Brand Zietsman

  

Head of Development, MiWay

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

27 834552903

Certifications

Certified ScrumMaster

Groups I belong to

South Africa

Biography

I started my career as a Mechanical Engineer in the mining industry. My passion for technology gradually led me to a career in Software Project Management. A decade and a bit later I am still passionate about technology, but have a greater passion for software development teams and what makes a team average or great. People over process and technology.

 

Work experience

MiWay Insurance Ltd, Head of Development
July 2012 - Present, Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa
MiWay is a short term insurer. It has a number of sub-systems that supports 4 different business areas, Sales, Client Care, Claims and a Website. I introduced Scrum as a software development framework to the company. We currently have 4 Scrum team that supports the 3 of the business areas and a Document Development team. Claims development is outsourced to a vendor, using a shared Kanban. I fulfil a couple of roles, Scrum Coach, Scrum Master (for 1 team) and Line Manager.

IQ Business - ABSA Personal Loan Scrum Coaching, Scrum Coach
April 2012 - June 2012, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
IQ Business was appointed by ABSA to coach 2 Scrum Teams to complete a project for Personal Loans. The two teams delivered a workflow process automation project for the Personal Loan application solution. The coaching engagement was initiated with a 2 day – Introduction to Scrum workshop, facilitated by a colleague and myself. The workshop included the Product Owner and the second day was closed with initial Backlog creation. Sprint 1 was initiated the following day. Initial Sprint Planning was co-facilitated by the new scrum masters and a coach with each team. After Sprint 1 I coached and mentored the teams for a further 6 weeks.

IQ Business - Business Brain, Scrum Master
May 2011 - June 2011, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Business Brain is a product developed by IQ Business. It was time for a technology update. The Scrum Framework was used by the team. We created a project backlog based on existing features translated into User Story format. Incremental business value was added by integrating completed components,such the “coach”, an administrative configuration tool that was constrained by the previous technology,on completion of its key user stories. The team worked in 2 week sprints and was relatively new to Scrum. Team values posed one of the biggest challenges for the team, a number of team member had problems to step out of the role of technical lead. Some team member, originally QA team, felt threatened by the Scrum approach, as their role, tester, is not defined in Scrum.

3fifteen - DCS Project, Scrum Coach/Programme Management
January 2009 - August 2010, Johanneburg, Gauteng, South Africa
We utilised the Scrum framework. Initial requirements were provided by the customer in a traditional Business Requirement Specification. The Business Requirements were transformed into wireframes and associated user stories that formed an initial product backlog. The transformation was completed as part of Sprint 0 by core team members that would fulfil proxy Product Owner roles for the individual sub-projects. An unusual technology mix was specified by the client. This posed a technical risk to the project and technology spikes were done as part of Sprint 0. The customer prioritised User Story Themes that allowed the proxy Product Owners to develop a release plan. Four Scrum Teams were created on completion of Sprint 0 and included skills for both technology sets to allow the delivery of complete features at the end of each sprint. An automated test harness was developed in parallel with the code, not test driven development, but the initial prerequisites for it. 10 (4 week) Sprints were completed that was grouped into 5 releases. I left the company before completion of the project We did not have any team members formally trained in Scrum at the start of the project. An architect colleague and I experimented with Scrum and Agile principles on previous projects. We educated ourselves on Scrum by reading a lot and taught the rest of the team what we knew. We fulfilled a coaching role.