Image of Magda Rotsztejn on the balcony of the Virgin Media O2 office overlayed by a pink branded designImage of Magda Rotsztejn on the balcony of the Virgin Media O2 office overlayed by a pink branded design


How is Delivery helping Virgin Media O2 become a digital-first, product-led organisation?

Magda Rotsztejn

Director of Digital Delivery

April 12, 2023

How do we execute a plan while also balancing the need to allow for disruption in a constantly changing landscape? Magda Rotsztejn, Director of Digital Delivery at Virgin Media O2, shares what Digital Delivery is and how it’s helping us stay on track to achieve our strategic ambition of becoming a digital-first, customer-centric organisation.

Magda shares our flex approach, why it’s never a good idea to retrofit a problem to suit our operating model, how building a positive culture is everything, and why she’s passionate about mentoring and developing the next generation of female tech talent.

What is Digital Delivery, and what role does it play at Virgin Media O2?

“We’re on a digital transformation at Virgin Media O2 – becoming product-led, digital-first and truly putting the customer at the heart of what we do.”

Our Digital Delivery organisation looks after the delivery of digital products for Virgin Media O2. We’re mainly made up of agile delivery managers. They hold the key to working effectively across our entire business. We work in alignment with product, ensuring we deliver their vision in the most efficient and collaborative way, to achieve the most valuable outcomes.

What are your team’s priorities, and how do you support our company’s strategy?

We actively challenge and connect everything the teams are doing back to our strategy. We’re the bloodline keeping the business running, so a key priority is establishing a stable operating practice that’s consistent, transparent, and effective. This helps stakeholders and teams prioritise work and deliver value back to the customer and the organisation.

I coordinate and manage our digital product roadmap. I ensure our teams and organisation have adequate delivery support and that my team are equipped to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of our business.

How are you building a more positive culture in your team?

First and foremost, we’re empowering our team to be able to act and make decisions – knowing they’ll be supported. This is important for getting the job done and reducing escalations. We’re also looking at our practices around diversity and inclusion, making sure everyone feels represented, and building trust through communication and 360-degree feedback.

The most important thing is our new purpose “see what you can do” and making sure that’s clearly understood by our colleagues. What are we doing, and why, if it’s not in the service of our customers? Lastly, failure is an essential part of life. It’s how we learn and improve. Encouraging a growth mindset and creating an environment where colleagues can fail is key.

“We care deeply about our people and creating a positive environment that fosters psychological safety, so our people are not afraid to stretch, fail fast, learn, and grow.”

What are the biggest challenges and opportunities?

The biggest challenge for Delivery is the constantly changing landscape and setting a direction, strategy, and vision. As much as our function helps set a cadence and the rhythm of how to execute that strategy – there are always going to be things left off the plan.

It takes a lot of time to unravel and understand the impact it has on the work that we’ve committed to, re-prioritising, and working out what’s the best direction of travel. The big opportunity is having a better way of dealing with the disruption that’s always going to be there.

“It’s not about holding onto a plan at all costs but flexing and allowing for those unexpected things to hit us and managing them in a way that feels comfortable.”

What’s innovative about the way we work in Delivery at Virgin Media O2?

What our Delivery function does really well is blending together learnings from different methodologies and frameworks, to get the best outcome. We have some very talented individuals that bring a wealth of knowledge with them from different organisations. This helps us drive agile ways of working and the delivery of proof of concepts and minimum viable products.

We have a set of practices we use, but we flex them depending on the context. So rather than saying, ‘We’re going to do it this way’, and retrofitting the problem into our operating model and ways of working, we start with the problem and find the right way to tackle it.

“Tell us what the problem is, and then we’ll find the right solution for that problem.”

What are you most proud of that you’ve delivered to date?

The evolution of our quarterly planning process is something I’m proud of. Our entire Digital organisation and leadership are now engaged in this process. Our leaders talk about objectives and the importance of having a clear view of what we’re trying to achieve.

I’m also proud of the work my team have done to support our Digital-wide adoption of an OKR alignment tool, WorkBoard, to link our strategy to our objectives. This is the first time in my career that I’ve seen a really robust attempt being made to create a greater lineage between our strategy and what we’re doing day-to-day. It’s challenging all of us on whether we’re spending time on the right things and helping us prioritise what’s really important.

Tell us about your background and what brought you to Virgin Media O2.

I’m from a technology background, so coming to work for a telecom company was a steep learning curve for me. Before joining Virgin Media O2, I spent five years at Just Eat Prior to that, I worked at many leading digital agencies.

When I learned about the company’s vision and digital-first ambitions, however, I didn’t hesitate. Although it’s been scary joining a completely different industry, it’s also been exciting. I’m really proud to be part of such a massive, fundamental change in the business’ direction and to help Virgin Media O2 become more product-led, customer-centric and digital-first.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

When I’m not at work, I’m a competitive CrossFit athlete. I’m also a mother to two little girls, aged two and four. That’s what my time outside work looks like – training and entertaining kids.

I also mentor inside and outside of Virgin Media O2, through Academy, a global mentoring network that’s working to develop the next generation of female talent in tech. I mentor because I wish I’d had someone early in my career who had shared their learnings and experiences. If I knew then what I know now, would my career be different today? Would I have made the same choices?

What’s your best piece of advice to pass on?

Success is not about earning as much as you can or being at the top. Success is when you can find happiness in a role that also makes you fulfilled.

Career paths don’t often follow a linear trajectory. In the past, people would choose a path, and then climb the ladder. It’s ok if your career path looks more like a tree, than a ladder. Be patient. Things will come at the right time. If you feel like you’re failing to progress, there’s always another way. You’re in charge and you are the master of your own destiny.

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