What the heck is an Agile Leadership Director?

For those that may not know, my title here at Valpak is “Agile Leadership Director”.  I have to admit … I kind of concocted it on my own after re-titling my team from “IT Project Managers” to “Agile Project Leaders” in May of last year.

  • “Agile” for my commitment to living the values and principles established by The Agile Manifesto,
  • “Leadership” because I strive to truly lead and not just manage,
  • And, “Director” because that is the level I have attained within my organization.

I’ve been told more than once that my title is “interesting” or “unique”.  In fact, the last time I Googled it, I couldn’t find the same title anywhere else in the universe.  Ultimately, the combination of me as Agile Leadership Director serving a team of Agile Project Leaders makes us the … drum roll please … Agile Leadership Office.  That’s right … my own translation of the Agile PMO.  I think it has a nice ring to it. Maybe it will catch on.

So, what the heck is an Agile Leadership Director anyhow?  I figured it was time to share my job description with the world.  I hope you will find it useful as you evolve your own Agile implementation or help others along the way.

JOB DESCRIPTION:  AGILE LEADERSHIP DIRECTOR

Summary: 

Championing, governing, scaling, and measuring the Agile framework within IT and across the enterprise.  Oversees Agile Project Leaders in the roles of ScrumMaster, Kanban Lead, and/or Project Manager.  With consideration for the Agile values and principles, the focus of this leadership position is on delivering value over meeting constraints, leading teams over managing tasks, and adapting to change over conforming to plans.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Develop and grow team of “Agile Project Leaders” through training, mentoring, and coaching while also supplementing staff in that role as needed.
  2. Serve in the role of “Agile Coach” through championing, training, and mentoring across the organization.
  3. Embrace and evangelize Agile values and principles across the organization and in the community.
  4. Monitor project/team performance through quantitative and qualitative measures of value, outcome, velocity, morale, and satisfaction.
  5. Develop, implement, and promote Agile best practice standards including the use of boards and tools where appropriate.
  6. Coordinate between and among Agile teams for progress and impediments via Scrum of Scrums and project management oversight.
  7. Collaborates with executive leadership team on portfolio governance for Scrum, Kanban, and other projects and facilitates the start or stop of teams based on investment decisions.
  8. Facilitates organizational learning, change management, and process adoption of Agile via metrics, benefits realization, outcomes, and retrospective findings.
  9. Performs related work and additional duties as needed or required.

 Qualifications:

  • Strong leader with integrity and business acumen
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized
  • Strong presentation and communication skills
  • Self-motivated driver and visionary able to make progress despite obstacles
  • Strong servant leader able to lead and work with multiple diverse roles and personalities
  • One or more related certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), or Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) required.
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About Stephanie Davis

Stephanie is Executive Director - Enterprise Agility Office at Catalina, driving lift and loyalty for the world's leading CPG brands and retailers.  Most recently, Stephanie was Senior Director of Enterprise Agility at Valpak. She was with Valpak for 13 years, most of which were focused on leading their agile transformation to what became a world renowned success story published in case studies and demonstrated to over 50 different companies through the years via agile tours.  Prior to Valpak, Stephanie held past positions in the project management domain with AT&T and IBM. Stephanie's academic credentials include a BS in Marketing from the University of South Florida and an MBA in International Business from the University of Bristol in England. She also maintains the Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credentials. Stephanie is big on tech community involvement!  Most recently, she served as an elected board member to the Agile Alliance, a non-profit organization with global membership, committed to advancing agile development values, principles, and practices. In addition, she serves her local community as an organizer for Tampa Bay Agile, the largest and most active tech Meetup in the area, and the annual Agile Open Florida event. In 2016, Stephanie was awarded Tampa Bay Tech’s Technology Leader of the Year and the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s BusinessWoman of the Year (Tech) and Emerging Technology Leader of the Year. View all posts by Stephanie Davis

2 responses to “What the heck is an Agile Leadership Director?

  • kenclassmakerritchie

    “Agile Leadership Director” and “Agile Leadership Office?” Love the concepts! Excellent job description. You lead the way, Stephanie!

    PS: Your teams rock! Keep on mentoring others… Bravo!!!

  • Ingrid Sutherland

    I’m headed into an interview next week for much the same position . I hope you don’t mind that I’ll be cribbing heavily from your job description. 🙂

    It’s fantastic you’ve been able to refresh the PMO concept with Valpak. I sincerely hope it’s contagious.

    Kudos to you!

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