I recently told you that I was trying to create "agile job descriptions". They are job descriptions that enable employees to understand what is expected of them, without being too verbose in the job requirements and the activities that they are being asked to perform. And now, as the next step, I have been trying to create "agile competence levels". It's because employees want to know how they need to work on their careers. I know, it's a silly thing, but some people actually want to move upwards in their career. Well, I'm not a difficult guy. So, as before, I have tried to create descriptions that are both short, clear and flexible. Or, in other words... agile.
Here's what I came up with:
Medior level ("medior" is not a real word, but it sounds nice enough)
As you can see, it is a ladder of generic descriptions comprising five competence levels that you can easily apply to different kinds of jobs in the development process. (The five levels actually remind me of the five maturity levels in the CMMI, though they are not the same.) Like many other people, I believe job requirements like these should not be set in stone. Metrics are nice to have available, in case I need some solid data to support my judgement. But most often, by comparing competence levels among employees, it is easy to see where people should find themselves on this ladder.
Someone pointed me in the direction of Joel Spolsky's article on compensation levels. It follows similar reasoning, though it is more geared towards software developers. In contrast, I like my descriptions to be applicable to other employees too, like project managers and business consultants. In fact, I'm sure the same ladder can be applied to development managers themselves! This supports the idea that management is simply a career in itself, parallel to software development.
This flexibility is the main reason I'd like to call this a ladder of agile competence levels. It can serve me in many ways, whichever way the wind blows...
Feel free to comment on it. I'm sure it can be improved some more!