Agile Project Leader Job

Job SearchSome Just Don't Get It

I've seen way too many job postings in the last year, asking for Agile Project Managers.  These postings are basically Project Manager positions with some Agile language thrown into the mix.  It's actually quite frustrating to read them.  I just shake my head and know that they just don't get it.  If asked if an agilist should apply for the job, I would say run as fast as you can in the other direction.  Today, I was sent a link to the job posting below.  I just happen to know the hiring manager.  After reading it, I nodded and murmured "she gets it".

 She Gets it

So many times, Human Resources writes up these job advertisements.  They don't have a clue as to what they are writing.  They don't realize how contradictory the titles and essential duties and responsibilities can be.  As Agile coaches and trainers, I wonder if we sometimes are ignoring teams who could really use our help. I'm talking about an HR department.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to give them some insights into what businesses need rather then what they advertise for?  I've read ads for Agile Project Leaders and in the next sentence saw responsibilities that included maintaining Gantt charts, controlling scope, budget, and schedule.

I want to thank the person who wrote the ad below.  Again, she gets it!  As a result, I believe she will get more qualified applicants for this job who can help her business deliver value.

Agile Project Leader
Valpak Largo, FL, United States Full-Time
Summary:Leadership of technology-focused projects and teams relying on Agile values and principles.  This position assumes the role of ScrumMaster, Kanban Lead, and/or Project Manager depending on the work at hand. The focus of this position is on delivering value over meeting constraints, leading the team over managing tasks, and adapting to change over conforming to plans. Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. In the Project Manager role, leads complex initiatives across multiple functions and teams by planning, directing, and coordinating to the project objectives with consideration for risk.
  2. In the ScrumMaster role, facilitates the Scrum process of planning, daily stand-ups, reviews, and retrospectives with team and Product Owner and proactively removes impediments to progress.
  3. In the Kanban Lead role, facilitates the Kanban process with team and stakeholders and proactively removes impediments to progress.
  4. Leads and contributes to the decision making process and facilitates conflict resolution.
  5. Embraces, coaches, and evangelizes Agile values and principles across the organization and in the community.
  6. Defines and refines Agile metrics to understand team performance.
  7. Works with management and other Agile Project Leaders to continually identify and implement organization-wide process improvements
  8. Performs related work and additional duties as needed or required.

Image Source: Pictofigo

Getting on the Agile Coach List

Almost two months ago, I left my gig advising a Federal PMO to join LitheSpeed. LitheSpeed offers premium Scrum and Agile consulting, coaching, and training services. So, what do you do when you win work? Well, you put the word out that you're looking for qualified people! So, are you an Agile coach who would like to be considered for our current and future engagements? Complete the form and you'll be on the list.

Don't see the Google form? Try this link

Drawing by Pictofigo

Will Agile for Food

By close of business yesterday, we lost 10 people. No, we didn't lose 10 resources. We lost people.  They came to work every day, doing their jobs, thinking they provided some kind of value to the organization.  Unfortunately, some saw the costs outweighing the benefits.  The positions have been eliminated.  I get it.  Business is business.  Times have been tough, even for the Federal Government.  Everyone has to tighten their belts.  Even with the Reduction In Force (RIF), we're still dealing with a very probable government shutdown in a week.  Will Agile for food I'm in a weird situation here.  This is the first time I've been the one who survived the first round of a RIF.  Some 20 years ago, I worked for McDonell Douglas.  In one day, over 10,000 of us got RIF'd (lost our jobs). At that time, the organization didn't care who you were.  The longer you had been with them, the longer you lasted in a layoff.  It actually made me quite angry.  The union members who had been there the longest, who did the least amount of work, got to keep their jobs.  The newer employees were the first to go (LIFO).

I think I understand the government's approach to this first round.  The "positions" eliminated were too specialized or too generalized.  Either the person only took notes in meetings or only dealt with risks, only dealt with EVM or only wanted to work part time.

Though I'm the only one here who has any background with Agile, perhaps that was to my benefit.  I think I'm still here because I made it my business to know as much as possible about what was going on, on a Program level.  I stepped up at every turn to see if I could help with something, regardless if it was my specialty.  I could wear a Product Owner hat if asked or switch hats between a ScrumMaster and a Project Manager.

But, I can't help but feel that my time here is coming to an end.  In one day, the culture has changed.  In one day I went from servant-leader to job counselor.

If the right opportunity comes along, where I can help people deliver more value or increase Agile adoption, I will certainly consider it.

Like the drawing?  Get the original one from Pictofigo

Pillar Technology is Hiring

Pillar Technology is ramping up several large projects in Columbus, OH and Detroit, MI. They are in need of a bunch of people and have opportunities at many different experience levels. They are looking to hire immediately and will entertain people who want to work 1099, W2 hourly, or become full time employees. Pillar's strength is the quality of their people and are pretty selective about who they bring in. They are looking for people that are technically excellent, have great communication skills, and will fit in well to the Pillar culture. Go to Mike Cottmeyer's blog for more details.

To be considered for their technical positions, you need to be an experienced Java developer or technical tester and you MUST have experience with TDD.   Other skills they are looking for are:

  • Jboss Portal
  • Portlet Specification
  • XML Jibx parser
  • Rest
  • Strong UI / JSP experience
  • Maven
  • Team City
  • EasyMock

The more of these you have the better.

Need more information?  Of course you do! Go to Mike Cottmeyer's blog for more details.

Helping people looking for jobs

For those of you who were interested in the BA position that I posted 3 days ago, we've filled the position. I was recently asked what service I thought was the most beneficial for finding jobs.  Though I don't think any one service is perfect, a combination can get you qualified job leads in pretty short order.  When I was looking for a job, Careerbuilder referred a lot of people looking to hire anyone with a pulse.  I was sent solicitations ranging from selling insurance to stuffing envelopes.  Maybe they have the lowest prices for "employer" accounts?  I'd offer a pretty good rating to  I discovered reposting my resume on Monster every Sunday night resulted in a wave of qualified leads.  Another service that I found useful was The Ladders.  Ladders only lists jobs paying $100k or more.  Sure, it costs you money but it really helped weed out jobs I wasn't interested in.  To the contrary, I was really disappointed by jobs posted directly on corporate websites.  It was as though the HR departments or companies were saying they would like to hire people for positions but they didn't have any plan in place to actually interview and hire in a timely manner.

Hang in there people.  The jobs are out there.  You just need to know the right place to look.