About Agile Delivery at Network Guard
We’ve been developing software using agile principles ever since our founding in 2009. But, despite many years of experience, we’re very far from doing it perfectly. In terms of metrics in predictability, velocity, cycle times, WIP-counts, experiment success-rates, OKR achievement rates, etc., we don’t always hit the mark. Sometimes metrics are not used (or are unavailable) to make decisions.
There is also occasional lingering waterfall mental debt, such as testing still being treated too much like something that happens after development. We want to fix this. But, despite all of this imperfection, we’ve built a very successful international business. Now we want you to help us improve.
A few highlights to describe the current maturity of our delivery:
- Most teams’ long-term actual vs. predicted delivery dates are off a by a factor of 2.
- All components have CI and CD pipelines (and have done so for many years). However, some have long running-times (up to 4 hours), and others have reliability problems.
- All projects use Jira (though we will be willing to experiment with new tools). And we’ve built tooling to calculate cycle-time metrics from data based in Jira to visualize them in Tableau. However, too few teams use them regularly to make decisions and track their progress in raising velocity.
- We hired developers with an existing mentality of automating all tests, so one needs convincing their value.
- Some components have an unnecessary reliance on manually executed regression tests or slow-running end-to-end automated tests.
- Exploratory testing comes quite late in the cycle and isn’t as effective as we’d like. We rely too much on dogfooding and beta testing to find new bugs. Test-planning is often superficial.
- Some teams struggle with unclear definitions of what is “done.”
- Some teams struggle with stories being too large, or acceptance and success criteria being unclear.
That’s where you come in. Help transform our teams (and not just software development teams, but also Marketing, Recruiting, HR, and Finance teams) into high-velocity, well-oiled machines.
You’ll be the company’s first dedicated agile coach (or agile delivery manager; we’re flexible on titles). We’re opening two positions: an individual contributor acting as a Senior Agile Coach, as well as a People Manager who will hire and build a team of agile coaches.
Your success will be evaluated by:
- Improvements in velocity and throughput
- Predictability of delivery
- The satisfaction of internal customers (based on the availability and accuracy of project management metrics, quality of insights, and training effectiveness.)
Your responsibilities will include:
- Rotate through, and embed yourself in, the delivery teams across the company. Understand the teams’ issues, track velocity, and related metrics, find ways to raise velocity, lead by example, and guide the teams to implement your ideas. You’ll need to diagnose and fix root causes in process, technology, tooling, skill gaps, attitudes, and organizational design. Exactly which teams you’ll cover, and how long you’ll stay in them, you’ll have a lot of freedom to decide. Find the right balance to deliver the most value of the business: Sometimes, you’ll quickly make a team self-sufficient. Other times the nature of the project might require your full-time attention for the duration of the project.
- Identify, track, and mitigate project risks. Escalate where you see issues that aren’t solved in a reasonable time frame.
- Design and guide the adoption of process improvements.
- Training: identify skill development needs and help all team members address them. Create learning paths and deliver training. Coach, mentor, and lead by example.
- Facilitate retrospectives and annual, quarterly, and weekly planning forums. Guide managers by setting reasonable objectives and creating reliable plans for achieving them.
For the people management position, you’ll also be responsible for:
- Create the hiring plan for your team world-wide, create your headcount budget, structure your teams and align them with your partner teams, design plans for assessing candidates, work with our recruiting-team to source and test candidates, hire and onboard new staff.
- Lead your direct reports. You hire, train, motivate, assign responsibilities, and hold people accountable.
- You have a proven track record of helping raise the velocity of software teams. You track metrics such as WIP-counts, velocity, and cycle-time, and use them to find insights that let teams deliver value faster.
- You have a deep understanding of software development processes using agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban. Likely from being in roles such as agile coach, scrum master, product owner, developer, or designer.
- You have a deep enough understanding of technology such that you’ll be able to judge the clarity of a story and its acceptance and success criteria and sometimes make suggestions for breaking it into more manageable pieces.
- You have a keen ability to influence without authority.
- You have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
For the people management position:
- Proven experience in hiring and growing agile coaches or similar roles. You envision the team structure needed to meet your business objectives, define your needs to recruiters, assess candidates objectively, make hiring decisions, onboard, then put people into appropriate roles, set expectations, give them the tools to succeed, hold them accountable, and guide their career and skill development.
- Experience in writing and using effective OKRs or similar goal-setting frameworks, and guiding others in improving their usage.
What we offer
- Challenging work in a fun and collaborative environment
- Attractive compensation and time-off benefits
- Spacious open-concept and centrally located offices
- Financially successful and profitable company
- Full-time employment with flexible working hours
- Fully stocked pantry with healthy foods and fresh fruit
- Team lunches and company events every quarter
- Multicultural teams represented by 30+ nationalities
*Please do not include any salary details in your CV submission