How to Identify an Agile Organization as a Suitable Employer or Client (Part 1)

Part 1:

No matter how large the pay cheque, life is just too short to spend it on unfulfilling projects!

The job market for Scrum Masters is hot

This recent study — “LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017” — listed ‘Scrum Master’ to be one of the most promising jobs of 2017:

  1. If I don’t want to work for a nascent agile organization, how do I identify an organization which established agile practices that are compatible with my mindset?

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How to Get an Idea of an Organization’s Agile Maturity

It is impossible to assess the agile maturity of an organization solely from the outside.

  • Job advertisement
  • Job interview

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Phase 1: Proactive Research

Source 1: An opportunistic search via Google

As a first step, always search the organization’s name in combination with a variety of agile-related keywords, such as:

  • Lean
  • Scrum
  • Scrum Master
  • ScrumMaster
  • Product Owner
  • Kanban
  • SAFE
  • LeSS
  • DAD
  • DevOps
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous delivery
  • Design thinking
  • Lean startup
  • Are the current Scrum Masters or agile coaches working at the organization?
  • How many engineers or engineering teams are working for the organization?
  • What is the size ratio between the product management and engineering teams?
  • Is the organization practicing continuous product discovery?
  • Is the organization practicing DevOps?

Source 2: Ask peers for help via Reddit, Hacker News, Slack & LinkedIn

It is also beneficial to extend the initial Google search to online communities such as Reddit or Hacker News (HN) to name a couple. Both communities allow for posting articles as well as questions.

Source 3: Is the organization sponsoring or organizing Meetups, Barcamps, or Conferences?

Supporting public events is the highest form of contribution to the agile community by an organization.

  1. Sponsoring conferences in cash
  2. Providing speakers to conferences,
  3. Sponsoring local Meetups and Barcamps by providing a venue (with crisps and beer!)

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I have worked for 17-plus years as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and agile coach. Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with Scrum.org.

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Stefan Wolpers

I have worked for 17-plus years as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and agile coach. Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with Scrum.org.