Agile project management. It’s great for your resume and not just for IT roles. While Agile is widely used in IT, it’s a fantastic skill for many areas, including marketing, construction and education. It’s also highly effective for complex projects with multiple deadlines and tricky budgets.
This expert article answers some common questions our recruiters are asked about Agile project management.
What is Agile project management?
It’s the ability to manage projects using Agile, especially software development projects. This style of project management involves working closely with clients and end-users to deliver user-centric products that meet specific needs.
What is Agile methodology?
Agile methodology is designed around short ‘sprints’, each lasting around 2 to 4 weeks. At the end of each sprint in the IT world, the client and end-users are presented with the most recent version of software to get feedback. It’s then on to the next sprint, incorporating comments continually sought throughout development so the final product meets required end-user needs. The Agile methodology is therefore about continuous testing and being highly responsive to change.
How is Agile different from traditional project management?
These 2 project management approaches differ in many ways. Traditional project management emphasises planning and predictability. Agile doesn’t ignore planning, but is sharply focused on flexibility and adaptability. The traditional approach uses longer project phases to plan and deliver. Agile uses short sprints – continuously planning and re-planning so projects stay on track to meet goals. Often a traditional approach relies on functionally divided and hierarchically organised teams while Agile relies cross-functional and self-organising teams.
Another obvious difference is that traditional project management relies much more on written documentation and formal communication. Agile, on the other hand, encourages face-to-face communication and collaboration.
What is an Agile work environment?
An Agile culture respects, adheres to and values customer and end-user needs as a major priority. Agile also values individuals and interactions which means Agile teams are strong and value:
- collaboration and interaction over set processes and inflexible tools
- work-in-progress software development over detailed and potentially difficult-to-use documentation
- experimentation, quick thinking and willingness to seize the moment over a tendency for resistance or old-fashioned thinking.
How are Agile workplaces designed?
Agile workplaces are designed differently and tend to predominantly feature collaborative spaces supplemented by private workspaces. Traditional workplaces can be designed around hierarchy (big bosses get the biggest offices), although in today’s world more are being designed around collaboration and flexible working arrangements.
What type of high-demand jobs require Agile project management skills?
Agile project management skills are in high demand, especially in IT-related roles, and they can pay well. Some job titles requiring Agile project management skills include:
- Scrum Master
- Agile Coach
- Product Owner
- Agile Project Manager
- Agile Business Analyst.
According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Scrum Master is $124,500 a year*, while the national average salary for an Agile Coach is $166,000 a year*.
Can you give me examples of Agile job specifications?
face2face has a dedicated ICT recruitment arm and our recruiters see job descriptions daily that specify Agile skills and requirements (public and private sector). Here are examples:
- Plan, elicit, define and document requirements using Agile delivery methodology, concepts and tools.
- Understand and demonstrate experience in Agile project management.
- Proven experience in Agile product development process and Scrum methodology.
- Mentor, support and empower ICT teams across the delivery spectrum while adopting agile work practices.
- Lead planning processes to guide the Agile journey.
- Lead training, communications, and technical activities to implement Agile practices into the department’s culture.
- Communicate and collaborate across business and ICT in adopting Agile practices, including working on communications plans.
How do I showcase Agile project management skills on my resume?
To showcase Agile project management skills on your resume, specify methodologies you’ve used, such as Scrum or Kanban. Also, quantify results, like improved delivery time, reduced costs and/or increased customer satisfaction. Another excellent way is to demonstrate problem-solving skills by describing how you’ve used Agile to overcome a specific challenge or obstacle.
What are common Agile tools and software?
Many Agile tools and software are on the market. Common ones include JIRA, Trello, Asana, and Monday.com List those you understand to increase your chances of getting hired. Be proactive and train yourself on new ones.
Do I need an Agile qualification?
Agile certifications can help you stand out in the job market and demonstrate your proficiencies. Popular certifications include Certified Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Master, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, and SAFe Agilist. These require you to pass an exam.