Career insights from a Delivery Manager: stepping into the agile leadership world

Meet Lita Marnauza, Lead Delivery Manager at Emergn! Lita has been part of Emergn for more than two years and has with an interesting background: before stepping into the agile leadership world, she worked for 16 years in IT for the Latvian public sector.

In this article, Lita takes us on her unique journey, sharing the challenges of her role, her advice for those in a similar position, and how her multifaceted experiences made her an invaluable part of the Emergn team.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Emergn

I’ve been working as a Delivery Manager at Emergn for more than two years, and I’m truly happy to be part of this exceptional team.

The exciting part about working at Emergn is that I feel a strong sense of global and local belonging. We work as a united team, and this collaboration allows me to share and meet unique ideas and experiences daily. My responsibilities are all about people, team composition, and delivery.

I must ensure the right team makeup and encourage a productive environment for our people. This involves daily one-on-one interactions, assessing teams’ composition, and determining if they can efficiently complete the work. It’s also about strategizing necessary changes when needed and identifying the right timing for these transitions.

In this role, transparent and effective communication and planning are the most important tools to succeed.

How did you get started with Delivery Management?

My teenage dream was to become a singer – preferably joining the Spice Girls band or the grand opera stage. Step by step, I tried to reach that goal, taking singing classes and performing on smaller and bigger stages. Eventually, I had to make the decision and unfortunately (or luckily) it was not in favour of singing. 

My journey into Delivery Management has been really interesting. I started in the public sector – where I gradually developed my career from one role to another and took on more responsibilities.

As my curiosity about the private sector grew, I came across the opportunity to join the Emergn team as a Delivery Manager, and I took it! 

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a Delivery Manager?

The most significant challenge I face as a Delivery Manager is people management. It’s a complex task requiring much energy and effective communication. Unlike working with machines, dealing with people is intriguing because we’re all unique in our thoughts, wishes, and personalities.

The challenging part of this role is ensuring that the team is productive, happy, and engaged at work. I want them to love what they do and look forward to coming in each day. Striking the right balance is the real challenge. There are moments when you need to be empathetic and generous, and then there are times when you must be assertive and uncompromising because of looming deadlines.

This delicate balance is built on soft skills – knowing when to use them is essential. While you can learn, understand, and apply many other skills from books and experience, mastering the art of managing people and communicating effectively is an endless journey.

What advice would you give to someone managing people?

My advice for someone in a people management role is simple but incredibly valuable: Listen. By genuinely listening to your team and understanding their needs, concerns, and perspectives, you can determine when to be assertive or take a more leadership-oriented approach.

Sometimes, you need to set strict deadlines and manage timelines with a firm hand, which might be seen as a more ‘boss-like’ role. There will also be moments when you should step into a leadership role, inspiring and motivating your team to deliver exceptional work and quality for your customers.

In today’s world, listening is the most powerful tool. It not only helps you understand your team better but also builds a sense of trust and collaboration. 

What makes you feel proud?

My family is my pride. I can’t imagine being who I am today without them. I like to think that our connection forms a circle – we all contribute to each other’s growth and operate as a tight-knit team. This familial bond is something I hold dear and feel incredibly proud of. Sometimes, when I look at my children, I’m in awe, wondering if they’re really my creations. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Professionally, I’m very proud of my transition from the public sector to the agile world. After spending a significant time in an environment where agility was just a distant dream, I joined Emergn and saw this dream become a reality. I’m proud of myself for taking that leap and embracing the principles of Agile, and I genuinely feel like an Agile ambassador, proudly carrying the flag of VFQ (Value, Flow, Quality). I hope my contribution to Emergn is as fulfilling for the team as it is for me.

Tell us something we (probably) don’t know about you

As I mentioned earlier, I love singing. Back in my school days, I was fully dedicated to learning and practicing music and singing, and my dream was to step onto the grand opera stage.

But life took me on a different path, and I ended up in IT. Interestingly, this IT journey led me to my husband, who shares the same profession. It also connected me with wonderful colleagues in various organizations, whether in the public sector or Emergn.

Singing remains an integral part of my soul and everything I am. Some of my Latvian colleagues experienced this firsthand during karaoke at our Christmas parties!

If you enjoyed this reading, keep an eye on our Careers Blog – where you can learn about employee experiences and insights, company events, stories and webinars, and career and development suggestions. If you’re looking for a new adventure and you feel like Emergn might be the right fit, explore our career opportunities!