Evaluating Agile Software Engineers

Agile development and the Scrum team environment places different priority on what have traditionally been labelled “soft skills”.   Waterfall methodology valued heads-down analysis and development over collaboration.  It also valued longer decision making under the guise of thoroughness.

This is a short list of some of the capabilities that should be incorporated into Agile team member evaluation.

Agility
  • Flexibility in approach.
  • Willingness to work outside of traditional roles.
  • Adaptability to avoid barriers.
  • Willingness to learn new methods and use new tools.
Personal Productivity
  • Contribution to the team’s deliveries, both directly and by assisting others.
Teamwork and Cooperation
  • Ability to make the people around them perform better.
  • Ability to resolve conflicts with team members.
  • Has a stake in the Sprint goals and demonstrates a desire to achieve.
Leadership
  • Willing and able to make decisions rapidly.
  • Uses good judgment to move project forward.
  • Has the ability to cause action to occur within and outside of their direct responsibility.
  • Leads by example in their behavior.
Quality
  • Number and severity of defects in work products.
  • Responsiveness when product defects are identified.
  • Commitment to improvement by participating in the retrospective process.

Different levels of seniority come with different expectations within these criteria.  Here are some examples of how this criteria can be weighted for different employee levels.

Junior Engineer

Category

Weight

Specific expectations for the job

Agility Low Takes on some tasks outside of role (i.e. testing)
Personal Productivity Medium Works assigned tasks to completion
Reports status accurately
Teamwork and Cooperation High Welcomes guidance from other staff
Leadership Low Willingness to challenge assignments that “don’t make sense”
Quality Medium Requires review and feedback from senior staff members
Expected to improve quickly with experience

Mid-level Engineer

Category

Weight

Specific expectations for the job

Agility Medium Routinely takes on  tasks outside of role (testing and analysis)
Personal Productivity High Works assigned tasks to completion
Reports status accurately
Meets or exceeds corporate velocity expectations
Teamwork and Cooperation High Identifies barriers and is able to resolve some
Shares information within team and across product area
Welcomes and provides guidance to others
Able to resolve differences in style and approach with other team members
Leadership Medium Willingness to challenge assignments that “don’t make sense”
Participating in or developing best practices for software development
Quality High Code reviews expected to show minimal defects
Coding tasks expected to meet Siemens quality guidelines
Reviews the work of others

Senior Engineer

Category

Weight

Specific expectations for the job

Agility High Effortlessly takes on  tasks outside of role (testing, customer support, analysis)
Makes rapid decisions for  a scrum team and product area
Identifies and implements development tools
Personal Productivity Medium Balances facilitating team productivity with personal tasks
Works on design, coding, and architecture tasks
Reports status accurately
Exceeds corporate velocity expectations
Teamwork and Cooperation High Can identify and resolve most technical barriers with a SCRUM team and across product area
Proactively shares information with team, product area, business unit, and division
Collaborates with all team members on solutions
Leadership High Makes those in a product area better engineers
Set technical goals for themselves, SCRUM team, and product area
Recommends and establishes best practices for software development
Quality High Is able to run a code review meeting and make judgement on best practices
Coding tasks expected to exceed the organization’s quality guidelines
Reviews the work of others
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