min read ·
June 7, 2023

Team Spotlight: Dzmitry Yaltykhau on the Delivery Lead role, work culture and overall lifestyle.

Dzmitry is an experienced product owner and delivery lead who is able to identify business and user needs, collaboratively design top notch requirements and support the client team in solution implementation and successful adoption.

Dzmitry Yaltykhau

Tell us more about your responsibilities as a delivery lead and what it entails on a day-to-day basis.

The biggest objective behind my role as a delivery lead is to ensure that the agile team stays highly performant and on track to deliver the objectives we have committed to. I'm responsible for making sure that we deliver the value that we have agreed on with the business on time, and within the budget that we have agreed on while clearing any blockers, issues, or challenges that may occur on the pathway towards delivering that value.

On a daily basis, I lead collaborative workshops with the business on understanding what the problem is, who are the key stakeholders and users that get affected, what is the ‘as is’ landscape, and what is the ‘to be’ landscape. I facilitate the conversations with the team on the technical solution, understand the key components that go into building our solutions, help my business analyst break it down into pieces of work, facilitate the estimation, prioritization, manage the dependencies, risks, issues, and make sure that the team stays on track while following the best practices of building a digital product. 

At the end of the day, how I measure success as a delivery lead can be gauged by understanding if the business got the value that we have agreed to If they get it on time and was the team at the top of their performance throughout the duration of the project.

What is something interesting you are working on right now?

The current project that I am leading is a big program for replacing a point-of-sale system for one of our major logistics customers. The uniqueness of this project is that it's a very big program and a multi-year initiative that has a lot of different teams. 

My team is just one of the many, and we are delivering quite a few unique features that are very specific to that particular business. The biggest difference of this project compared to everything else is the size of the team, the size of the initiative, and the number of stakeholders that I need to manage during the life cycle of product delivery.

I ensure that there is a lot of collaboration with the customer integration team, and some other partners just to make sure that all together, we work towards the same goal. There are quite a few dependencies and issues that lie outside of the control of my delivery team, so I need to proactively manage those with external partners and customer teams, just to make sure that those do not disrupt the delivery of the value we have committed to.

Can you share with us your professional journey thus far leading up to your current role? What inspired you to take on the role of delivery lead?

I started my career in tech as a business analyst. The key driver for that was my curiosity about how businesses operate, what challenges they have, and what's the easiest ways to solve those problems. I always wanted the solutions to lie primarily in the space of custom software build because I really loved the co-creation and the collaboration with multiple stakeholders. The role also allowed me to change quite a few domains, tools and practices and prepared me to pick up more responsibilities.

Later when I was in a smaller team that didn’t have that many developers, it made sense to combine the delivery lead and business analyst roles together. I enjoyed the delivery leadership as well. It puts a very different lens on the BA work because it allows you to understand the cost of building things, the time that goes into it, the dependencies, and the delivery complexity. It also gives you a much better appreciation of the actual process of delivering a digital product to solve a problem.

At the moment, I love what I am doing. If we do have a smaller project with smaller team size, I would recommend combining business analyst and delivery lead roles as a practice. However, for my current project, it's just the size of the initiative is so big that I do have quite a few business analysts on my team doing the requirements engineering, and I just primarily focus on the delivery leadership.

This role, in particular, requires a lot of experience with how to build software, best practices, really strong stakeholder management, and collaboration facilitation skills to make sure that the business, the tech, and the customer experience people all make the right decisions based on the right information at the right time and do not block the delivery team on their pathway towards delivering value.

Can you share more about your journey of moving to Australia to join Fabric? In hindsight what do you think about your decision?

The original idea of joining Fabric came from my friends who had been with Fabric for quite some time. That was a big risk that I had to take, changing countries and changing companies as well. I moved from Singapore to Australia three years ago, but the early feedback from my friends who've been with Fabric for quite some time helped me make that decision. They articulated what day-to-day work and the projects look like at Fabric apart from the great team and culture, that inspired me to take the next step.

Looking back, I think it was a very good decision for me. Moving to Australia has changed a little bit of my lifestyle compared to Singapore, but also, the work-life balance here is much better. The general work culture in Fabric compared to the past teams that I've been with is a huge improvement to my work life. I do feel much more associated with the Fabric family, not just as a brand, but in general. Like a community of really talented people coming together to do good. Obviously, sometimes we have limitations on what we can do or what the customer allows us to do, but everybody is extremely motivated, very talented, and very easy to have a conversation with. We come to an agreement very fast, just because we've been working together for quite some time, so we know the nuances of collaboration between each other.

