Tag Archives: ScrumMaster

The Birth of the “Agile Project Leader”

With 8 months of full-fledged Agile under our belts here at Valpak, it was high time for me to update the job description for my team of Project Managers.  The point being to not only match the day-to-day activities of the job with the written description, but also to best reflect where we are at in our Agile transformation and our continued commitment to the cause.  With little help from the Internet (that’s right … this was mostly created from scratch!), I created a new job description for “Agile Project Leader” and re-titled my entire team.

  • “Agile” for our commitment to living the values and principles established by The Agile Manifesto,
  • “Project” because we view things best through our project lenses,
  • And, “Leader” because we strive to truly lead and not just manage.

Since I was hard pressed to find any real world examples of job descriptions for “Agile Project Leader”, I figured I’d share mine with the community (that’s you!).

Next up … I need to update my own job description too!



Leadership of technology-focused projects and teams relying on Agile values and principles.  This position assumes the role of ScrumMaster, Kanban Lead, and/or Project Manager depending on the work at hand. The focus of this position is on delivering value over meeting constraints, leading the team over managing tasks, and adapting to change over conforming to plans.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. In the Project Manager role, leads complex initiatives across multiple functions and teams by planning, directing, and coordinating to the project objectives with consideration for risk.
  2. In the ScrumMaster role, facilitates the Scrum process of planning, daily stand-ups, reviews, and retrospectives with team and Product Owner and proactively removes impediments to progress.
  3. In the Kanban Lead role, facilitates the Kanban process with team and stakeholders and proactively removes impediments to progress.
  4. Leads and contributes to the decision making process and facilitates conflict resolution.
  5. Embraces, coaches, and evangelizes Agile values and principles across the organization and in the community.
  6. Defines and refines Agile metrics to understand team performance.
  7. Works with management and other Agile Project Leaders to continually identify and implement organization-wide process improvements
  8. Performs related work and additional duties as needed or required.


Bachelors degree in a technology field or related degree.  Minimum 4+ years of project management experience and 1 year experience with Agile software development methodologies, namely Scrum and/or Kanban.  Additional years of directly related relevant experience may be substituted for the educational requirement.


  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized
  • Strong presentation and communication skills
  • Self-motivated driver 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) preferred.

Agile Limericks

Besides green beer, what better way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than with a few fun limericks.  With that in mind, I’ve created some Agile limericks for you to enjoy.

As you may recall, limericks are short, witty (sometimes raunchy) 5-line poems with an AABBA rhyming pattern.  Since this may be the first time ever attempted (combining Agile and limericks), please go easy on me.  Feel free to add your own Agile limericks to this post as well.

A Team that has tired of sprints,
Might be sending their PO a hint,
That pace is a matter.
Sprints keep getting fatter.
A pace to sustain the intent.

If the Team had gone with their gut,
They wouldn’t be stuck in a rut.
To accept such a story,
Made the sprint pretty gory,
And next time it won’t make the cut.

As for value, this story had none,
But the stakeholder thought it’d be fun.
With no value in sight,
No one put up a fight,
And never that story got done.

A team member says in a fright,
“An impediment is cause for our plight!”
The ScrumMaster did smell
and let out a yell,
“I’ll squash it with all of my might!”

There was a Product Owner from Naboo,
Constant backlog grooming she’d do.
But groomed it was right,
To her Team’s delight,
And never a story poo-poo.