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Getting ahead of the pack in an Agile world?

I just bought 6 books from PragProg adding to my expanding library of eBooks on the subject and taking some cues from real life and experience I want to know "what is it going to take for me to receive the highest salary increase" when salary adjustments are handed out?
However every industry has it's laborers and architects --Richard Bucker

Historically salary adjustments had many different names. (i) cost of living increase (ii) merit increases (iii) bonus and so on. And in pre-agile times managers would rank employees. First everyone might receive a basic or flat rate adjustment ... for surviving the previous year or as a part of profit sharing. And then, using the ranking, the manager would increase the employees from a shared pool at the managers discretion based on any subjective or objective criteria.

However, in an Agile world where managers are supposed to be looking for marathon like sustainable development, what criteria should a manager use to rank or reward employees? For some employees overachieving comes naturally, for others it takes a lot of time or effort. The former will demonstrate sustainable performance and maybe some personal growth. The later will eventually burn out. Since the goal is sustainability it is going to be incumbent on the manager to NOT burn out the employees, therefore, either the bar is set lower to accommodate the average employees or only the best will do. (However every industry has it's laborers and architects)

The fantasy world of Star Trek is based on a meritocracy. If you have the aptitude to be a starship captain or a gardener you'll be assigned to that task. As for actual compensation I cannot remember it ever being discussed except in the rarest cases. Agile would have you believe that a meritocracy exists in this world too. If it is them maybe we are actually in transition... and while I cannot tell whether it's a good thing or not... I want nice things and I want to make sure that my employees can have nice things too. But for this to work I need to reward them somehow.

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