Robert (Bob) Martin

  

Agile Coach, Director, The Weather Channel

Location: Atlanta, GA/USA


Certifications

Certified Scrum Product Owner
Certified ScrumMaster

Groups I belong to

Atlanta

Biography

I started my working IT life as an mainframe Analyst / Programmer in Financial & Accounting systems, suffering through various Waterfall inspired methodologies and processes including Method One, Navigator, and CMM (although this is technically a Maturity Model). I worked my way through the ranks and eventually started to participate in helping to develop processes and practices. I continued to work my way towards the front of the process, spending time as a Data Analyst and Business Analyst, and on ocassion being asked to help 'troubled' projects.

In 2011 we began experimenting with Agile/Lean practices at TWC, starting with writing good user stories and getting the teams involved from the beginning; although we were still a long way from following the Agile Values and Principles. In 2012 we became more serious about an Agile transformation and hired Jeff Patton and Aaron Sanders from CoMakers to help us. We started with two trial Scrum teams, one of which I worked with as Scrum Master. After several months of steady progress we launched four more Scrum teams, and then three more several months later. Working in a fully functioning Scrum team is hard work, but very rewarding. Working as a Scrum Master to two and sometimes three teams can boarder on insanity at times.

Some of the biggest challenges we've had is incorporating external service teams, and working within legacy command and control structures. We are currently experimenting with a combination of Scrum and KanBan methods, which is working to minimize the two afore mentioned challenges. I am continuing my Agile reading and training, having recently participated in the Agile Coaching Bootcamp with the ACI (which was intense, but awesome).

My future plans include continuing to serve my teams and organization using Agile to the best of my abilities, and to foster an Agile mindset with anyone who is ready for it.

 

Work experience

The Weather Channel, Scrum Master / Agile Coach
August 2012 - Present, Atlanta, Georgia, US
Starting in mid 2012, the Digital org at TWC began to entertain moving to an Agile environment. In the summer of 2012, TWC Digital brought in Marty Cagan from SVPG, to talk about moving to a full Agile environment driven by inspired products. In September of 2012 I did my CSM with Arlen Bankston at LitheSpeed. Following on from this, TWC Digital hired CoMakers to help in our Agile transformation; which included CSPO certification by Comakers. I started as a Scrum Master for one of the two original Scrum teams and eventually helped with the creation of eight more teams, hiring Scrum Masters, and eventually serving as Scrum Master to two and sometimes three teams. I am continuing my Agile education and expanding the definition of my role as an Agile Coach.

The Weather Channel, Director, Business Analysis
August 2000 - August 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, US
For the first ~10 years at The Weather Channel (TWC) I was the Director of Business Analysis, working primarily with the Local TV group, helping to define and document the products for Local on the 8s, Lower Display line, Severe bulletins, and localized Advertising. During this period, the technical team I supported was awarded a technical Emmy for thier work supporting localized TV (which only The Weather Channel had the ability to do). Also during this time I ran a small group of BAs and PMs that served localized TV, as well as supporting teams in Finance and Accounting, Advertising, and Affiliate Sales. In 2010, I started to work with the Digital org at TWC, helping the Product group to define requirements / acceptance criteria for enhancements to weather.com. At this point we started our foray into User Story creation and training Product owners to start backlogs.

IBM Global Services Australia, Analyst, Team Lead
May 1997 - May 2000, Melbourne, Victoria, AU
Telstra staff bought by IBM GSA. Continued to work on Telstra financial projects, as well as IBM projects for Sabre Travel, Victoria Police Forensics, Victoria Police Vehicles, and misc smaller initiatives. Before I left IBM GSA to move back to the USA, I was starting to specialize in helping troubled projects.

Telstra, Analyst/Programmer, Analyst, PM
November 1989 - May 1997, Melbourne, Victoria, AU
Beginning of career in IT working for Telstra. Started as an Analyst Programmer writing financial black boxes for depreciation and retirement of Telstra assets. Worked my way into pure data analysis and team leadership.