Delivery Leader (Agile)
Cengage Learning - Farmington Hills, MI

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Position Description:
The Delivery Leader will be responsible for maximizing the ongoing performance of a cross-functional agile team and producing online products to the market rapidly and with high quality. All product development teams embrace a set of agile practices which is an evolving blend of different techniques and practices from multiple agile flavors and disciplines. The Delivery Leader will work with the team to establish product backlogs, produce estimates and budgets, and deliver commitments to the business on-time and on-budget while minimizing risks and surprises. To maximize team results, the Delivery Leader must possess a deep experience and thorough command of contemporary agile project management and team leadership practices as well as a solid understanding of the other roles and practices that comprise an effective agile development system. The Delivery Leader will work with the team to continuously adapt to new business situations and to evolve a healthier and fuller definition of done. The ideal candidate will be an active learner who tracks the state of the art and keeps abreast of emerging tools and practices in agile software development. This is a position with direct delivery responsibility and as such requires a results-oriented individual with a high degree of emotional intelligence and situational effectiveness. This is also a leadership position which requires solid interpersonal skills, a collaborative nature, and awareness of self and others. The Delivery Leader must work with other Delivery Leaders and functional managers to share learning, mitigate technical dependencies, plan resource allocation, and to maximize practice consistency between agile teams on an ongoing basis.

The Delivery Leader will be responsible for:
  • Continuous Delivery
o Monitoring/managing team velocity/throughput

o Getting the team the resources it needs

o Removing roadblocks

o Escalating effectively

o Keeping momentum and focus in the team

  • Continuous Leadership
o Modeling servant leadership by clearing organizational roadblocks

o Maintaining focus on the goals of the business

o Addressing the concerns of people inside the room

o Addressing the concerns of others outside the room (individuals and organizations)

  • Continuous Planning
o Ensuring that the team is making good commitments

o Ensuring that the team is delivering on the commitments that it makes

o Getting the lights on and makes everything big and visible

o Identifying, tracking, reporting on meaningful performance/progress metrics, and assists the team in achieving performance goals

  • Continuous Transparency
o Reporting information to and for the team clearly, honestly, and continuously

o Making the plan the bad guy using objective data

o Driving commitment-making for and with the team

o Ensuring that the plan changes with demand/supply

  • Continuous Improvement
o Tracking the state of the art in agile software methods

o Driving and enlarges the overall definition of done

o Sensing where performance breakdowns are occurring

o Working with team to identify and implement improvements

o Creating big and visible means for measuring breakdowns

o Interpreting data to identify biggest opportunities

Basic (Required)

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and recent, relevant work history.
  • 5+ years of professional, recent experience in the IT or software product development industry.
  • Proven success in a leadership role with responsibility for delivering software development projects within either a technology services or software product company.
  • 2+ years of leadership experience within an agile software development team.
  • Deep understanding of more than one Agile flavor such as Scrum, XP, Crystal, Lean, etc.
  • Experience with traditional project management practices such as estimation, budgeting, resource allocation, scope management, change management, risk management, escalation, etc..
  • Basic understanding of web technology, including HTML, XML, CSS and Web 2.0 concepts.
  • Proven, strong written and oral communication skills; ability to communicate effectively in meetings, email and informal discussions.
  • Good presentation skills.
  • Strong time management skills.
  • Excellent organizational skill and ability to juggle multiple demands without missing deadlines.
  • Must be a strategic thinker with the ability to see the "Big Picture" while executing daily tasks as needed.
  • Strong teambuilding skills and teamwork orientation; able to coach, mentor or lead by example as a strong Servant Leader.
  • Strong creative problem-solving skills.
  • Strong understanding of risk management techniques and ability to develop appropriate contingency plans

  • Prior agile process coaching experience in a consulting organization.
  • Prior hands-on software development experience with an object-oriented language.
  • Hands-on experience in various other roles within an agile team such as developer, BA, agile tester, product owner, etc.
  • Basic understanding of publishing concepts, such as content acquisition, content creation, editing, data conversion, and formatting.
  • Experience leading Java-based projects
  • Knowledge of or experience with open source software, such as ICE and Lucene.
  • Experience with a knowledge management company.
  • Experience monitoring vendor resources to ensure critical business results are achieved.
  • Experience with VersionOne or other agile project management tools.
Cengage Learning is an equal opportunity employer, committed to attracting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce. All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status.

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