This “help wanted” ad just came over one the of the Agile lists I subscribe to:
We have a PM spot open for a candidate with experience in an Agile environment! If this looks like a fit for you, please call or write me right away!!
This project is focused on initiating and managing a project to prove capabilities of a vendor solution for [domain reference removed].
The people in this position will plan, direct and coordinate the activities of the assigned project deliverables. They will work closely with internal IS staff and business partners to drive the implementation of the final solution. They will need to create and manage the project schedule and overall plan and will need to work closely with the Business and IS staff. The role will need to be heavily engaged with and develop strong working relationship with the business and owners throughout the project lifecycle.
I’m just not seeing much that matches Agile principles here. (The reference to “implementing the final solution” is unfortunate on a completely different level.) I guess “work closely with internal IS staff and business partners” could be be done in a way were “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.”
I see the purpose of an open position advertise me as attracting candidate who are a good fit for the job, and discouraging candidate who aren’t a good fit. If this company (which shall remain nameless) is really looking for someone who has worked with Agile methods and understands the principles of agile software development, they may actually be discouraging qualified applicants with this language.
Now, I doubt the person who put out the position description has direct experience with agile methods. It’s probably someone in HR, and he/she is probably using standard job descriptions.
If we want to improve our chances of attracting candidates who have worked in Agile environments, we need to work with the HR folks (as part of the extended project community) to source candidates who have the experience, skills, and qualities to work on an Agile project.
Unless we provide some sort of job analysis–the functional and collaboration skills needed, plus qualities preferences needed to be successful in the job–HR will fall back on their traditional descriptions.
HR owns many of the policies and procedures that can help or hinder Agile adoption. It’s time we start working with them to create structures and systems that will help them help us.