Podcast Episode 24 – Atlassian JIRA Review

After a long break I’m back to posting a quick summary of the latest podcast episodes, for those of you who prefer “show notes”-like summary instead of (or in addition to?) jumping straight into audio.

On this 24th episode of the Lean and Mean Agile Podcast I’m reviewing Atlassian JIRA – an extremely popular Agile Collaboration tool, at least among the Australian companies that deal with development and delivery of Digital Products.

What makes JIRA great? What are its defining high level features?

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Podcast Episode 16 – Cross-Functional Teams…

On this podcast episode I’m tackling the topic of cross-functionality in Delivery Teams, as well as the confusing term of T-Shaped people.

The meaning of cross-functionality is rather simple – it’s when ideally everyone on the team can do anything, within the predefined requirements of the full range of skills required to create the Product the Team is ultimately building.

T-Shaped Team members however could sound very confusing and almost disturbing. While in essence the term is also rather simple and works on the theory of us being able to get proficient with one (or very few) core skills, while aiming to develop familiarity and at least base level of skills covering broader range of relevant areas. So that core “deep” skill becomes the vertical line of the “T”, while the broader range of more “shallow” skills is represented by the horizontal top line.

More about this on the actual episode after the break…

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Agile Resume Preparation Tips

Applying for an Agile Delivery role such as Scrum Master? I’ll give you some basic tips on how to prepare your Resume (or “CV”) for easier digestion by the Recruiters or Human Resources of the hiring company, so that you have higher chances of making it into the group of short-listed candidates…

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How to get work experience?

Having some sort of work experience in the relevant area is crucial to success when applying for any of the present day Agile Project Management or Delivery roles. Situations where someone would give you e.g. a Scrum Master role just by looking at your fresh CSM or PSM certification are extremely rare, and usually contained to side-shifting within your own company, where basically people know you, and want to give you a chance. As fantastic as those rare opportunities are, we should focus on the open competitive market conditions, where you walk into the door of the potential employer as a fresh applicant, with no history with that new company. So how do you convince them to hire you?

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Agile Hybrid Roles, explained

What are “Hybrid” roles you ask? It’s those where recruiters or the companies offering actual jobs try and combine responsibilities of multiple Agile Delivery roles into one position, creating those – sometimes rather weird and unproductive – hybrids. It’s roles like Project Manager/Scrum Master (PM/SM), or Business Analyst/Iteration Manager (BA/IM), and many other combinations where paying attention to what your potential employer is asking for would be crucial for you to be remotely successful in that role, as well as staying sane! 😉

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Agile Certifications, explained

Getting certified as a Scrum Master or a Product Owner shows some commitment to the cause of becoming better at Agile practices and methods, as well as demonstrating some of that knowledge to your perspective employer or external Recruiter who is screening you among other candidates for the interview. So while certifications certainly serve their purpose and help you at least “not look worse” than the next job applicant, some of them are ridiculously overpriced while not reflecting any particular edge of yours over someone who took a different exam, that was much cheaper, and made them go through a much harder online test.

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