Assurity Life Insurance Co., Director, Software Development
December 2011 - Present, Lincoln, NE, United States
In this role I am responsible for the day-to-day operation and high-level management of 6 different Agile Development Teams using Scrum. Working with these teams, I have enabled them to be self-directed to a large extent by choosing their own Scrum Masters, doing their own planning and review, and integrating end users in the various Scrum artifacts (standup, planning, review) whenever possible. I frequently serve as a mentor and coach to the Scrum Masters based on my experience, and have trained members of our end user community on the principles and practices of Scrum for project management. In some cases, the end users have begun using these principles to manage thier own work even when it does not relate to IT projects.
Assurity Life Insurance Co, Scrum Master of DC Teams
June 2010 - December 2011, Lincoln, NE, United States
In this team arrangement, we re-organized to allow for a more 'pure' SCRUM-based Agile approach
where the "DC" team(s) could focus on one project at a time, with no production support requirement
and full Product Owner involvement in Sprint meetings. We incorporated some basic TDD practices by
defining acceptance criteria and tests with the Product Owner during Sprint Planning, and reviewed
output at each Sprint Review. At times the Product Owner was so familiar with the work during the
sprint that they demonstrated the output themselves to other stakeholders during Sprint Review.
Through this change and by using the Retrospectives to increase our effectiveness and teamwork, we
saw increases of up to 20% in our efficiency and similar increases in quality. We drove large leaps
forward in our coding practices, incorporating unit testing and automated builds for the first time in our
organization, while also increasing our cross-training and ability for any team member to contribute to
any area of the project.
Assurity Life Insurance Co., Scrum Master of Web and Imaging Teams
November 2009 - May 2010, Lincoln, NE, United States
As Scrum Master and Team Member, I led daily standup meetings, Sprint Planning meetings, Sprint
Review meetings, and Retrospectives. We utilized a SCRUM-based Agile development approach, with
2-week sprints and incremental delivery of software on projects both large and small. We also had to
support production environments with these teams, so we incorporated some flexibility in our sprint
planning to allow for production support issues that would arise during a sprint.
When some internal personnel changes gave me the opportunity to work with both teams, I used the
Retrospective process to help drive incremental improvements in teamwork and process with the new
Imaging team. I was committed full-time to these teams and our projects, managing them all using
Agile methodologies. We continued to incorporate our customers further into the Agile process, and we
consistently demonstrated completed software at our Review meetings, seeking customer feedback
throughout the process. In many cases I also served as a 'product owner proxy' for several product
owners on a project.
Assurity Life Insurance Co, Business Analyst, Scrum Master
February 2008 - November 2009, Lincoln, NE, United States
In my roles as Scrum Master and Team Member, I led and managed multiple projects for the Web tools
and Reports development team, including the development, testing, and release of our new website and
platform for agent use, numerous enhancement projects to same, and the development or enhancement of
dozens of reporting systems for internal and external use.
We transitioned from a traditional Waterfall project management approach to a SCRUM-based Agile
development approach during this time.