Charlie Pfeiffer


IT Project Manager, California Earthquake Authority

Location: Sacramento, CA


Certified Scrum Product Owner
Certified Scrum Professional
Certified ScrumMaster


I have been a Certified ScrumMaster since February 2011.  Like many ScrumMasters I my Project Management background began working primarily with Waterfall methodologies.  I was a huge advocate of PMI and the PMBOK guide, but kept hearing about this mystical "Agile" methodology.  When I began researching Agile in 2010, I found that many of the advantages written about Agile were tied directly to the areas my projects consistently struggled with using Waterfall.

At the time I was the Director of the PMO for a small organization in South Florida, and was given the freedom to obtain my CSM and implement Agile.  The implementation did not go as smoothly as I had hoped, and I knew my lack of experience wasn't helping.  It was shortly after the implementation that I was offered a position as a ScrumMaster at another organization.  It wasn't easy to leave a Director level position, but I knew I needed to be in an environment where my peers had more Agile experience.

In early 2011 I joined Qpay, Inc as a ScrumMaster (also in South Florida).  They were in the early stages of implementing Scrum, so it was a great opportunity to get in at the ground floor.  The main difference at Qpay was it wasn't one person, or one small department implementing Scum.  Starting with a very strong CIO there was buy-in and full engagement from the executive level down.  With everyone focused on the same goal the implementation Scrum was quite successful.  One of the great things about the Scrum environment at Qpay was the implementation of Scrum was never really "over".  We continued to evolve and improve our Scrum processes throughout my tenure there.  We were never satisfied with having a status quo, and always strived to improve.  I feel very proud and fortunate to have been a part of Qpay for those years.

While at Qpay I was also able to transition into other roles, which helped me achieve an even more comprehensive understanding of Scrum.  After about a year in the ScrumMaster role, I transitioned to a Product Owner role and acquired my CSPO.  A year later I was promoted to a Director position in the Operations department, which put me in a key stakeholder position for many of the Scrum teams.  I was also able to have a small project team of my own for managing Operations projects, which included implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Overall it was a phenomenal experience to work with such a high-performing organization, and to gain experience from a ScrumMaster role, Product Owner role, and a key stakeholder role.

In January 2014 I was offered an IT Project Manager opportunity with California Earthquake Authority (CEA) in my hometown of Sacramento, CA.  Once again I found myself making the difficult position to leave a Director level position, but could not pass up the opportunity to return home.  It helped that CEA was exactly the type of challenge that appeals to me.  CEA is an extremely tradition Waterfall organization, but has a strong desire to transition to Agile.  I am now at the forefront of the effort to transition CEA to Agile.  More to come on how the transition goes.

I am excited about what the future holds as I continue my journey in Agile Project Management.  I have now obtained my CSP, and see myself progressing to the CSC and CST certifications in the future.

Work experience

California Earthquake Authority, Project Manager / ScrumMaster
January 2014 - Present, Sacramento, CA, United States
Working as an IT Project Manager, and tasked with converting the organization from Waterfall to Agile. In my time at CEA I have been working to design Agile processes that will work for CEA using my Scrum background, providing education to the IT Management staff on Scrum practices, and developing an implementation plan to convert to Scrum

Qpay, Inc., Scrum Master and Product Owner
March 2011 - December 2013, Miami, FL, United States
I worked as a ScrumMaster and as a Product Owner at Qpay. I also worked in a team member role as a primary stakeholder (as a Director in Operations).