I think it's also because of the size of the company, that we're not a large organization, I get to experience the whole project cycle from its very initial conversations with the customer throughout the pre-sale stage, discovery, inception, build, delivery, and even the post-assessment after we roll out the project to evaluate whether we are delivering the value for the business that we had originally envisioned.

Finally, the culture is very diverse, with people with different backgrounds and very different approaches. We have folks who moved from overseas, some that are from Australia itself, but what unites us all is this obsession with value. Any conversation that I have with my engineers, quality assurance people, and UX people is always about ‘what is the best value we can deliver here’. We strive to find a good sweet spot between the complexity of doing something and the value it brings to the table. That guiding principle in the work that we do on a daily basis I think that's really important to me and that’s what makes me very happy too.

What's been your favourite project so far in your time at Fabric?

My favourite project with Fabric and just in general and maybe, in all of my career, has been the replacement of the system for processing underpaid mail for Australia Post. There are quite a few things that make this project very unique for me. It was a small, dedicated agile team from Fabric. I was doing the delivery leadership, the business analysis, a bit of UX as well, and even a bit of quality assurance just to have first-hand experience with the functionality.

The project itself was a brand-new application that was meant to replace an old one. We went through a proper process of discovery, inception, workshop, estimation, and delivery planning. It was primarily my team and it was extremely successful in terms of the value that it has delivered for the organization and the Australia Post customers. It was also very successful for my team because they could see how fast they can move towards delivering value when there are not a lot of blockers or issues and the piece of work is fully dedicated to them.

Seeing the financial results and also the impact on the customer experience after we launched it has been quite rewarding. This was the first project when I got to lead the team that I'm working with right now. I feel like this is my-- What's the word? Like a super special team, or a winning team where the collaboration and their personalities match so well. This project just gave me this amazing experience of staying on track and delivering a really high-quality product and a lot of value with the team that I really love.

If you were to get stranded on a deserted island with one person from the Fabric team, who would it be?

I'd probably say the tech lead for my team Abhijeet. Three reasons, for that - First, he's got the technical and problem-solving skills. Second, he is probably the most chilled person at Fabric so I don't think we'll be having any issues like panic attacks or anything like that. And Third, I have worked with him on the last three projects and I know for a fact that we have a great personality match and a similar approach to solving problems plus a good rapport which I think will go a long way if we want to survive :)

If you were to explain your role as a delivery lead at Fabric, the movie title, what would it be and why?

Everything Everywhere All at Once. Because a Delivery Lead basically looks after the team no matter the circumstances. We see challenges of all kinds, issues may lie in stakeholder opinions, changing expectations, challenges with the poor performance of your partner teams, challenges in the technology itself such as security issues, or interpersonal issues as well (team culture). There are so many things that can go wrong. As a delivery lead, I have to look after a variety of those different aspects, just to make sure that my team stays on track and stays performant, and knows the goals that they work towards.

So yeah, Everything Everywhere All at Once - That's what my day looks like.

Last one, What do you do outside of work, Dzmitry?

There are quite a few things, and that is also a part of my lifestyle change of moving to Australia and joining Fabric. There are quite a few things that I picked up during COVID. One of them is exercise. I joined a gym class and pretty much enjoy doing it every day. That's my day starter. After the gym, I grab my coffee, have my brekky, and that helps me get energized before the start of work.

Outside work, I picked up a new hobby during COVID, which is watercolour painting. I've made quite a few different pieces that are on the walls of my apartment and it also helps me as a meditative exercise Painting helps me to maybe ease a bit of the stress and focus on myself and just on the creative side of me, that I don't always get to explore being a delivery lead rather than a business analyst maybe.

Also, I'm pretty much obsessed with foreign languages. I spent the last two years studying Spanish. Most recently, I decided to revisit my German skills, I have a degree in German, but I haven't been using it for the last 10 years. In a matter of a couple of months, I was able to pretty much recover my fluency in German. It was a lot of fun.

Melbourne is a great place to experience cultural things. I probably have seen all the musicals, all the theatre plays, and all the latest movies that are right now on in Melbourne, and for the last couple of years as well. I do love going to different festivals, cultural and food festivals that we have in Melbourne happening throughout the year. Because of the winter weather, I think we also tend to travel a lot in the winter season. I've done most of Australia during the last three years living here. Central Australia, Queensland, Tasmania. All of the different cool places to go to, I've been there, experienced it, and pretty much fallen in love with Australia in that time. I also enjoy things like hiking and going to the beach, but that's mostly summertime hobbies.


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