Location: Hong Kong
About this role
We’ve been developing software using agile principles ever since our founding in 2009. Over the years, we’ve scaled to be a billion-dollar business, with hundreds of employees with offices in London, Poznan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
This fantastic growth has given us a “good problem to have”: Maintaining our agility through this rapid expansion. If we’re honest, keeping teams consistent in their culture and practices has been a challenge. If you look at metrics in predictability, cycle times, WIP-counts, experiment success-rates, OKR achievement rates, etc., you’ll notice high variance from team to team. Collecting metrics on all this can also be challenging, and varies widely.
Hiring a bunch of new people also means that we have some pockets of waterfall thinking hanging around, such as testing only after development. We’d love some help in identifying these when they pop up.
A few highlights to describe the current maturity of our delivery:
- Our teams are a mixture of Scrum and Kanban, trending towards Kanban.
- Our developers all understand the value of automated testing, and some are doing TDD. However, people’s experience and skillset with automated testing is highly variable.
- Usage of metrics like cycle time and velocity are not consistent across all teams.
- Usage of Jira varies on a per-team basis. We’d like to introduce more standardisation over the next year.
- We still have some manual testing, but we’re trying to transition to a combination of TDD and exploratory testing.
That’s where you come in. You will join our newly built team of Agile Coaches to help many more teams (and not just software development teams, but also functions like Marketing, Recruiting, HR, and Finance) to deliver business values more efficiently with agile values, principles and practices. You have full support from the executive staff to make it happen.
- Embedding yourself in delivery teams across the company. Help teams to understand their issues, guide them to apply agile practices and implement improvement changes. Help them to be self-sufficient. Areas of focus includes but not limited to
- Product Backlog management: Help engineers and product managers write better stories and prioritise more efficiently.
- Flow Management: Assist teams in tracking cycle time, reducing cycle time through right sizing of works and diagnose bottlenecks.
- Estimation: Improve the predictability of delivery across different teams.
- Delivery Risk Management: Continuously identify, track, mitigate risks and timely escalation.
- Continuous Improvement: Coach people to come up with actionable improvement items from retrospective. Track progress and results.
- Training: identify skill development needs and knowledge gaps. Help all team members address them. Create learning paths, create and deliver training.
- Facilitate agile meetings as needed, including cross teams planning and retrospective meetings.
- Define and keep refining a model process so that teams can choose to adapt. Coach teams who have special needs in defining their own customized processes.
Your overarching goal is to work yourself out of a job. Help our teams get to a state that agile principles and techniques are embedded in the culture, and self-sustaining. We encourage a pattern of “I do, you watch -> You do, I watch -> You do”.
Your success will be evaluated by:
- Higher quality delivery
- Creating higher business value
- Building a culture of continuous improvement
- Satisfaction of internal customers
- Alignment on process across teams
To succeed in this role, we’d love for you to have experience in some or all of the following
- You have a deep understanding of software development processes using agile frameworks like Scrum and Kanban. Not just knowing ceremonies but also understanding the underlying principles.
- You have at least a few years of experience in working with some form of agile practices. Two of those years should have been in some kind of coaching or mentoring capacity.
- You have a proven track record of reducing the cycle time of software teams. You know how to track metrics such as cycle-time and velocity, and use them to find insights that let teams deliver value faster.
- You have a deep enough understanding of technology to identify gaps in engineering practices, such as TDD and CI.
- You’re able to judge the clarity of a story and its acceptance criteria. You can train people how to break things down into smaller, more iterative pieces.
- You have a keen ability to influence without authority.
- You have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Nice skills to have, but not required
- Professional coaching or consulting experience.