Agile Downsizing: Why Agile Skills Improve a Project Manager’s Job Security

Note: This article is updated at How Agile Skills Improve Job Security.

In PM Network magazine, Jesse Fewell wrote a great article on Agile Downsizing? Why Agile Skills Improve a Project Manager’s Job Security.

Here are a few highlights:

“Agile wasn’t designed to improve the bottom line like that, but it’s a misconception that has some project managers worrying whether a move to ‘self-organizing’ teams would make their position redundant.  Even more concerning, many of the formal approaches, such as Scrum or Kanban, do not define a project manager role.”

Project managers are in higher demand than ever.  Fewell writes:

“PMI research shows the use of agile approaches tripled from December 2008 to May 2011, and 63 percent of hiring managers would encourage their project managers to pursue agile certification.”

It’s not doing more with less.

Fewell shares a few skills that project leaders with agile experience can show on their resume:

Delegating more work“Do you have a bent for process and facilitation?  Then create that well-oiled machine and groom an analyst to manage the business. The most successful project managers I’ve met have focused on their strengths, and found capable hands for the rest of the work.”

Leading more“Agile approaches place a dogged focus on delivering business results by improving collaboration.  Once you’ve delegated the daily minutiae to the project team, you can invest in more strategic relationships.”

Driving more improvement“… if you’ve equipped and trusted your team to handle the details and you’ve improved collaboration with stakeholders, then you finally have the energy and influence to brainstorm solutions to that quality problem, stabilize a more reliable delivery cycle than last year, or launch a product-strategy working group to mend some broken fences and get everyone on the same page.”

The key take away is this:

“The project manager with agile skills has evolved past a positional title babysitting details.  The new role is about building the capability of your teams, partnering with senior stakeholders and driving incremental improvements across the board.”

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