopt the methods and practices of the teacher.  

My mentor is exceptionally skilled in delivery management. However, they encourage me to adopt my own approaches and to think critically about how to manage them.  

I value this approach, the extensive support and the invaluable information which is being shared with me by the specialists who work here.  

Agile working 

So far, I have been involved in the discovery phase of the project which I am currently helping with. This has involved: 

We got feedback during the discovery phase and completed a procurement process to appoint user researchers to help us with our project.  

I have noticed a clear benefit to agile working, which is how quickly a team manages to get things done.  

This is largely due to the obvious way we communicate our work and our actions. It is also due to how often we meet and the productive nature of the meetings which involve stand-up, show and tell and retro meetups. One of the key purposes of these types of meetings is to be reflective, to evolve and learn from each other and to be transparent as a body to show our progress.  

My future 

I aim to: 

As someone who uses public services in Wales, I feel strongly that making services easy to use and user-centred is important. It should also be just as easy for the teams who are delivering these services. 

Using these ways of working creates a stronger workforce and a stronger service.  

Improving digital public services is not just about improving technical tools that services rely on, it’s about improving how teams work and how they are managed.  

Working here has opened my eyes. It excites me to be a part of CDPS. Working together with the teams who work tirelessly to deliver public services and with users, we will make improvements. 

You may be interested to read our guide about how to attract talent to digital, data and technology roles. You can also sign up for the Recruiting Digital, Data and Technology talent webinar on 15 December. 

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