Blog: Career Planning Framework - Preparing for Careers in the Agile Workspace

May 6th, 2019 by inflectra

Too often people at various stages in their career ask how agile will change their lives. Others ask if their responsibilities will differ from one organization to another. Surely no one can tell the future of any role, but it seems that agile is like the pure oxygen. One can’t breathe pure oxygen until it is mixed with an appropriate amount of nitrogen. Likewise, agile is a light-weight framework that is not prescriptive and it too, has to be adapted to the organization’s culture.

Secondly, before one thinks of the career roles to pursue in this evolving agile space, one has to also know what their own aspirations are. Career roles don’t come in the “one-size-fits-all” shape!

Let’s now turn our attention to the State of Agile Survey from Version One. According to the 2018 numbers, the measure of how agile initiatives are used globally in many organizations tell some perplexing story. If we focus on anything in this graph that is 50% or more, we see that customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, and business value rank the highest. This is not surprising because agile requires constant collaboration with business and technical members and frequent interactions from the customer. Similarly, focusing constantly on the timeboxing principles tell that on-time delivery takes paramount. The intense focus needed to deliver value-added stories, using the concepts of measurable organizational value, minimum viable product, and minimally marketable features, bring the business value also to the limelight.

But, the complexity starts when you say the quality of the software is not high, the productivity and predictability of the value delivered are trailing behind, and the project visibility is only scratching the surface, what good is the value of work delivered?  When we didn’t want to upfront planning, are we truly compromising just-enough planning required with the end objectives in mind?

Since value is realized only when benefits delivered are sustained in operations, not factoring considerations from the process improvement perspectives dilute the value delivered because benefits are not realized. Most importantly, if the value is supposed to be represented by the prioritized cards in the product backlog, how can product scope be scoring a very low 20%?

There still is a need to emphasize that the agile workspace has challenges to address. So, there is still an opportunity for you to flourish so long as you focus on the right areas!

In my humble opinion, similar to many other frameworks, like plan-driven approaches to Project Management, agile initiatives also span across four dimensions. These are the areas that one should look to regarding what resonates with them now.

What are these four dimensions? Is there a career planning framework to guide one along? What skills and competencies are required to progress in this space?

Please listen to the webinar on youtube to learn more about Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan’s career planning framework to launch your career journey.


Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan is a project management guru with extensive software development and project management experience in many industries. Dr. Rajagopalan lead Inflectra's agile project management webinar series called: Deeper Dive Into Agile: Practical Tips On Managing Agile Projects


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