Grant Beck

  

Plaster Group, LLC

Location: Seatte, WA


Certifications

Certified ScrumMaster

Groups I belong to

BeyondAgile

Biography

Grant Beck:  An analytical and enthusiastic technology consultant specializing in Agile Software delivery frameworks including SCRUM, XP, and Lean. Extensive experience as a Scrum Master with a Certified Scrum Master certification from the Scrum Alliance and an Agile Certified Practitioner certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). The International Consortium for Agile recognizes my certification as a Professional in Agile Coaching.  I have experience across multiple projects starting up new teams on Scrum and implementing a support structure of training, mentoring, coaching, and facilitation to help in the adoption of Scrum. 

Coaching is one aspect of my competencies which I continue to grow and refine.  I am excited about helping teams discover their own answers, and empower them to do so.  I strive foster a creative environment for Scrum teams by using team building techniques as well as creative and fun information radiators throughout the team room.

I also enjoy teaching scrum and have put together a one day training course on Agile and Scrum software development.  I was fortunate enough to hold this all day class session for some beginning Scrum practitioners at one of our client locations.  The presentation was well received and I continue to refine the material for a future session.

My primary focus in software development comes in the business intelligence/data warehouse environment.  There are unique challenges to implementing an agile methodology when building a data warehouse.  Even new data models or new sources of data to support corporate decision making require a keen understanding of design and how to consider a conceptual data model that is structured, but leaves way for emergent design and and the natural course of change.  Conveying the idea of slices, or 'shashimi', when working with data warehouse BI teams can be difficult, but we have experienced a high degree of success in guiding these teams to a greater understanding of the benefits of Scrum and how it can build a better product for the end user.

I continue to learn and read what I can to become better at what I do.  There is a wealth of information to be found on Scrum in books, as well as the experience of practitioners out in the field who share their experiences and offer their advice online.  I can only read so fast!

Work experience

Starbucks, Scrum Master/Agile Coach/PM
October 2013 - Present, Seattle, Washington, United States

My primary duties on this project (Digital Ventures) were to spin up a new team, teach them Scrum, orient the product owner to Scrum and the associated responsibilities with the backlog, and begin deliverying software as soon as possible.  I was to guide the team as their coach and Scrum Master.  I also had outside duties that were considered Project Management in nature and fulfilled those duties as well (budgeting, status reporting, etc.).  Initial efforts centered around a few short lessons on Scrum and the roles and responsibilities.  The team quickly established two week sprints.  My role supported the continued learning and reinforcement of Scrum mechanics with the team as well as coaching individual team members.

Starbucks, Scrum Master
December 2012 - September 2013, Seattle, WA, United States

Decision Center Project:  Projected End Date, Sept 30, 2013.

Fulfilled the Scrum Master role for the Decision Center project and spun up a new delivery team / product owner for the project.  Met with the product owner to explain the responsibilities for the role and assisted with authoring user stories and training the product owner and subject matter experts in the proper format/content of a user story as well as the importance of articulating acceptance criteria.  Worked with the delivery team in their transition to an agile methodology from waterfall.  Maintained all the Scrum artifacts (burn down chart, task board, kanban board) and introduced new artifacts such as information radiators for risk and data collection status.  Facilitated the Scrum ceremonies.  Focus for the role was primarily on reinforcing team empowerment with coaching techniques, letting the team take control of their work and giving them the space to succeed or fail.  As a Scrum Master, I was focused on removing impediments.

Starbucks, Functional Analyst / Scrum Master
February 2012 - November 2012, Seattle, WA, United States

For the Supply Chain Organization proejct, I was assigned as the functional analyst as well as the Scrum Master with the goal of teaching the delivery team and the product owner the Scrum framework.  Primary duties included maintaining Scrum artifacts such as the burn down chart, task board, and kanban board as well as facilitating all the Scrum ceremonies (Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, Backlog Grooming, and Daily Scrum).  Worked closely with the product owner to ensure the top of the product backlog had sufficiently broken down user stories and related acceptance criteria.  Continual teaching, mentoring, and coaching of the roles and responsibilities as outlined by the Scrum framework.

Starbucks, Functional Analyst / Product Owner
August 2011 - February 2012, Seattle, WA, United States

As a functional analyst on the Analytic Center project, my main goal was the collection and expression of requirements in user story format for the purposes of retiring a legacy business intelligence reporting application (Retail Sales Analyzer).  Primary duties included requirements gathering, user story authoring, acceptance criteria definition, and prioritization/sequencing of the product backlog for sprint planning.  Also led the Sprint Review sessions with the business for acceptance of the work completed based on the user story/acceptance criteria.  Software was delivered in four week sprints.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Functional Analyst/Product Owner
June 2010 - June 2011, Seattle, WA, United States

Main duties included creating and maintaining an intake process for user stories, authoring user stories, working with the programs (US Program, Global Health, Global Development) to refine and prioritize user stories, and executed the scrum master role on a rotating basis (primarily the daily scrum meetings).

The work was done in a sustainment effort to add, augment, and remove reporting functionality for the business intelligence operations (Decision Support Group).  As the functional analyst / product owner, my primary job was the maintenance and organization of user stories within the product backlog, ensuring the user story was created with the appropriate acceptance criteria, and any supporting documentation or technical/functional information was attached as a compliment to the user story.  Additional work was necessary to bring the three programs together (each with a different product owner), and help define a logical product backlog sequence for the work and maintain a 'single' source prioritized user story listing.  Worked with the three product owners to help look for commonalities in user stories across programs and drive priority based on common needs.

The scrum master role was rotated every sprint (four week sprints).  I was able to fulfill the scrum master role on four to five occassions for an entire sprint each time.