There is little room for debate that Agile methodologies have dominated discourse in the tech space for many years.

Lets have a look at job trends in the project services space for the 2022 financial year.

Since the new millennium, IT project delivery has moved away from more traditional Project Management practices, with companies increasingly embracing the so-called “new ways of working”.

Whilst there has been limited empirical research published on this topic in the delivery space, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of digital projects in the current day adhere to agile practices to some degree.
 
Be it a hybrid approach or full-scale agile transformations, agile methodologies have arguably influenced all corners of the digital domain, from tech start-ups to multi-billion-dollar enterprise projects.

 
Agile Practices & Methodologies

Somewhat ironically, agile practices & methodologies, which are founded on the ethos of continuous improvement, have themselves continuously improved and evolved over the years. To name but a few, Kanban, Scrum, Scaled, Lean and XMP (Extreme Project Management) have all continued to grow in popularity in recent years, with companies increasingly seeking candidates with hands-on experience in these ways of working.
 
This seismic shift in the SDLC has undoubtedly had a great impact on the jobs market within the IT sector across the globe, triggering a surge in demand for a number of jobs, skillsets and certifications associated with agile phenomena which would scarcely have existed prior to the 21st century.

 
Agile-specific roles

 

In FY22 alone, I have seen a sharp increase in clients seeking to fill roles pertaining to agile ways of working, which has had a tangible impact on the kinds of job briefs and roles requirements that are coming across my desk in Project Services. Perhaps the most noticeable of these effects would be the increasing demand for agile-specific roles in the delivery space:
 
Scrum Master – Often referred to as “Servant Leaders”, Scrum Masters are an increasingly integral part of the digital project lifecycle. They must ensure that the clearly defined rules and frameworks of the scrum are adhered to by all members, whilst also remaining flexible and open to suggestions from the scrum team.

Iteration Manager Whilst in effect serving a very similar function as a Scrum Master, an Iteration Manager is a more general term that can be applied to a broad range of iterative/continuous improvement methodologies, where as a Scrum Master is limited to facilitating Scrum practices.

Agile Coach According the Scrum Alliance, Agile Coaches are responsible for “helping organizations, teams & individuals adopt agile values and mindsets”. This should lead to great efficacy, transparency and cohesions amongst teams, ultimately leading to more streamlined outcomes and better outputs/products/services for the end-user. Whilst a Scrum Master is more concerned with the actual planning and management of the scrum, and agile coach has a greater focus on promoting the values and ethos that underpin the scrum.

Agile Business Analyst/Project Manager/Product Manager/Test Engineer - The list goes on! For almost any role that you can think of within Project Services, it has become commonplace for companies to advertise for roles with “Agile” in the job title. This highlights the importance of not only understanding and having experience in the practical side of agile, but also the necessity of having an “Agile mindset” and subscribing to the values of continuous improvement that underpin it.

 Hybrid roles – One of the most prevalent trends I have seen over the previous financial year is the increase in companies recruiting for “hybrid” roles, or roles which do not belong to one particular job title or rigid set of responbilities. For example, within the FinTech space, I am currently seeing a huge wave of demand for Business Analyst/Product Owner hybrid roles, where the desired candidate will have a good Business Analysis acumen combined with strong Product Management capabilities.

 
Likewise, a number of my clients within the start-up/scale-up SaaS space have been actively seeking candidates for Project Management/Business Analysis hybrid roles, with the ideal candidates being highly proficient in both translating requirements and project delivery.


Even for the agile-specific roles mentioned above, a hybrid position is common; for example, many larger enterprises greatly value candidates who are experience in embedding Agile Coaching/Iteration Management/Scrum Master practices into their usual role. Whilst more traditional, waterfall style methodologies required clear-cut job roles and responsibilities, increasingly agile environments are seeing the need for candidates to “wear multiple hats” and job titles and demands are becoming more fluid in nature.
 

Conclusion
 

Whichever way you look at it, it’s hard to negate the profound impact that agile has had on all facets of the digital world. Far from being a catchy buzzword or passing trend, the agile approach continues to inherently shape technology in the modern age, from how it is made to how we consume it.
 
Whilst no one knows what the future of technology will look like, one thing is for certain; Agile is here to stay.
 

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